June 21, 2016
The skills and expertise your business can offer will set you apart from competitors.
This blog is the last in a series, a continuation of How Businesses Can Effectively Compete on the Web, showing business owners how to gain a competitive edge in a crowded market.
In the first blog, we took a 30,000-foot view at areas that create the most opportunity. In the second, we looked into one of the most powerful drivers of the digital business world, SEO. Last week, we looked at the more traditional local marketing efforts that can often be overlooked, and finally, we will assess the benefits of positioning yourself as an expert in your field, a strategy that will help set your business apart and give you a competitive advantage.
Authority marketing, or expert marketing, is a specific strategy that involves creating content and advertising that show off your depth of knowledge in a field and puts your many years of experience at the forefront of why someone should purchase your products or services.
Even if your company is small or less well-known, when you are seen as an expert in your field, your brand will become trusted, and marketing efforts will become easier.
Clients will come to you
People are more likely to buy products and services from someone they trust. With the growth of the internet, there are more options and more scams than ever. If your business has been around for decades, or your founder has experience in the field that many other business owners do not, put that information front and center. People are searching for a trustworthy source of expertise.
When you give away tips, insider knowledge and expertise for free, you won’t need to convince consumers to choose your store, they will come to you because they trust you.
Be the first referral from other businesses
The most valuable marketing is still word-of-mouth. When you offer advice and expertise to other business owners that share your customer base, either locally or in a complementary industry, you will be the first one they refer to customers. In turn, build relationships and share knowledge with as many other companies as you can. Be helpful and keep your own list of recommended businesses to reciprocate the referrals.
This will also give you influence within your marketplace and enable you to make changes and voice concerns within your industry.
Raise your rates
When a customer hires someone to provide a service or product, they are often willing to pay more for a higher quality product. When a person is considered an expert in his or her field, it can be assumed the services and products they offer are also higher quality. The increased perceived value of your business can help boost profits.
Being able to charge more will allow you to reinvest in your business and your education and staff, further improving the expertise and authority of your business.
Save money on advertising and marketing
Once you are considered an expert in your field, you will begin to get more attention from local press and online niche blogs. It’s likely you’ll be invited to remark on industry trends or changes to local policies that affect your business. Share your thoughts and opinions and do outreach to let your local press outlets know you are available for comments in certain areas of expertise and industries.
Clarify your marketing message
If you’ve been struggling to understand how your business can compete against others who have slick marketing and large advertising budgets, this is one tactic that can help you.
Building your campaign around a single message of more experience and expertise makes your marketing stand out. You don’t need fancy billboards or catchy phrases when you have trust.
Build a network of experts in other fields
When you start promoting yourself and your business as expert in your industry, other experts will begin to seek you out. By choosing a small niche in which to cultivate your expertise, your competition may even come to you for advice or recommendations in your area of authority. A true expert knows to rely on others to help build expertise.
Because the benefits of being an expert are so vast, it makes sense to focus on what you are good at and take the steps necessary to become an expert in your field. For more information on how your business can compete by becoming an expert in your niche and local area, get in touch with our media experts to schedule a consultation.