How to Stand Out Online If You Are in a Competitive Niche

September 13, 2019

Small and medium businesses often find it hard to get through to their potential customers. Even though they can’t compete with large companies’ marketing budget, they can use smart advertising methods to build a strong brand.

As a sales funnel consultant working with small and medium businesses, I believe that the main challenge of entrepreneurs is overcoming the white noise and finding their unique selling proposition. 

If you are in a competitive niche, you will need to give people a good enough reason to choose you over dozens of other companies. 

Here are tips on how to make your brand shine online, even if your business is operating in a crowded marketplace. 

Find Your Ideal Clients

The first mistake I see small and medium business owners make is that they try to please everyone and end up pleasing no one. 

You have to identify the people who are the most likely to buy from you and those you can help the most. It is also crucial that you focus on people whose problems are urgent enough to take action. 

Your target audience must be motivated to find solutions to their challenges, and a good place to start may be Facebook groups. 

You can search for groups based on who you think would be most interested in your business’s products or services. For example, if you offer products or services related to SEO for content writers, you can search for groups such as “Professional Content Writers” or “SEO Content Writer Group.”

Facebook groups allow you to connect with people with similar interests.

Then, Facebook will suggest groups based on your interests that offer a community to those with similar interests. Be sure, however, not to spam the group with overly-promotional content once you join. 

Focusing on your ideal clients will give your digital marketing a purpose and focus.

Find Your Brand Identity 

Once you know who your ideal customer is, you can tailor your mission, vision, and values statement to their needs and preferences. 

You should build your brand identity around your target market, and provide solutions to the problems they are facing. 

For example, if you are a photographer, you will need to focus on what differentiates you in the marketplace instead of saying what everyone else is. 

Your brand identity must stand out while aligning with your target market’s needs and values. 

Develop Advanced Methods to Engage with Your Target Market 

If you want to stand out from the competition and cut through the white noise of social media, you will need to think innovatively. 

Luckily, there are plenty of tools you can use to engage with your target market, such as Facebook Lives, implementing chatbots, or simply offering something valuable to people landing on your website or your business page. 

For example, we use SocialPilot which produces easy-to-understand statistics like the one below. 

Tools such as SocialPilot compiles data and metrics like audience engagement.

Remember, just a free download without answering the question “what is in it for me” will not make you stand out. You have to use a personalized approach to engage with every visitor. 

Other than Facebook analytics, there are other tools you can use to see your page engagement trends.

Post Content That Makes Viewers Stop Scrolling and Click

If you are trying to generate leads on social media, your main challenge will be to stop viewers from scrolling past your posts. 

People’s attention span is very short; you have a very short amount of time to entice people to click on your content – Every second counts. 

To do this, make sure you understand the types of content your audience is looking for and make sure it’s visually appealing. Visual content is preferred to content that is text-heavy and difficult to digest. 

Don’t Be Afraid of Being Controversial 

Working with a few franchise owners, I discovered that their main barrier is to break free from the standard messages they are told to deliver to their audience. 

If you are just being your “average business coach” or “normal beautician," you will never grab the attention of your audience. 

I have made a massive breakthrough with a client who owns a coaching franchise by helping him identify his USP and encouraging him to break free from the norms. 

Here is a post we have recently created that got a lot of engagement: 

A social media post that encouraged others to set aside time to rest was popular.

As you can see above, unlike other business coaches, he decided not to talk about dedication and hard work.  He picked a controversial topic and found a new angle with an image that makes people stop. 

Find a way to be different and rely on user-generated content as much as you can. Ask the uncomfortable questions nobody else dares to ask. 

Provide Value First 

You should provide value before you ask people to open their wallet or hit the “buy” button. 

Many business owners get the order wrong when it comes to marketing their business online. If you think that you have nothing to offer, you could: 

  • Give them advice on how to make the most out of your products
  • Provide a free consultation of 10 minutes
  • Set up a webinar to communicate your value

People buy from businesses they like and trust, and only if they see the value in what the business offers. 

People Remember How You Made Them Feel, Not What You Said 

Customers often make emotional buying decisions, according to Psychology Today. This means that you need to get them to feel good about you and associate positive feelings with your brand. 

You should always make them feel valued and special. Don’t just give them access to a content that has been on your YouTube channel for years - Give them something that is exclusive and makes them feel good about themselves. 

They need to feel like they are getting so much value that they simply can’t refuse your offer. 

Generate Reciprocity Through Curated Content 

If potential customers see you brag about yourself all the time and promoting your offers, they will lose interest very fast. 

To avoid this, you might want to share other people’s valuable information every now and then. 

If you are browsing other people’s pages and find something your followers could benefit from, or a post you would like to discuss with them, don’t be afraid to share it. 

Remember, your main goal is to provide value to your customers. If that value comes from curated content, that’s OK. 

Show Them You Are Real

Integrity is one of the power tools of digital marketing. Don’t try to look like someone you are not, nobody will fall for your tricks and they can cause people to mistrust your brand in the long-run. 

Being human will make your brand relatable for customers. Tell your audience about your struggles and the solutions you found to overcome them. This will provide more value and make your brand more credible. 

If you show that you know the problems they are facing, you will be more relatable than a superhuman. Showing your human side will create the “like me” moment when people decide to buy into you - not your logo, your packages, or your brand.

Businesses Can Stand Out Among Competitors by Cultivating a Brand Centered on Authenticity

Standing out from the competition and eliminating the white noise of social media is the greatest challenge small and medium businesses face when they try to manage their digital marketing strategy. 

By defining their brand, knowing their audience, tracking the right metrics, and allow their brand’s voice shine through, businesses in competitive niches can stand out and attract more customers.