Are you a regurgitated version of your competitors? (Plus YouTube & 145,000...

Are you a regurgitated version of your competitors? (Plus YouTube & 145,000 views)

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“My product is brand new! No one has ever done it quite like this before!”

Yeah riiiiiight. That would be total bullshit. Excuse me for being so blunt, but you see I’m allergic to crap!

Just like a bird regurgitates food to nourish its young, so businesses often try to synthesise and regurgitate what’s working about their competitors in order to replicate financial success. Instead, all they often do is miss the mark. The question is: why?

Yes, yes I hear you… you’re adamant that your business model is different. But is it really? Take a moment now to jump online and Google the products and services you sell. Does your offering still feel so unique, or is it starting to look suspiciously similar to others in the marketplace? (Denial isn’t a river in Egypt, by the way. That’s in up-state California, I believe).

The more crowded and accessible the global marketplace becomes, the more challenging it can be to uphold the unique selling points (USPs) responsible for your initial success. Once the USP of any business has been ‘cloned’ enough times, it becomes the norm. And once something is normal it fails to stand out, resulting in boundaries being pushed further and further in order to create any significant impact.

Whether knowingly or not, most businesses out there are spruiking the same messages over and over again and it’s because of this that consumers are disengaging and becoming harder to influence and connect with. In short, they’ve heard it all before. Hell, some of them feel like they’ve already been screwed over by someone just like you before. When this happens, even your most seductively-worded marketing materials are unlikely to sway them.

Simply put, it’s going to take more than ever before to capture the hearts and minds of your customers. If your business isn’t as unique as it could or even should be, there are ways around it. One of them is being more innovative in how you communicate your company’s intelligence to the larger market.

Included in your Modern Guide to Marketing should be market penetration via as various means as possible, including but not limited to one of my personal favourites, YouTube. Hell, it may even be your saviour in standing out from your competitors. I warn you, however, it does take time, energy and effort — and that’s precisely why most of your competitors haven’t bothered with it yet or utilised it to its full potential.

YouTube — Is it your saviour?

Post short, succinct videos that educate your target market about ways in which they can solve their problems. If you’re a consultant, teach them how they can boost their profit margins and improve their marketing. If you’re selling a product, educate them on how to use it (without directly selling it).

However, be careful to leave the self-promotion out (or keep it to a bare minimum) or they’ll click off and start watching some manic kid scream, “Leave Britney Alone!

My YouTube videos have helped me convert many a client, from a $25 purchase of a book to speaking engagements worth thousands through to personal branding packages worth well over $4,000 each. It works when done well.

It is worth investing the time in a comprehensive online campaign, including video communications to tickle all of the senses. Just ensure that the spokesperson you put in front of the camera doesn’t look like a dog’s breakfast. YouTube is a visual medium and it’s important to understand that 55 percent of all communication is in fact visual. Screw this up and you’re more likely to do more damage than good.

The great news with video is that you can leverage it via your various online mediums. Add links from your personal signature and your email campaigns, embed the videos on your website, add them to your blog, post them on your Facebook page / group and of course promote them via your Twitter account.

145,000+ views and counting

It isn’t important how many people see your videos, but who sees it. One of my viral videos posted on YouTube some years ago now has been viewed over 145,000 times (click here to watch it). It did assist in converting some clients at its peak, however, there is nothing more powerful than having your prospects see it and potentially convert to clients as a result. Views can be a great ego boost, but sometimes that’s all they are.

Make it your goal to innovatively educate your prospects on a weekly basis, either via video tutorials, tips on Twitter and Facebook or through regular newsletter distribution.

This will not only demonstrate your businesses intellectual ability, it will help your prospects see how they could potentially employ the services of your organisation.

You never know, it may just be the one thing that prevents you looking like a regurgitation of your competitors.

Ben Angel‘s book “Sleeping Your Way to The Top in Business” is available exclusively through his website www.benangel.com.au. For media, consulting and speaking enquiries, contact Ben directly at ben [at] benangel.com.au.

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  • http://www.omnificdesign.com.au Wes Towers

    I’ve got to agree Ben, if you can be unique, you have a real advantage. I’ve got to admit I didn’t have a strong point of difference when I started the business but now with our Psychographic Profile system online, I can say we have a strong advantage: http://www.psychographicprofile.com/

  • http://www.bravocharlie.com.au Philip Bateman

    Thank you Ben. As always, right on the mark – I am really excited about content creation and youtube – modern digitally native consumers expect video;

    The new Sony NXCAM’s and similar mean consultancies like myself can move from telling people what they should be doing to working with them side by side in producing broadcast quality content. That said you can get away with iphone photos and video recorded on a Canon IXUS if you push it – http://bit.ly/aXmnTh (Shocolate Masters in the heart of Fitzroy) 🙂

    Is a chocolate shop a chocolate shop a chocolate shop? Pretty much (let’s not kid ourselves about being in up-state California), but if one has all of their production in easily accessible video format, you meet all the staff and the chefs and see the obvious love in the work – plus you get sent the video by a friend, where are you likely to go?

    Two Australia youtube standouts for me are http://www.youtube.com/maxishine (22,000+ subscribers – I’ve seen him get 10,000 views within 48 hours of posting – focusing on extreme pc gaming) and http://www.youtube.com/user/RubbishInRubbishOut (a scenery builder for table top wargames based in Northcote).

    As relatively niche customer bases Youtube allows both gents the capacity to communicate directly with those interested plus sharing in ad revenue by delivering good content (http://www.youtube.com/partners).

    Business owners should ask themselves if they want to play in the digital world, and if so, commit to a process of trial and error with a smile and a nod that this is the way marketing is (has) gone;

    Creating quality content is an ongoing process and requires a convergence of basic IT, production, directing and entertainment skills – it is a long term strategy and not a tactic. Be relevant, well produced and easily digestible.

    An understanding of web structures such as facebook, twitter, digg, vimeo and youtube will let you get the content out there – demographically specific advertising (eg facebook ads) and quality content will drive customer interest and effective email marketing such as mailchimp will improve acquisition, retention and conversion.

    NB: If you are uploading to youtube make sure it is 1080p in 16:9 ratio, plus accurately enter your title and keywords – it is silly to build things and then never have people find them! 🙂

    If you are reading this and have something exciting to share with your existing and potential customers, or you think the essence of what your business delivers has not been as effectively captured and spread as it should, please get in touch.