Spring Ahead of Your Local Competition By Following These 6 Steps
You’ve been nurturing this lead for months now. You’ve spent a lot of time, effort, and money trying to convince the business decision maker of this company to start doing business with you. But, just as you think they’re about to convert, they disappear. After you do some further research, you find out that another local managed service provider snatched them up.
I’m sure you’ve experienced this before - we all have. And, while competition is important, it can be frustrating when things don’t go your way. So, what can you do to limit this from happening?
1. Know Your Competition
The first thing you need to do is to do a bit of research on your local competition. I’m sure you have a good idea about who these businesses are. But, to be safe, do a quick Google search for managed service providers in your area. This is what business decision makers are doing, anyway.
Do a deep dive into each of their websites and social media pages. Read their blog, download some of their deliverables. Look at each of their service pages. Do as much as you can to learn about how each of these companies is representing themselves through their marketing efforts, and how much of what they are doing overlaps with what you do. What are they doing to make themselves appear better than you?
2. Know Your Customers
Understand exactly what your target audience is looking for. Do your product and service offerings reflect this? If they do, does your audience KNOW that they reflect this? Make sure that they know by producing marketing materials that showcase what they’re looking for (both printed and digital), and demonstrate your expertise on your company’s website and social media pages. The easiest way to do this would be to cover your audience’s pain points in a company blog.
You may have heard this phrase before: ‘differentiate or die.’ It’s more accurate than you think: if you don’t establish yourselves as being unique in any way, prospects will turn to your competition to get that extra ‘something’.
Develop your unique selling proposition (USP) so that you can understand what you have that your competitors don’t. This may include the following:
- Your extraordinary customer service
- Your unique set of service offerings
- The ability of your services to meet customer pain points
- The niche(s) you serve
- Your company’s expertise
- Your employees and your company culture
- The lowest price point (though, we advise against this as your only USP)
Highlight whatever your USP is on your website and through your marketing efforts.
4. Establish A Strong Brand Identity
Once you determine what differentiates you from your competition, you need to work that into your company’s brand identity. Your differentiators, as well as your company culture that you perpetrate through your brand personality, make up your brand identity. Create a common voice that carries out this identity in all of your marketing efforts. Make sure that voice matches the voice your target market is looking for.
A big part of your brand identity is your company name and logo. Make sure that these are represented on all of your marketing efforts - your company logo is the most important visual on your marketing materials. Otherwise, your company’s name will not be associated with the marketing materials you produce.
5. Invest In Content Marketing
Content marketing is THE best thing you can do to get your name out there. The benefits of content marketing include:
- Stronger relationships with your target audience
- Improved search engine optimization
- Increased credibility, authority, and expertise
- Improved brand visibility
- Fostered loyalty and trust between you and your current customers and prospects
- Decreased length of the customer decision making process
You should be producing content on a regular basis if you want to receive these benefits. This content needs to be relevant to your target audience, professionally written, reader-friendly, and through multiple mediums that include your website, company blog, your newsletter, and your social media channels.
6. Market More - And Make It Unique
In addition to content marketing, you need to be producing other marketing materials and sending them out to leads, prospects, and current customers. Anything to keep your company top of mind in their minds. This needs to be done frequently - you need to keep touching them at all stages of the decision making process.
Because your competition will (or - at least should) be doing the same thing, you need to try and stand out with what you’re doing: Here are some ways to do so:
- Use visuals: Visuals help break up your content so it is more unique. You can get creative with the visuals that you use. Still, make sure your images are of professional quality.
- Create a seamless transition from print to digital: Some of your marketing is going to be physical, printed materials. Make it easy for recipients to learn more by using QR codes and shortened URLs.
- Consider sending physical, branded items: If you market to your prospects in a unique enough way, they’re likely to remember it. Sending them a gift basket, some cookies, or an assortment of office supplies, will make the day of the recipient. Make sure you brand those items with your company’s logo so that they’ll remember what you did.
- Include videos: Not every MSP uses videos to market themselves. There are many benefits to using video, and a variety of different video types you can use.
Get Ahead Before It’s Too Late
We can help you get a leg up on your competition. Contact us today for help.