No matter what type of business you’re running, whether it’s small or large, you need to gain the attention and traction among your target marketing if you want it to succeed. But when you’re in a crowded market (and what market isn’t crowded in the digital world where borders disappear), it’s difficult to identify ways to stand out from competitors and all the noise inherent in today’s digital world where new firms pop up every hour. Well, you’re in luck because we have 5 creative ways to get your business noticed.
Every day, the average consumer in an industrialized country sees as many as 10,000 advertisements, most for products they don’t need or want, and there’s no way anyone has enough cognitive power to process all that information [source]. We talk about the attention economy, a reflection that businesses compete for consumer attention, and only those successful in gaining attention survive in the long-run. To get your business noticed, you need to fix this problem.
Before we get into specific ways to cut through the noise to gain the attention of your target audience, let’s take a 10,000 ft view of how to reach customers in today’s crowded markets.
Consumers don’t care about your business and don’t really care whether you survive or not. They have their own needs to consider. So, if you only want to talk about yourself, you’ve already lost the attention game.
Instead, provide value to your target audience instead of selling them all the time. A good rule of thumb is based on the 80/20 principle used in other aspects of marketing. According to this rule, you should provide value to customers 80% of the time and sell them 20% of the time.
Yes, I know traditional advertising is all selling all the time but, don’t forget, it’s their advertising that pays for all the programming you watch, all the articles you read, and the radio programs you love. In today’s world, that’s not the case. Today, podcasters provide content 24/7, YouTube videos, and paid streaming services to entertain us, and much of the content on the Internet is free. So, why, in this world, would a consumer put up with a company whose only goal is to sell them something.
Communication is a two-way street
Again, in traditional advertising, the company’s talked, and consumers listened. That’s not the world we live in now. Consumers expect a two-way conversation with companies, and, in some cases, they want to talk to each other; consumer to consumer, rather than involving a company in their conversation.
Companies feel threatened by the newly empowered consumer and try to shut them down by buying domains related to their brand such as “Microsoft sucks”. Such efforts never work as consumers always find a way to share their dissatisfaction with the brand.
Instead of trying to shut down criticism, encourage an open conversation with consumers. Listen to what they share and respond in a thoughtful and truthful manner. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to turn a negative experience into a positive when you quickly work to make your mistake right. And, you’ll find consumers have great suggestions for improving your products or creating ones that solve real problems they face if you’re willing to listen. Think of the Internet as a boon to businesses—giving you access to thoughts, ideas, and complaints you’d normally never hear.
Consider a variety of content and channels
Take time to understand your customers, where they live, what’s important to them, and how they prefer to receive content. Then, craft content to satisfy different segments within your target market. Some consumers might prefer traditional channels, such as TV, while other consumers prefer to interact on digital platforms, such as social media. Some consumers might prefer video, while others like text that’s more easily and quickly digested.
5 creative ways to get your business noticed
Attend a tradeshow
No matter whether you sell a tangible product or service, a tradeshow is a great way of getting the word out about what you have to offer. Trade shows allow you to showcase your brand to hundreds of people each day in a way that consumers find enjoyable, especially if your display is interactive. For instance, set up a product demonstration or fly a drone overhead while flashing your brand name and booth number. Be sure to have some swag so interested consumers take time to visit your booth and have a nice reminder of you when they leave the event. Great swag options feature products visible to others during use as a way to promote your brand to those who didn’t attend the tradeshow. For instance, thumb drives, cups, and t-shirts get used long after the show and promote your brand when used.
Although attending a trade show is a lot of hard work, trade shows generate a high return on investment (ROI).
At your trade show booth, make sure you include eye-catching graphics, business cards, and use trained staff to answer questions, engage with booth visitors, and encourage the reluctant to stop by your booth.
Create a contest
Contests are a great way to draw attention to your business. Everyone likes winning prizes – it’s part of human nature. So, if you can set up a contest for your business with a desirable prize, people start to notice your brand. The best contests require entrants to promote your brand, such as sharing your message with their social networks, displaying skills related to your brand, such as a camera maker holding a photo contest, or where the prizes are branded products others will see the winner using.
One caveat about contests is to ensure efforts to win the contest don’t discourage sharing. For instance, if you do a random drawing, entrants have an incentive to not share information about the contest since that enlarges the pool, lowing their chances of winning.
Enhance the quality of your website
In the digital age, your website is a key element of your marketing strategy. You need a visually-appealing and user-friendly website that positions your brand favorably in the eyes of visitors to get your business noticed. You also need a website that moves visitors down the sales funnel toward a purchase by providing content suitable for each stage in the process. And, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll lose visitors who increasingly visit using these devices.
To help prospective customers find your website, you need excellent SEO (search engine optimization) built on a core of valuable content created on a consistent basis. Consider search and display ads, as well as social media advertising on sites where your target market spends time.
If you’re not an experienced web developer, consider investing in UX and UI design services despite many tools out there for creating a website requiring no coding. UX/UI is a skill acquired through experience and training; not something you can fake.
Another effective way to expand your market reach is through sponsorship. And nowadays, you can sponsor almost anything – from events to sports teams. But before you settle on what you’ll sponsor, consider which option gives you the most exposure to your target market.
Organize an Event
Holding an event is a popular and unique way to get attention from prospective customers. Like tradeshows, events are time-consuming and costly, but the ROI is great. Elements to consider as you put together your event are:
- a good-sized event space
- a theme
- food, drink, and staff on-hand to help
- marketing for the event
- a headliner or MC for the event
- a reason for people to attend, such as raising funds for a charity
No matter what type of event you go for, done right it’s unforgettable and may garner significant press coverage.
So, there you go. Those are 5 extraordinary ways to get your business noticed. The technique or combination of tactics you use, of course, is up to you and depends on various factors including your budget, target market, and personal preferences. But no matter what you opt for, you’ll be on the path to success.
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