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Standing Out from the Competition

Wed, Mar 18th, 2020

Standing Out from the Competition

Standing out from the competition is a key component for the growth of any business. With so much content out there, differentiating yourself from all the noise can be a daunting task. As a result, many small businesses try to get their content to “POP” as much as possible. This can lead to a common misconception that “standing out” and “being loud” are the same thing.

Consider this, if the goal is being as loud as possible, the most effective way to get someone’s attention would be to tape your message to a big rock and throw it through your potential customers’ window. All joking aside simply being “loud” can be counterproductive. In this blog, we will go over a few examples of the right and wrong way to catch the eye of potential customers.

The goal is not how loud you can be, but what emotions your content generates. For example, if you see one sentence in an article that is highlighted, it will make you wonder why this particular sentence is highlighted? It must be important, or maybe it will summarize the articles’ content. In some cases, the highlighted sentence will make you want to read the full article in the same way a good movie clip can motivate you to see the whole movie.

In contrast, if you were to see almost every word highlighted, it won’t make you think every word is important. Instead it can have the opposite effect by making you think that every word carries equal weight (diluting the rest of the content). Not only that, but everything being highlighted will now be a distraction as the bright color was never meant to be used in such a large scale.

Making things too flashy or adding to many exclamations can have the same effect. If everything is special, then nothing is. Having a slider or slideshow that “POPS” by switching images too fast to capture people’s attention may seem like a good idea, but if the goal is to evoke an emotional reaction from those images, such as "this is really cool" or "I want one of those", you need to give them time to process those images. Your image must be what pops, not the slider speed or transition. You’re not selling them the slider; you’re selling them the product.

Putting all the content you have on your home page, one social media post or one email to a potential customer will not make them think the content is important. Instead, it will be a deterrent. In many cases, less is more. You need to prioritize your content. Start by hooking them in with a small amount, followed by additional content to close the deal, which should be on a different page, message, post or link.

This creates an interesting challenge. If you can only highlight/showcase/prioritize a small amount of information, what content will you choose? This is the part that requires a strategic plan. Understand your target audience, what do they look for in your product, what leads them to buy and where are they going to see your product? Let’s use an example of a food company. One post was of a single delicious item, the other was of multiple items in a single post. The post with the single item gains much more traction because it was the most effective way to engage an audience that is scrolling through a news feed a mile a minute. Discovering this took strategic planning and knowing your audience.

Effective research and planning are the key to standing out. It’s also important when you are looking at competitors’ sites to view from a consumers’ perspective. A consumer is focused on the product or service offered, while competitors tend to look more at the layout, especially the flashier aspects of it. If your goal is to sell a product or service, the best layout is one that is seemingly visible. Where the consumers emotions are generated by the content itself and not what surrounds it.

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