There is so much content online that overwhelms us on a daily basis. People have ways they cope with all the noise. Some simply let their inboxes get to thousands of unread emails.
Others have subscriptions to everything in their industry and pick and choose what they read.
Still others are subscribed to whatever the crowd says is cool and checks in once in a while.
You may have worked hard to share your expertise and build trust with your customers only to be ignored by many thousands of others who simply can’t engage. Your content could help them but the noise of information is too thick that they can’t hear you.
We wrestle with this dilemma every day for ourselves and our marketing clients. Getting past the noise is a common issue for businesses today. When buyers are perusing the internet, they have infinite choices and your content or site looks like a blip in a sea of noise.
So what can you do to stand out?
Become a Microbrand
We were used to the world of big brands. Sony, Coca-Cola and Apple are recognizable. They have spent billions of dollars over the years to get their name into your brain.
You cannot compete with them unless you have deep, deep pockets. They own the words “electronics,” “soft drink,” and “computers” in our minds. And there is only limited space for what we shorthand in our minds.
However, the internet has changed the game on big brands. They will still have a large share, but the online marketplace democratized shopping and accessibility. Your brand can be built in the mind of the customer with specific niches.
We think of this as becoming a microbrand. Unless your game is to go after millions of customers, think simpler in terms of the customers you are seeking. It may only be about a hundred new customers a year to help you feel successful, maybe even a thousand.
A microbrand affords you the opportunity to focus on a small tribe of people that can get passionate about what you do. They are your future pipeline and referral sources. They are the ones that tune into your station and listen. This means they are tuning out your competitors.
Much like a radio station, the game becomes about providing high quality content that engages a person to stay. If you throw advertising at them or try to oversell, then you lose audience members. They tune into other stations with entertaining or informative content.
Your content is what your audience will tune into. Your job is to be continuous and consistent with information and education that helps people get their work done. This is how trust is built.
Sure, you may be an AM station, but they exist because they have an audience that has been built up over years. People want what they have to offer.
You have to be positioned with a solid microbrand that communicates that you will consistently bring valuable information that helps. That kind of commitment and frequency causes you to rise above the noise.
Doing the Hard Work Frequently
A radio station, a magazine or even a television station knows one thing. Their job is never done. Sports Illustrated has to continue publishing and finding great stories to share. So does NBC or CNN. Their job is never ending.
Frequency matters because it tells your audience that you are around and available. They may tune in and out over months, but the mere fact that you are around tells them that you have a growing business and a mainstay position within your industry. When they are ready, they will see how entrenched you are.
To stand out from the noise, you have to think today not like a store that puts its sign out, but like a magazine that grows its audience. Advertisers buy their ads through these powerful content hubs because they know the demographic developed over time is focused, engaged and trusts the publisher.
Your own publishing works like a continuous asset. It creates trust over time and when the time is right, a buyer will be open to buying something you suggest or offer personally.
If you were the content hub for your industry, then you raise the bar on your competition. They would have a long road to travel to compete in the mind of the buyer.
It’s Not About Louder
Many companies try and become a large brand. They shout loud and tell the world how great they are. This is a poor strategy because you can’t yell loud enough if you don’t have enough budget.
The microbrand strategy is a bit more quiet but persistent. It is the way of building trust with the people that matter. Imagine that you become a trusted content provider and fifty people that care look forward to seeing what is new. What about a hundred or five hundred?
The ball starts to roll and momentum builds. This is how microbrands work. They are learning the way of what old economy publishers know already. They keep becoming content kings and know that the payday comes as an effect of building trust over time.
It does require a laser focus and clarity about what will realistically work in a world where everything is available to people with a click of their mouse or smartphone.
Think about your own strategy. Have you exhausted a lot of other options already only to be ignored? What if you committed to developing an audience over the next year that tunes in without selling them? Imagine what your business could become.
What holds you back?