5 Ways to Beat the Competition with Targeted Online Marketing

With the growing amount of competition in nearly every business sector to take advantage of online marketing, it can seem difficult to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

However, careful consideration of your offerings and observations about your target audience can give you the winning strategy you're looking for.

1. Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Start by using geographical targeting to attract the right viewers and outline the service area as needed. For a location-based service (such as a hair salon in Phoenix), or those with a set range of service (like a plumber in upstate New York), you will likely want to keep the target area clearly outlined. Marketing services do this by indicating a 'service area radius' with search engines and ads, and using keywords to attract potential customers browsing your neighborhood. This also saves money, by avoiding the cost of 'clicks' from customers who ultimately realize that you aren't a good fit--geographically speaking.

2. You've Got to Be You

Another way to differentiate yourself is to highlight the specific services that you offer. There are many plumbers in upstate New York, but how many are expert Septic Tank Servicers? And how many salons in Phoenix offer the latest in Japanese Hair Straightening? Take a good look at your services, and try to see what potential customers might see. Chances are that you have more unique offerings than you're aware of!

3. Rock Around the Clock

Special offerings extend further into truly unique elements of your business that will truly give you a competitive edge. These include 'value propositions' like: 24 Hour Emergency Service; 7 Day per Week Operation; Free Consultations or Quotes; Satisfaction Guarantees; Licensed and Bonded Services; Family-Owned or -Operated Businesses; Years of Industry Experience. Consider these the icing on the cake--they may draw in customers looking for special qualities, or cement the deal with one who is wavering between two options. Make sure they choose you!

4. So Happy Together

Don't be afraid to use social media to better understand and reach your target Demographic. Take advantage of the cost-effective market research platform known as 'Facebook' and poise your brand for success. With new features that broadcast and share user tastes more than ever, a little effort goes a long way in terms of reaching your core audience in order to study their frame of mind. Use surveys, discussion forums, and feedback to get a handle on your customer's mindset.

5. Only You

Niche marketing is the ultimate courting technique. Once you know what your audience likes, and where--the last step is tickling their fancy. Find out what they want seasonally. Offer relevant discounts or insider offers for them. Speak to them in their own voice--and gain trust and credibility by providing customer testimonials from people just like them.

Although this may sound like quite an undertaking at first, it's easy if you create an bite-sized, actionable components of your plan. If you need help getting started, look to an online marketing agency to build your campaigns and get outreach rolling.