Digital Marketing: 9 Ways to Outsmart the Competition
(Ad) Digital marketing has become so popular in the last few years that it’s now a necessity for nearly any business to survive. But that popularity also means it’s harder than ever to stand out – all of your competitors are using the same tools and tactics.
How can you stand out from the crowd and outsmart your competition to win the digital marketing game? We’ve got your complete guide to doing that right here.
Digital Marketing Overview
So what is digital marketing, exactly? The term has come to encompass so many tactics and strategies that it can seem meaningless, but there is a clear definition.
Digital marketing is any form of marketing that uses digital channels to market your products or services to customers. It can include channels like email, social media, paid ads, SEO, and much more.
How Competition Interferes with Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing is popular because it’s extremely effective. You’re reaching your customers and prospects where they spend a lot of their time – online. But competition has gotten quite fierce in the past few years as almost every business looks to reap the rewards.
This increased competition means you need to be more thoughtful and strategic to stand out in the digital world. What worked for you in the past might not yield the same results, and that’s likely because your competitors have taken notice and started to use the same channels and tactics.
Consumers are bombarded with more and more digital marketing content, so they learn to tune out the noise. This is another factor that makes digital marketing success more difficult these days: there’s more competition for consumers, and their attention spans are reduced.
9 Strategies to Deal with Competition in Digital Marketing
So how can you beat your competition in the digital marketing space? Here are nine strategies you can use to ensure your company is successful in your digital marketing plan.
1. Run A Competitor Analysis Audit
It’s hard to stand out from the competition if you don’t know what the competition is doing. Running a competitor analysis audit helps you determine what your competitors are doing and how successfully they’re doing it.
A competitor analysis audit identifies the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, determines where your company stands in relation to them and indicates where the gaps are and how your business can fill them.
Performing a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) can help you determine where your business stands in its digital marketing efforts relative to your competitors. Once you know your current state, you can make a plan to improve it.
2. Differentiate Yourself
In an effort to take advantage of the benefits of digital marketing, many businesses copy what’s working well for their competitors. But that leads to a sea of the same kinds of content and ads cluttering up your industry’s digital space.
To stand out, you need to determine how to differentiate yourself. After conducting your competitor analysis, spend some time figuring out where the gaps are that you can fill. For example, are your competitors all pumping out low-quality SEO content for their blogs? Your company can focus on creating fewer but better-written posts that show deep expertise in your industry.
3. Use Different Marketing Channels
Many businesses stick to the same few marketing channels where they feel comfortable, even though the channels available have expanded vastly in the past decade. Don’t be afraid to use different channels where the competition isn’t as stiff.
Be sure that your target customer uses your channels of choice, however, because simply getting lots of exposure and views isn’t the end goal – increasing purchases and revenue is.
For example, if your industry isn’t using TikTok much, but your research shows that your potential customers are, you can be one of the first in the space and grow a larger following than by using a crowded space like Instagram.
4. Outspend Where Appropriate
Digital marketing can be quite inexpensive these days, thanks to a whole suite of tools and guides to help you succeed on a low budget. But in order to see more significant results or compete at a higher level, you will need to invest much more into your digital marketing budget.
Outspending can mean investing more into your paid ad budget to increase your reach or hiring high-quality freelance copywriting or graphic design help to improve your content.
Another option is to hire a top-notch digital marketing company to get you better results faster. If you outspend the competition wisely, you can reap even bigger rewards that make the expenditure well worth it.
5. Focus On Retention
Once you’ve acquired a customer through your digital marketing efforts, what are you doing to keep them? Gaining a new customer costs 5-25 times as much as retaining an existing one, so focusing on retention and acquisition is smart.
Retaining more customers means maximizing the value of each customer acquired through your digital marketing, so you can justify spending more because the customer lifetime value is higher. There are many ways to increase customer retention, like adding loyalty programs, offering referral bonuses, and improving customer support.
6. Marketing Strategies To Get Ahead Of The Competition
In your research, you may find that your competitors stick to the same tried and true marketing strategies to drive traffic and increase sales. Experimenting with a few different tactics that your competitors aren’t using can give you a competitive advantage. You may consider exploring:
· Local SEO – ensuring your website and ads are optimized for local searchers, including using Google My Business to the fullest
· Email marketing – it’s a time-tested method to speak directly to customers and prospects with targeted offers and information
· Video marketing – a newer and increasingly popular format for marketing your business that resonates across social media platforms as well
· Chatbot/marketing automation – letting AI and automation do a lot of the heavy lifting for your marketing team so you can target prospects and users at the exact right time
· Content marketing – creating high-quality content, like thought leadership blogs or video guides, can help your business stand out, especially when optimized for SEO
· Retargeting – using retargeting capabilities on display ads and/or Facebook can enhance the effectiveness of your other digital marketing strategies
7. Publish Your Reviews
In a world full of marketing promises that too often fail to deliver, consumers are rightly wary of slick ads. They increasingly turn to reviews from people like them, either people they know personally or in reviews from real customers online.
Your business can stand out by publishing reviews of your products or services on your website and encouraging customers to leave reviews on external review sites. These reviews provide social proof of your company’s commitment to quality and customer service, standing behind the promises your digital marketing makes with confirmation from real customers that you live up to them.
8. Influencer And Affiliate Marketing
Influencer and affiliate marketing isn’t just for travel and fashion brands anymore. There are influencers in almost every industry these days. They provide additional social proof for your brand in a marketing channel that tends to have higher customer trust and lower competition.
If you’re in a small niche, or one without many big influencers, you can focus on targeting micro-influencers – they have a smaller number of followers but tend to have highly engaged audiences. And that high engagement translates to more engagement for your campaigns, typically at a lower cost.
9. Make The Journey Easier For Your Customers
The best digital marketing campaign will fail to convert prospects to customers if your customer journey is difficult or unpleasant. Ensuring that their journey is friction-free and seamless from beginning to end ensures that your views and traffic will convert to purchases.
This strategy can mean improving your website’s checkout process, refining customer onboarding materials, or redesigning your website to be more user-friendly and mobile-friendly. If doing business with you is much easier than with a competitor, your prospects are more likely to convert and continue purchasing from you in the future.
Competition in Digital Marketing: Key Takeaways
The competition in the digital marketing world is fiercer than ever before – but you don’t need to despair. Using the right strategies can help you stand out in your industry and bring in more high-value customers.
· Knowing where your competition has left weaknesses and gaps your business can fill by differentiating is a strong start – use our free Competitive Marketing Analysis template to get started.
· Focusing on lesser-used channels, micro-influencers, and reviews can help your business get the attention of potential customers even in a crowded marketplace.
· Once you’ve acquired a customer, the work isn’t over – you should strengthen your retention efforts and refine the customer journey, so those new customers become loyal lifetime ones.
10. How Hearst Bay Area Can Help
Hiring the right digital marketing company can make all the difference when you’re looking to get ahead of the competition. See how Hearst Bay Area can help – contact us today.