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Online Branding: Separating Your Company from the Competition

By | October 8, 2012

Getting your company brand noticedEvery year we hear statistics about the increasing importance of online marketing and social media. With so many companies focusing on their online presence, basic SEO (search engine optimization), social profiles, and periodic blog posts aren’t going to separate your company from the competition. They definitely won’t make your company a leader in your industry. So, what can you do about it?

The importance of branding differentiators is now more critical than ever. But just having these differentiators is NOT enough. You must also be able to successfully grab the attention of potential customers, display why your company is right for them in a unique but simple way, and clearly lead those potential customers to some point of conversion (this could be a lead form, purchase page, Facebook ‘like,’ Twitter ‘follow,’ newsletter sign-up, etc.) in a very short period of time. This may seem difficult, but a great start can be made from taking these few simple steps.

  • Find what makes your company different from the rest
    Companies that don’t have a “difference maker” will most likely fade into the crowd, have a difficult time growing/expanding or maybe even go out of business. Identify what makes your company different, namely not what YOU think makes your company different, but why YOUR CUSTOMERS choose your company before your competitors. Sometimes this can be an advantage you never would have thought of, like extremely friendly and responsive customer service or a team of construction workers that are always clean and tidy in the completion of a job. If you need help finding differentiators, ask yourself questions like:

    • What edge does my company have over the competition?
    • Why do my customers keep coming back to do business with us?
    • What are my customers most happy with, and what common problems do we always seem to have the perfect solution for?

    When you find out your “difference maker” or differentiator, it’s time to start making customers realize it.

  • The Content: Spend more time on the ‘How’ and the ‘Why’
    It’s great to give some background on what your services or products are, but there is a good chance that if a visitor searched for those services or products in Google, they already have a good idea of WHAT they are. Now should be the time you get across HOW your company can help offer a solution and WHY your company is the best out there to handle their business. For example, I know when I arrive at a product page, I want to specifically see why a given product is the best one for me and why this is the place I should purchase from.

    Also, be sure to elaborate on those differentiators. Don’t be afraid to give your company a little love as long as it’s done in moderation. Customer spotlights/stories, testimonials, and user comments and reviews can also enhance your brand. Even negative comments or reviews can be dealt with positively, so potential customers can see the type of service they will receive by working with you

  • Connect with customers and key influencers through social media
    Creating relationships with both customers and key influencers in your industry will get people talking, posting, and tweeting about your company. People who have a personal relationship with a brand are much more likely to recommend it to others and tend to stay more loyal, as long as the company continues to meet/exceed expectations.

    Create useful content (blog posts, videos, etc.) to pass along for free. Work towards establishing the organization as experts in the industry. When people start to contact you or your company with common business market questions and requests, you will know you’re on your way.

I hope that this information can help you separate your brand from the competition as well as start making some waves. Comments? Questions? Please let me know.

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About Joe Bencar

Joe has been learning and practicing all aspects of digital marketing since early 2009. He joined the Fathom team in 2010 as an online marketing specialist for the company's largest client. Joe is now a Senior Online Marketing Specialist working in the eCommerce and Education verticals as well as focusing on expanding Fathom's eCommerce product. As an Ohio State University alumnus, Joe loves rooting for the Buckeyes as well as weightlifting, playing golf, and playing guitar in his spare time. He owns and operates several websites and loves to explore new entrepreneurial ventures.

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