If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
It reads more like a fortune cookie than business advice, but this aphorism rings truer than most in 2020. In a crowded market, it’s not enough to just provide services and goods to customers – you’ve got to stand out from the pack. While quality products and stellar customer service will always be en vogue, it’s important to try new things if you want to stay relevant. If you’re eager to get a competitive edge, try one of these underrated business strategies on for size:
Educate Your Clients
To get consumers to trust you with their business, you’ve got to be an authority on your products and services. After all, with the entire internet at their fingertips, shoppers no longer want to settle for an average toothbrush or dog walker or nail salon – they want the best. Positive reviews and glowing online reputations can help, but if you don’t educate consumers about your offerings, they won’t know why to turn to you over your competition.
Educational content is one of the easiest ways to turn casual shoppers into brand enthusiasts. A shampoo company that features haircare tutorial videos on their website instantly gains credibility with every click of the play button. A landscaping business that blogs about the locally-sourced mulch available to their customers raises the bar for lawn care services. An interior designer who shares helpful decor tips on social media may inspire followers to try their own hand at a project – and then hire the designer for help when they struggle to complete it on their own. No matter your industry, your clients and customers can benefit from your wisdom and eventually, look to you as an expert.
Reach New Audiences with Video Marketing
Television advertisements were once reserved for big companies with big marketing budgets. Now, televisions come with YouTube pre-installed, and everyone has a device in their hand at all times. It’s more affordable than ever to leverage videos to build your brand and capture the eyes of new customers.
That’s not to say you should follow the television commercial playbook on your business’s YouTube page. Instead, look to the principles of content marketing to create videos people will actually want to watch. Behind the scenes footage, tutorials and testimonials are all great options for video platforms because they’re entertaining, attention-grabbing, and share valuable information with prospective clientele. It’s a great way to educate, inform and convince people to try out your services, all from the convenience of their smartphone screen.
Take a Stand
Consumers are more savvy than ever before. They’ve got an eye on the way companies manufacture their products, treat their employees, and respond to criticism. The personal is political, and taking a public stand for something can help bring new attention and business to your brand.
Taking a stand can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to publicly endorse a presidential candidate or switch to eco-friendly suppliers to show you care about your community. Consider the optics of sponsoring a charitable event or donating your products to a good cause. It’s an easy way to get your company’s name in the mouths of prospective customers while gaining points with the community at the same time.
Woo Your Repeat Customers
It’s far easier to keep a customer than to earn the business of a new one. Customer retention isn’t a new strategy, but it’s vastly underrated. In a global marketplace with unlimited options for sale, it’s more important than ever to reward loyalty. But to really understand why loyal customers return to your brand time and time again, you’re going to have to get inside their heads.
Rather than focus your efforts on establishing a new rewards program for loyal shoppers, work on identifying the point where you lose customers. Rewards programs aren’t inherently bad, but they gloss over pain points and do nothing to solve existing kinks in the system – after all, you can’t reward repeat customers if they don’t return. Instead, work to understand how your clients define success and then help them achieve it. Solving these issues is a win for everyone involved.
Pick One Social Media Platform (and Champion It)
Small businesses know they should have a presence on social media but often can’t afford to staff a full-time marketing team to do so. The good news? You don’t have to maintain an Instagram and a YouTube page and a Facebook account and a Twitter. Instead, pick one main platform and focus your efforts on building a presence there.
To decide which platform works best for your business, go where your customers are most likely to hang out. Teens love TikTok, but if you’re marketing home and commercial HVAC repairs, you’re probably not going to want to waste your time on the video sharing platform. By defining your target audience, you’ll have a better understanding of where to spend your valuable time and marketing dollars.
The Beauty of Being Bold
The strategies above aren’t inherently risky, but they’re bold enough to separate you from your competition. While it’s always a little scary to try new things, mixing up the way you do business can breathe new life into your customer base. By focusing on the data, prioritizing retention, and educating consumers, you’ll be sure to grow in new, exciting ways.
Of course, growth is impossible without trustworthy partners. If you’re eager to expand but want to maintain your high standards for customer service, consider partnering with MAP Communications. We’re offering a free trial of our live answering service, giving you a sneak peek of how much value our virtual receptionists and call centers can bring to your organization. Get started now.