Bring your local business online #5: Differentiate your business from the competition

Bring your local business online #5: Differentiate your business from the competition

[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, I’m Maile Ohye. You’re watching the fifth
video in our series designed to help local business owners
create an online presence. The goal of the last two videos
is to help potential customers not just find your
business online but to select your business
from the competition. In this video, you’ll learn how
to differentiate your business from the competition and
present your product or service in its most positive light. Let’s begin with a summary
of where we’re at thus far. You’ve identified your
business’s value-add and your most common
customer journeys. You’ve built an online
presence on the common channels in your customer journeys. You’ve traced the
online customer funnel to increase revenue. And you’ve already
provided information throughout the customer funnel. This allowed potential
customers to reach conversion. Conversion might be defined
as calling, emailing, or walking through
your storefront. Now, to increase conversions
and hopefully revenue. The agenda for
this video focuses on the engagement stage
of our customer funnel. We’ll do more than
include a value-add. We’ll research how to answer
common customer questions and reinforce your value-add. Let’s begin with researching
common customer questions. What questions do
potential customers ask before selecting either your
business or your competition? For my cousin Scott, the Realtor
we referenced in an earlier video, a customer who
needs to buy a house wants to know what makes Scott
the best person for the job. Her questions might be, are his
clients happy with his work? What are his credentials? How many homes
has he helped buy? To assist conversion,
which in Scott’s case is to call or email
him, he’ll try to address all of
these questions within the customer’s
online journey. We’ll cover the process
of implementation in the next video,
but first, it’s helpful to do some
research before diving in. To start, check out the
competition for good ideas and to provide a benchmark
for your business’s online presence. As the owner, you
most likely already have a firm grasp
of the competition. But let’s review some
general questions to make sure you’ve
covered all your bases. Who are your competitors? What type of online presence
do your competitors have? Do they have a Google+ page,
Yelp page, or a website? Of course, there’s
no need for you to replicate their
online behavior but checking out
the competition can help determine best practices. Next, what’s compelling
about your competitors’ online presence? And finally, does your value-add
truly distinguish your business from the others? In addition to investigating
the competition, another approach to answering
potential customer questions is to put yourself
in their shoes. How would you, as
a customer, verify the legitimacy of your business? Online reviews or testimonials
from satisfied customers can provide legitimacy. Imagine how reassuring it
is for potential customers interested in buying a house
to see a testimony like, “Scott always paid
attention to our needs and was conscious
of our budget.” or “Scott was responsive in
all stages of the home buying process.” Again, as we emphasized
in the last video, it’s beneficial for all
the positive sentiment you receive in the offline
world to be equally reflected in the online world. That’s the mental shift
that needs to take place as you expand your business
from offline to online. We talked about reviews. Now let’s take
this a step further and ask, in addition
to text, how can you demonstrate
your value-add? There are many ways to
personalize and reinforce the unique value
of your business. For instance, Scott could
post photos of himself with happy clients
in their new home. Or with maps, he could
indicate the location and area he serves. He could film a short video
with tips for buying a house, upload the video to YouTube, and
then include it in his Google+ page. Further, Scott
could provide links to the type of
sample presentations he creates for clients. This sort of reinforcement would
provide prospective clients a clear idea of the real
Scott and demonstrate his high-touch approach. The creative ideas you
brainstorm in this video should reinforce your
value-add and help answer some of the common
questions your customers might ask. We’ll look to implement them
into a holistic online identity in the next and final
video in this series. See you there. MUSIC PLAYING]

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Hi Maile Ohye,
                          You present yourself very professionally and clearly and very few if any can do better. Excellent bryn

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