The Competitive Edge: 4 Ways to Up Your Marketing Game
When you’re looking to grow your business, whether it’s big or small, you should develop a sound marketing plan for your products or services. You can step up your marketing game using both traditional and modern approaches to reaching your target audience. Here are some ideas to get you started in gaining an edge over your competitors.

The Competitive Edge: 4 Ways to Up Your Marketing Game

1. Analyze Data You Already Have About Your Online Presence

There is little doubt that one of the first things customers do when looking into a product or service is to check the website. You need to take a look at the data you’ve already collected on traffic to your website. If you don’t have that information yet, don’t worry. Make sure you have something like Google Analytics installed on your website. This tool helps you determine which pages are getting the most hits, who is filling out forms and how many people are coming to your site. It allows you to assess specific traffic patterns so you can update the pages getting the most attention and perhaps drive traffic to other areas of your site. Analyze your current strategies to see what’s working, then you can renew focus.

2. Use Social Media Platforms To Market Strategically

There are a wide variety of social platforms today to help you connect immediately to your consumers or potential consumers. One of the greatest aspects of social media is that it allows you to feel like you are connecting to your market on a one-to-one basis. Once you’ve done some of the analysis mentioned above, you should have a greater understanding of your customer base and which social media platforms will be the most effective to make that connection. Whichever social media apps or platforms you decide are best for your company, be consistent. Post regularly and offer incentives to those people who “follow,” “like,” or “pin” your posts. Also, research the big influencers using social media. For example, some Instagrammers and YouTubers have huge followings. Sending PR packages to these people can get your product or service noticed by a wider audience, potentially earning you new clients. Many companies today have built successful marketing campaigns including platforms and tactics like these. Just be prepared. All reviews may not be positive, but use any feedback you get to help determine how to make your product better.
[RELATED: 6 Basic SEO Tips For New Entrepreneurs]

3. Get Involved With Community Marketing and Sponsorships

Even if you are a very large company, people like the idea of buying products and services from “local” companies. Take the opportunity to invest in your local community by providing sponsorships at events, trade shows or even local schools. Your name and logo will be in front of a wide range of consumers and businesses alike. In addition, this will associate your brand with local economic growth, which you can in turn use for growing your business outside your immediate market. Cultivating a positive image can extend across your advertising campaigns and social media presence.

4. Give Back in Big or Small Ways

Again, this is about making a positive impact, but it can extend beyond your local community. Many customers can get behind a business that uses some of its profits or employee time to give back to those in need. If you’re at the helm of a large company, this might mean partnering with a big-name charity. For smaller companies, it might mean giving back to a local family or cause. Either way, you can use that to get both potential and current customers interested in your story. Make the end-story and the company culture appealing. It can be the deciding factor between customers choosing your product versus a competitor’s.
When it comes to marketing, getting an edge on the competition comes down to planning effectively and taking advantage opportunities that are already there. Start small by incorporating one or two of these ideas, and see where they take your company. As you discover what works for you and your business, you can grow your plans with your business.

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