It's one thing to develop a digital marketing strategy. It's a whole other kettle of fish to develop digital marketing strategy to crush the competition.
How should you go about this? How do you make your brand stand out from competition with their own strategies in place?
First of all, an effective digital marketing strategy to stay ahead of the competition requires that you do digital marketing better than them by developing a superior strategy. Second off, everything else will fall in place if the people involved in this undertaking have a solid foundation of knowing the ins and outs of digital marketing in a scalable way.
The Evolution of Digital Marketing
For the past couple of decades—the 1990s, the 2000s, and the 2010s as well as the current 2020s—digital marketing has proven itself to be quite lucrative and effective at establishing brands, particularly DIY startups. Digital marketing strategy to stay ahead of your competition involved the following:
Everyone Has an Online Presence: While in the 1990s having a website was a novelty, in the 2020s just about every business you can think of have their own site, social media account, or online presence. It has become a necessity in today's interconnected world.
A Business Online Presence Hits Differently: Unlike a random person with a Facebook account, your business's Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account should synergize with your marketing, advertising, and PR strategies, since we've living the dream of mass communication right now.
A Saturated Market: Even if you were ahead of the curve and got a talented marketing team to back you up, you've doubtlessly noticed how saturated the market has become when it comes to viral marketing, online promotions, and Internet advertising.
The Tools of the Trade: To stay ahead of the pack in this digital realm, you should be aware of the tools of this particular trade. The most effective of them is search engine optimization (SEO) for your website and blog and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) like Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
The Social Media Revolution: We at Marketing Ignite have been around long enough to witness the rise and fall of our own Internet marketing peers as Web 2.0 rolled along. We along with others rode the social media trend and helped businesses build their brands on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
We at Marketing Ignite have the experience, digital connectivity, and out-of-the-box thinking needed to put your brand on the digital level of exposure.
You don't need to depend on Instagram influencers or YouTubers to build your online brand. Become a bigger company that's capable of nullifying the effect of competitors in order to stake your claim in increasing market share!
How to Stay Ahead of the Curve Using Digital Marketing
In every market, there's competition. That's by design. It's the Survival of the Fittest. Only those who can adapt can survive while the rest fall and become forgotten, like with what happened to Excite, Friendster, and Yahoo.
With that said, you don't need to be an Internet-based super-conglomerate like Google, Amazon, or Microsoft in order to survive and build your brand in the World Wide Web.
How can you do that? You can consult with us at Marketing Ignite for one thing. You can also do the following when push comes to shove!
1. Find and Then Solve Your Customers' Issues: This is easier said than done but it's a necessary step towards becoming the cream of the crop nonetheless. How do you do this through digital marketing? Use the medium the way it's meant to be used.
The Internet is just another communication medium, one that's even more interactive than television and more accessible than the landline telephone hotline. Communicate to your target audience that you understand their pain.
More importantly, your digital marketing strategy, branding, and so forth should address the needs of your shared target audience better than your competition can. This way, even in SEO terms, you'll come out on top.
Ask open-ended questions in order to probe deep into what your customers want when using what you have to offer, whether you're a blog offering fashion tips or a company that provides video explainers.
It's particularly effective to use questions that identify specific issues you can use to develop, improve, or create new products for them while tailoring the right marketing for them in turn. Such questions include:
a. What are your complaints?
b. What is your biggest personal obstacle?
c. Which tasks occupy most of your time?
d. What matters the most to your supervisor?
e. What is your company’s biggest obstacle to growth?
f. What might account for any recent business or customer losses?
After figuring out the "What's in it for me?" part of why your customers would want to purchase your goods and/or services, digital marketing or even marketing in general now suddenly becomes much easier.
Base your SEO, your social media marketing, and every blog article you make in discussing customer issues using terminology they use. Once you have a clear picture of their problem and paint points, advertise your service as its solution.
You can develop products that cater to that need or figure out what needs your existing products cater to so that when you make Facebook or YouTube ads for them, you can pinpoint what it is about them that's appealing to customers.
2. Use Storytelling to Find Your Market Niche: Even major online conglomerates like Google and Amazon found their niche first before becoming companies that cater to every last market segment, thus establishing brand loyalty to hardcore users.
Instead of daydreaming what it'd be like to become a monopoly like Amazon and Google, it's instead better to learn from their journeys towards success. Before you can cater to casuals you need to establish a consumer base or niche as the foundation of your own slice of the market.
When building a niche on even a saturated market or a market dominated by its own Amazon or Google monopoly, you come much closer to achieving the goal of staying ahead of your competition. You have less room to expand with crowded marketing, after all.
In order to compete in a crowded market, you need to figure out a unique selling proposition for your digital marketing strategy. This way, you won't get lost in a crowd of competitors. The more unique your product is online, the less room for competition to butt in.
When translated to digital marketing or even just marketing in general, it's about creating stories with your advertisements and promotions. Build your niche by crafting creative stories around your product as you present them digitally.
Every keyword, key phrase, long-tail keyword, and Google ranking you're gunning for should reflect on these stories. Make your bakery, clothing store, automobile detailing, and so forth use stories to make your products a part of your customers' lifestyles instead of being bland goods and standalone services.
The niche market is a reliable market that's easier to target, especially when you're faced with multinational conglomerate competition that appeals to everyone. The customer retention rate for such loyal customers is amazingly good and they might even defend your company against critics at their own accord.
Acquire stock photography or purchase a dependable photographer who can create stories using pictures that you can add to your brand across social media, for instance. You can even delve into specialization, which is when you appeal to a specialty your competitors lack.
3. Learn the Importance of Specialization: It's important to specialize because you're offering a specialty that you alone could provide. Or your competition could provide it too but they're not as good at it as you are, because you're a specialist. That's how you run down your competition.
It's like the difference between a dentist who's a general practitioner who can also do root canal treatments versus a root canal specialist—known as an endodontist—who can do the same treatment faster, better, cleaner, and so forth, thus giving the patient more value for their investment.
With Amazon during its first launch, it catered to selling books online instead of jumping to general goods and services off the bat. It's how it was able to survive the Dotcom Bust in the New Millennium despite not making profit for a couple of years.
With Google, it started getting bigger and bigger not by succumbing to short-term gains with paid spam links. It instead became big by catering to a niche of users who wanted accurate results with enough relevant key phrase context.
By honing Google's search service that it provided for free, it grew and grew in traffic and revenue, outdoing all other search engines that also use automated spiders or crawlers to find and categorize websites on the Worldwide Web.
Its niche of Internet-savvy users remained loyal and reliably there for Google up until the company grew its user base to include the not-so-savvy casuals who ended up also amazed at Google's disambiguating algorithm that got you what you're looking for at page 1.
Google's advertising tied into this. Their TV commercials emphasized how useful it is to look up information (much better than the classic AskJeeves.com website), plus other web browsers started using Google.com as their default page (even before Chrome came along).
As a startup, you should target locally relevant platforms where your audience usually go to, from Facebook for baby boomers to Instagram for Millennials as well as TikTok for Gen Z. The Internet is a boon for market segments and niches because it helps separate each market demographic for you.
Remember, great things start from small beginnings. As your company grows bigger and bigger, it's always wise to reach early for your dreams or end goals.
However, you have to be practical, reasonable, and realistic about it so your small business can go places instead of pining for pipe dreams. Let's now talk about how to create an actionable digital marketing strategy or marketing plan to stay ahead of your competition.
Properly Shaping Your Competition-Driven Marketing Plan
To make a commonsensical digital marketing plan, you need to follow the tenets given to you above. You need to figure out what you alone can give to your customers related to their pain points or needs then advertise it as such via online campaigns.
You also need to specialize, which is a long-term process that involves gradually scaling back services and products that no longer fit into your niche then scaling forward once your company itself outgrows your niche and targets other markets.
You can do this several ways (with our assistance at Marketing Ignite, of course):
Content Marketing: Contextualize your website in the eyes of the almighty Google search algorithm by making every update, blog post, guide, press release, or news article aim at your specific market niche. Make the content relevant to them.
Writing Amazing Content: To do content marketing right, hire writers to write amazing content about your industry, whether it's a gossip blog about Tinsel Town, a guide all about bitcoin and NFTs, or a comprehensive article repository all about microwaves.
Search Engine Optimization: Writing relevant content on your site, help disk, FAQ, and blog is just one of many ways to use SEO to your advantage. People used to depend on SEO to rank high on search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google. However, as time passed by, Google became the only game in town.
Learn to Ride Trends: To stay relevant you need to change with the times, and one of the things that changes often as time passes by are market trends. Not all trends last long or seasonally. Some come off as fads. It's important to know one from the other.
From there, the Google algorithm will follow. Regardless of future SEO developments or Google algorithm changes, contextualizing your website to be relevant to your niche will always work to your favor SEO-wise.
The key to success with this marketing campaign is to do original research on innovative ideas then writing short 500-word to 2,000-word articles covering relevant subjects, news, and so forth. You'll need to take time to make your blog or site content jump out compared to others.
To stay ahead of your competition and rank high on Google is akin to getting yourself published in prominent publications like science journals, Time Magazine, a newspaper circulating nationwide, or important industry journals in your niche (to boost your Domain Authority). It's the Internet's foremost way to get eyes on your work, site, and business.
Or you can learn how to hedge your bets on current trends relevant to your industry so that if one trend ends up being ultimately a fad, you can get the most out of it when it was hot and move on to other trends and test their staying power—whether it's an Internet meme or something relating to current events.
Establish Affiliations: Even though web rings have fallen out of favor in the present-day Internet, the concept of establishing connections and affiliations to raise the stock of your brand and company has not. It just transformed into other forms, like site links helping out your SEO.
Engagement and Interactions: Another way to use the Internet to your advantage when establishing your digital marketing scheme is to take advantage of its interactive design. The Internet works by you clicking links, playing videos, reading articles, and engaging with the website.
Talent and Professionals: Hire only the best and most talented marketing professionals as part of your marketing team. Or as a startup company that can't afford a marketing department in your burgeoning company, hire us at Marketing Ignite.
Network with other people and sites digitally and in real life. Try and reach out to people related to your field (obviously not your direct competitors) in order to collaborate with them. Many makeup or clothing brands have reaped enormous benefits by partnering with makeup gurus and Instagram influencers.
It's not just passive watching like in the case of television commercials or movie posters. You don't only witness online marketing—you "experience" it. Have users engage with your article by noting their comments and suggestions as well as feedback to make your niche feel personally invested in your brand.
Letting a third-party company handle your marketing isn't even limited to startups either. Conglomerates dealing with multiple market segments and niches at the same time from region to region also outsource their marketing to locals who know what they're doing.
Ultimately, your main goal here is to make your company's marketing more relevant and more unique to a specific group of people.
There's an overabundance of digital marketing agencies at the moment trying to get lightning in the bottle again with how lucrative Internet marketing became across the decades.
Therefore, it might be difficult for any fledgling company to tell which digital marketing agency to trust. Who among the countless experts, gurus, agents, and authorities should they turn to?
They should go to the people who've seen it all and done it all plus they're not afraid to ride emerging trends. You should specifically go to us at Marketing Ignite.
Make Marketing Ignite the Blueprint of Your Brand
Stop clumsily trying to connect to your target market with trial-and-error methods. We at Marketing Ignite have got your back when it comes to developing a digital marketing strategy to stay ahead of your competition.
Marketing Ignite serves as the blueprint for any brand—even those that started out traditionally before the Internet came along—because they help them evolve for long-term relevance in today's Information Age. Contact us today!