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Marketing Tactics to Keep Your Small Business Ahead of the Competition

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The field of marketing is constantly evolving, so there are always new opportunities for your business to reach new audiences. By staying on top of marketing trends, you can take advantage of unique approaches to stay ahead of the competition.

In this post, we will discuss strategies for optimizing your marketing approach to stand out.

1. Leverage User-Generated Content

User-generated content or UGC is any content made by unpaid contributors. This could include user reviews, photos, art and videos.

UGC is an effective way to spread awareness of your products, services, and brand while creating a personal connection to your users. By fostering this direct line of communication, you can ensure that users are talking about your product, posting about it on social media, and reinforcing their commitments to your brand.

One study found that 66% of consumers rely heavily on user-generated content in making purchasing decisions and that 65% of consumers trust Internet word-of-mouth more than advertiser-produced content. Given these findings, a committed approach to using content from your users is not just important; it should be a central part of your marketing strategy.

There are lots of ways to create and spread user-generated content. Some include providing a challenge to customers (such as a photo competition), creating incentives to promote your brand on social media (such as. a discount or prize), or having customers submit videos of themselves using your service or product.

This content strategy can help create a strong community of loyal customers who will advertise your product in online forums and on social media. Cultivating this sort of community can lead to exponential growth in the amount of UGC surrounding your product or service. That’s because when users see user-generated content, they are more likely to continue the cycle by creating and posting more content themselves.

Taking advantage of the endless potential of user generated content is increasingly important as new technological advances put even more creative power in the hands of users. As the online world becomes increasingly involved and complex, so should your UGC marketing strategy in leveraging new and exciting avenues for user connectivity.

2. Market to Millennials

The term “millennial” according to Pew, refers to people currently between the ages of 22 and 36. The millennial population in the U.S. is currently 83.1 million and makes up the largest generation in the country, surpassing even baby boomers. This generation is also the most diverse.

Partly because of the advent of smartphones, the Millennial generation is also known for having  a shorter attention span than older generations. Marketing strategies geared towards millennials should account for this difference and focus on attention grabbing content that can be consumed quickly.

Millennials have also inherited a more competitive job market than previous generations and as a result are often highly focused on their careers above all else. They may approach adulthood differently than previous generations have.

Marketing to millennials needs to account for their preference for shorter content while also adapting to their diverse identities and approaches to adult life. Millennial marketing is also uniquely important for small businesses because millennials are often more likely than other generations to pay a premium for high quality or sustainable goods. They are also more likely to spread awareness of your product online.

3. Engage Niche Markets

Niche markets are unique subsets of broader markets. For example, the niche market of sports enthusiasts is a subset of the larger market of television viewers. For example, given the availability of online customer data, you can use niche markets to target digital campaigns.  

Niche marketing makes your business feel accommodating and personable by allowing you to directly engage the identities or interests that they have but don’t usually see reflected in traditional mass-marketing. When used in tandem with excellent customer service, niche marketing ensures your customers feel valued and appreciated.

This marketing tactic also helps your bottom line by giving you the tools to hone in on your customers’ specific needs, both in advertising and in improving your service. Finding your typical “buyer persona” can help cut down on costs targeting your marketing. Targeting to specific markets can also provide a sort of testing environment where you can get highly localized feedback on marketing campaigns and, over time, polish your approach and build on past successes.

Targeting your advertising to specific groups of people can also help reduce competition. Carving out a niche for your business or targeting a few key groups minimizes the amount of competition you face.

Mass appeal in marketing is the norm. Learning to divide your customer base into specific interest groups can help you better target your marketing efforts and find more success.

Experimenting with the measures above will help you find out what makes your business stand out and succeed in the current business environment. Niche marketing, leveraging UGC, and targeting millennials are all important avenues for marketing innovation in the increasingly digitized, interconnected business world.

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