In today’s highly competitive marketplace, it can be hard to know where to begin in ensuring your business stands out. You have put your heart and soul into your products and services, and be ready to convert those sales. But, do your customers know, trust and like you? Remember that customers don’t buy from businesses, they buy from people they trust.
Expert marketer Neil Patel advises businesses to keep in mind ‘the rule of seven’. That is, a prospective customer or client needs to see and interact with your brand seven times before they will convert to a sale. They need to know who the brand is (that’s you), what you stand for, and that your perspective aligns with their own. One of the best ways to build trust with a customer is not pushing sales, but instead, consistently offering some sort of education or advice.
“What you will find is that if you educate, you will build a following because you are helping someone but not asking for something in return. Over time, they will continue following you, it goes into the ‘rule of seven’…they get to know you and there is much more of a bond. Then, they are more likely to convert,” he said.
Although it can be a scary thought putting your own face on video, time and time again, statistics show that this is by far the most effective way of boosting eyeballs to your social media platforms and website. What’s more, one whitepaper by Cisco (cited in Neil’s blog post Why I’m Spending $144,000 on Video in 2018 And Why You Should Too) predicted that by 2021, 82 percent of global consumer Internet traffic will be video-based.
“I believe video marketing is the future. YouTube, for example, gives you a lot of evergreen content and it’s amazing for branding not just on a corporate level, but also a personal branding level,” Neil said.
“You have just got to be out there, in front of their faces. If you are doing video, why not get out there, not just on YouTube, but also on Facebook, Instagram, and then leverage all the channels.”
Regular blog posts are also a must to help your business stand out amongst competitors, and Neil recommends these also be predominantly educational rather than overly sales-oriented. Weekly posting is ideal, which should then be leveraged across social media and email marketing lists to value-add for customers on a wide scale.
Writing a blog post need not take all day. Let’s face it, as a business owner, time is always in short supply. Writing from the heart, about a topic you are already an expert in or have a passion for, will give you valuable content that your readers will appreciate – and bring them one step closer to that magic ‘rule of seven.’ Neil has five tips to make sure your blog posts hit the mark.
- Use the words ‘you’ and ‘I’ in the text. This helps it read more like a conversation.
- Keep your paragraphs short and to the point, using a maximum of 5-6 lines. This keeps the content easy to skim-read.
- Use sub-headings to break up the content, which is also great for SEO.
- Focus on the headline, make it appealing. Eight out of ten people will read your headline but only two out of ten will quickly review the rest.
- Make sure that whenever someone is reading your content, it is broken down in such a way as they can take action on it. If they can’t take action, it won’t work well.
Two other tried-and-tested methods of helping your business stand out and value-adding not just for your business but for prospective customers and clients is through LinkedIn and public relations. While these tools may seem archaic compared to the shiny new social media platforms we tend to focus on now, they have an oft-underused potential in
“LinkedIn has one of the biggest B2B communities out there. In LinkedIn, if you can engage with people, in groups, on profiles, create videos, then what you will find is that you will generate leads,” Neil said.
“Another way to use LinkedIn is to look at all your connections and see who might be great customers, then hit them up personally. Not only can you generate revenue, but you will also be educating them, helping them out, networking and building up your brand at the same time.”
THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS CONTINUALLY FOLLOW UP AND PROVIDE VALUE. YOU HAVE A LIST OF NAMES AND CONTACTS, BUT IF YOU DON’T CONTINUALLY FOLLOW UP WITH THEM AND GIVE THEM ADVICE, THEY ARE GOING TO GO COLD.”
Public relations, or PR, is often overlooked by businesses because it doesn’t directly impact website traffic or revenue. What it can do, however, is boost your credibility – which is a very valuable asset to any business.
In Neil’s blog post, The Advanced Guide to Startup PR, he states that this method of promotion generates conversion rates of 10 to 50 times that of advertising, and that 92 per cent of consumers trust earned media over traditional ads. To ensure your media release has the best chance of being picked up, Neil recommends you focus on the ‘three P’s’; product, purpose and passion. This will show both the journalist and the audience that you know your business and you know your customers and clients.
The final piece of advice Neil Patel has for businesses looking to stand out in today’s crazy, crowded marketplace is to not only look forward in terms of promotion, but take care of what you already have. Existing customers are worth much, so take time to engage in retention strategies rather than solely working on acquisition.
“The best thing you can do is continually follow up and provide value. You have a list of names and contacts, but if you don’t continually follow up with them and give them advice, they are going to go cold,” Neil said.
“[Retention is] not about selling, it’s about giving, giving, giving, and then eventually selling once you have warmed them up.”
To track how you are progressing, Neil’s favourite tools are Google Analytics and Ubersuggest (available via neilpatel.com). These assist you to gradually tweak your content, whether that be video or written blog posts, to improve your search rankings, be seen by more people and be at the top of your game.