Yes, the digital landscape is changing. We can no longer function with traditional or new businesses in the same way that we used to. As business goes global and changes to meet the functionality of technology we also must look at exactly what it takes to build our brand identity with online marketing and to place ourselves strategically in front of the crowds.
You're Trying to Place Where?
I recently received an inquiry from someone who needed SEO for their website. Because we all do, that is true. But he wanted to place for a company that was very competitive. He asked… how long will it take to get me to place one? In trying to guide the inquiry, I asked if they wanted the keywords related to his new site or if he wanted to niche… of course, he wanted the generalised keywords for his online marketing.
I told him that he wouldn’t place. And I stuck to it.
That inquiry is probably looking for a different SEO person that is saying they can get them to position 1 in 3 months and is going to offer niche keywords that no one looks for then add bots onto the site to makeup for the inconsistencies. That’s not the type of marketing that anyone should provide…. just a hint… it doesn’t work with online marketing.
We can’t place in position 1 in the same way that we used to. We can’t build on social media with just selfies. And we can’t expect our email open rate to be over 30% like it was 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, most online marketing world still focuses on this mentality.
Instead of looking at digital strategy based on these generalisations, each company has to learn about digital positioning and the changing landscape.
* Customers are getting smarter and more savvy.
* Technical functions are changing every day and adding more into what we can or can’t do.
* Our ability to stand out from the crowd is shifting.
How does a business shift into this? It requires a re-examination of everything you do with your digital brand and how you position yourself.
Tip 1: Don't Compete With the Big Guys
It’s great to have products or services that are similar to large corporations. But it’s also easier for them to write more content than even a mid-size business and work with a combination of data scraping and technicalities at a very different level for online marketing.
Leverage your uniqueness. Don’t let yourself fall into the competition of the big players and try to get in the same ranks.
Instead, look at where the competition falls short. You will always find it in the details that are left out. While they can produce more, they won’t niche or try to get into the smaller sections or corners of business. This is exactly where you can pull traffic from and help with building your brand reputation.
What typically happens is that it feeds into the same positioning as the big guys, the allows you to become more collaborative with the larger tech players.
Position your business based on your type of business and find what will work in smaller ways (not larger). Go there first and build yourself up in conjunction with the larger businesses that are not going to have the same niche with online marketing.
Tip 2: Don't Compete With the Small Guys
Guess what was taking place in the past couple years? Someone would see a business idea and they would copy it. Then they would compete with it and see who would race to the top. I still see startups being swiped to another company and the exact same idea being built at the same time.
Competing with each other because digital information is available doesn’t work. In the world of Amazon, for instance, individuals would find something that was only available by a few competitors, start their own brand name and sell the same item. While that may work for a little while, eventually, it will saturate with online marketing. So make your money now and expect to lose it later.
Let’s talk about sustainability… my favourite topic. With a digital landscape and global competition, you can’t afford to compete with anyone else. Authenticity, uniqueness and your own creativity is key. If you’re starting a business, don’t copy!!
If you look at the direct to consumer market in e-commerce, you’ll see that a certain wave of the authenticity is starting to rise. That’s because the days of wholesale are beginning to turn. It may look like it’s on the fringes right now, but give it a year or two. There are movements that are coming out relating to authentic e-commerce instead of the warehouse style products. If you are looking at online marketing, you want to consider your product positioning in relation to the up and coming trends.
Tip 3: Don't Play Everyone Else's Game
I see this scenario often and so want to highlight it and play it out. A lot of times, we actually have our own unique brand, we have our niche, we’re ready to go. with online marketing.
Then we try to rank for the same keywords, build the same type of page, take the same selfies and create the same presence as everyone else.
Be in competition not only with no one but don’t be influenced by the trends with any of the sites or channels that are used for your presence when building your online marketing.
When I work with businesses, I suggest that they have a different strategy for every type of marketing that they are looking at – SEO, social media, funnels. What this does is combine two things. The first is their value proposition as a business and how that plays into the different channels. The second is the updates with SEO, social media and personalisation and what the business needs to do to make their value proposition stick out.
Any business that is effective with their presence doesn’t work harder to try to rank or post more to try to get more attention. That’s all white noise. Instead, they are strategically building their identity with something new, different and edgy. It’s just as effective, if not more.
Combine your traditional business with your online business and you will find that there is plenty of room for you to play in the digital landscape for online marketing.
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