by Tony Vidler
In order to be different, and stand out in a positive way in a crowded and noisy marketplace, it pays to do things a little differently to your key competitors. “A little differently“….not necessarily radical!
The first step in working out how and where to do things a little differently is to look at what everyone else does, and then identify where there is opportunity to differentiate. This is particularly true in my view when it comes to using social media for marketing purposes because it is even noisier, more crowded and far more time-sensitive than traditional media. Your content literally has potentially a far shorter life span when distributed through social media channels – it can be forgotten and the market moved on inside a minute. However, one of the major advantages of using social media is the introduction of the viral element – good content travels a long way very rapidly.
When you spend a bit of time looking at professional services use of digital marketing techniques there is a definite “sameness”. Technical content….announcements of changes in interest rates….or worse; announcements of no changes whatsoever….hardly riveting or engaging stuff a lot of the time and it is clearly out of step with what many consumers are looking for when using social media. So what type of content is getting on consumers radar screens, and what sort of stuff are they finding worth sharing with their networks?
There is a pretty strong indicator that a picture really does paint a thousand words isn’t there? A really big proportion of consumers like and share pictures. Clearly many consumers are using social media as their news source too….but the interesting one for me is that there is a very strong tendency for opinion sharing.
That suggests that apart from the obvious opportunity for providing good and thoughtful opinion in your area of expertise, there is a further opportunity for creating engaging content for your market place. That opportunity is inviting customers opinions, and then being prepared to share those.
Clearly there is a danger in pursing such a path in that if your customer service and experience is something less than exceptional then you are providing an opportunity for viral brand-bashing of your name or firm. If however your positioning is superb, and your customer experiences are truly excellent, then there is a fabulous opportunity to use the strong desire of consumers to share opinion and experiences.
To take advantage of that all you have to do is be an excellent professional SERVICE firm.
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