The internet is a huge place, and it’s not getting any smaller. Everyone who wants to sell a product or service can. There’s a buyer for almost anything, and the web is full of people who are trying to do just that. With all of those products and services, and all of those people trying to make a sale, it’s hard to gain an audience. For a business owner, it can start to feel more than a little like whispering into a crowded room. How do you get your voice heard? How do you get your product out there where people can see it? Start with the basics. You need to have a strong product and your online presence needs to be in place. Once you get past the basics of great product images, a strong website, and steady social media presence, it’s time to really focus on making your product stand out in the digital marketplace. Thanks to inbound marketing, the internet is overflowing with blogs, videos, photos, social media posts, ebooks, podcasts, and all other manners of content. Everyone wants you to visit their website, follow them on Facebook, or sign up for their newsletter. And while no one is doubting the quantity of options out there, it’s the quality that can be disappointing. Mediocre content is everywhere, and that is the secret to standing out. Offer Something Exceptional People are tired of reading the same blog posts, website content, and social media posts over and over again. They’re tired of infographics on the same few topics. They’re tired of stock images, lifeless videos, and uninspired messages. Too many marketers and business owners approach their marketing campaigns in the same way that every other business does. It’s a checkbox approach: – SEO – Email – Blog – Affiliates – Social – PPC ads While these techniques work, they shouldn’t be the whole sum of your strategy. It’s time to step away from the checklist and get to the heart of what really matters for your customers. Thinking Outside the Box We live in a world that prioritizes technology, and when you’re marketing a new product, it’s easy to latch onto the features that make your product more advanced or more functional than what your competitors are offering. Take a step back, and consider a user-centered approach. When it comes right down to it, your audience doesn’t care about the specifics; they care about what those specifics mean to them. You’re probably the same way. It’s nice to know the specifics of your business laptop, but what you really want is something that’s fast, dependable, and not likely to crash and take all of your data with it. You care about how it helps you to get the job done. There’s an old business saying that your customers aren’t buying a shovel–they’re buying a hole. Your job as a business owner is to think about what problem your product solves for users. Market the solution, not the product itself. Focus on what your customers really gain when they make a purchase. Offer Customer Education What do your potential customers need to know in order to get the best use from your products? Create an educational library to provide that information. This could be a well-organized blog or a series of articles posted on your site. Hubspot is incredible at this. In exchange for an email address and a few business-related questions, users have access to a library of high quality articles on everything marketing-related. They’re a resource, and people go there for the incredible information, but then stick around for their paid digital tools and services. While your business doesn’t need the amount of content offered on a site like Hubspot, you should offer some amazing, free, educational content to potential customers; information that they can’t find anywhere else. Create videos, podcasts, articles, and newsletters to tie them into your product and services so that while they’re learning about your industry, they’re learning about your product, too. Use Video Videos are one of the most popular forms of content right now, and compared to written content, it’s relatively easy to rank well with YouTube SEO. With the time and technical know-how, it takes time to produce a decent video, that’s no surprise. However, because there are fewer video creators, it’s more productive than written content. It’s also more likely to be watched and shared. The key is to make a video that is fun and engaging to watch, not something that focuses on selling a product and nothing more. Don’t be afraid to create something that fits your brand, especially if it’s something quirky and fun. Make a video that’s worth sharing. You don’t need a ton of fancy equipment or acting experience to make a share-worthy video. There are a ton of free online tools and advice on how to make something that really stands out. Don’t be afraid to be different or try something new. You might just stumble across an idea that really connects with your audience. Be Amazing What do people do when they have an amazing experience with a company? They tell almost automatically engage in word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing is priceless. It’s hard to compete with all of the marketing noise out there, but if you can develop a core group of happy customers who love your product enough to spread the word, you don’t have to compete with the noise. Provide stellar customer service. Go the extra mile to thrill your customers. Keep them happy. Pay attention to their needs, and make sure your products and online content reflect that. Take the time to listen to your customers and make them feel appreciated, and most will gladly share their experience with their friends and family. The secret to making your product stand out in a digital marketplace isn’t to show specs or spend a ton of money on advertising. The secret is to know your audience, and make sure that you’re meeting their needs. Focus on solving problems, not making sales, and your business should have no problems with finding customers.