Facebook groups seem to be extremely popular for private/closed community communication. They are really valuable, but are Facebook groups the best option? We know that they certainly aren’t the only option.

We stopped using one of our private Facebook groups and moved to Slack, and I’d like to share with you the thought process around this move.

Ever since establishing my business in 2013 I’ve had my sights set on building a membership community, and at the start of 2015 we began to put things in place to make that happen.

Most people think that the content in a membership site is the most important element, and it is important, but it’s not as important as the community.

Community building is what I’ve been putting most of my energy into recently, and I think it’s time well spent.

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Apples and oranges

Have you ever used a comparison website to compare products and services before buying? I’m willing to bet that you have.

It’s the 21st century, we have to realise that consumers are smart. Much smarter than we give them credit for. People know who your competition is, and if they don’t know, they certainly know how to find them. If anything, it’s the businesses that are in denial about their competition.

Just think about your own buying behaviour as a consumer.

It might seem somewhat counter intuitive for someone to advise you to discuss your competitors on your website.

I mean, why would you want to tell people about the other options available to them? What if they go somewhere else instead? Hint: they are going to look anyway, so why make it difficult for them?

Let’s look at the reasons why it makes complete sense to discuss your competition on your website.

5 reasons why you should be discussing your competition on your website

1. People love to compare

As consumers we typically compare products and services before we buy. Some of the most popular websites in the world today are comparison websites. By providing a list of your competitors to your potential customers you can help to make the comparison process easier for them.

We know that your potential customers are going to compare you against your competition, so you may as well be honest with people and make it clear that you know who the competition is.

2. Trust and transparency

By discussing your competition on your website you will naturally become a more trusted source of information. It will disarm your potential customer – in other words, they won’t feel like you are trying to sell to them.

If you want to become a trusted source of information, you have to make it easy for people to make a great buying decision. People are more likely to buy from a business that they trust, and because people are more likely to first of all judge your business online before they contact you for the first time, getting the trust levels up from the start is hugely important.

3. SEO benefits

There are two potential benefits here. Firstly, by listing your competitors on your website you may begin to rank highly in search for your competitors business name – which is pretty neat!

Secondly, you may also begin to rank highly for ‘the best [provider] in [area]’ when people are searching for your solution.

In short, by listing your competition on your website you have the potential to command additional organic traffic.

4. It’s all taking place in your house!

Another point to remember is that your potential customers are going to be reading this list of competitors on your website! You will be the one providing the information, and therefore more likely to get that first enquiry.

5. Being found when people don’t know who you are

Don’t forget that when people are searching for the solution you provide they probably don’t know who you are. In other words, they won’t be searching for your company name. This means that you need to be found when people don’t know who they are looking for.

How to address the competition on your website

One of the best examples of this in action is an article from River Pools and Spas that was published by Marcus Sheridan (@thesaleslion) in 2012 – he uses this frequently as a case study. He is now a silent partner of this business.

Click here to open the article in a new window and you can refer to it as we break it down.

So let’s break down exactly how Marcus has written this article so you have a structure to follow.

1. The headline

‘Who Are The Best Pool Builders in Richmond Virginia?(Reviews/Ratings)’

  • Keyword phrase – the best pool builders in richmond Virginia
  • Reviews/ratings – the headline serves multiple purposes. Not only is this a ‘best of’ article headline, but also a ‘reviews/ratings’ headline. This means there’s potential to appear for multiple search terms.

2. The first paragraph

Note the three main elements addressed in the first paragraph:

  • Expertise – “Each year, we at River Pools and Spas meet with well over 100 households in the Central Va/Richmond area…”
  • Empathy – “…often ask us who are some of he other builders and competitors we have in the area.”
  • Disarm – “Never ones to shy away from being blatantly honest with respect to competition…”

3. The list of competitors

Note that the list does not have Marcus’ business on it. You simply cannot write and publish a ‘best of’ list and include your own business. That’s called cheating. 🙂

Also, reference point 4 above – you don’t need to mention your business, they are on your website!

Building trust

In short, the biggest focus for your content has to be about building trust. We know that most of the buying decision is made online before first contact, and if that’s the case then you should make it your responsibility to give your potential customers all the information they need to make a great buying decision.

If you take on the responsibility to be that source of great information in your industry, you will build the trust, and ultimately get the best customers.

Your turn

  1. Are you ready to discuss your competition on your website?
  2. What are your first thoughts/fears about doing this?
  3. Have you already done this? If so, what are your findings?

Let me know in the comments section below.

DFTBA!

Chris.

 

Problems with marketing

Since the beginning of 2013 we’ve worked with hundreds of businesses from small businesses to large businesses, in many different sectors.

In doing all of this we continually come across major problems that businesses have that prevents them from getting started with marketing.

In an effort to help make sure that you don’t suffer from these same frustrations and challenges, we have pulled together the 5 biggest problems, barriers and resistance to marketing in businesses today.

5 reasons why business owners struggle with marketing

1. Time

No matter which organisation we’re working with, we always come up against this.

When we ask people why they can’t get started with marketing and why they’re not focusing on marketing, the biggest reason is that they just don’t make the time for it.

When someone says to me “we don’t have the time” what they are actually saying is that they don’t value marketing.

In most cases in most organisations, marketing lies at the bottom of the to-do list, it’s not a priority and it’s the last thing to get done if they ever get to it.

This is a big problem.

Marketing is the single most important aspect in any business. You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t tell anyone about it and don’t market effectively, you’re not going to get the results that you’re looking for.

Marketing is getting harder, and it’s very noisy.

The best entrepreneurs in the world are great marketers, and as a business owner you need to be a great marketer for your business.

2. Human Resource

If you were to put marketing as a priority in your business, you would naturally have to put someone onto that job to make that happen, and it’s really important that you do so.

Most businesses don’t get started with marketing because they don’t have someone to do the job or it becomes part of someone else’s job. Tagging marketing onto someone else job doesn’t work.

Marketing needs to be someone’s baby – someone who is going to get the work done and own it!

3. Money

People think they need a lot of money, but surprisingly enough it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to market your business.

We’ve worked with businesses with a lot of money, and they waste a lot of it because they think that throwing money at something is the solution.

It’s about picking the right place to put your time, effort, money and resource into. Money isn’t the solution, it’s about being smart.

There are many ways to market your business for free, or for very little cash.

4. Instant gratification

Business owners want to see instant results from their marketing, but it very rarely works in that way. Yes, you can get results quickly, but the best results come in time.

When business owners see that a marketing effort appears to not be working after a very short time, it gets sacked and they moved on to the next thing.

One of the biggest challenges in marketing today is consistency. Consistently developing, improving and maturing your marketing. This comes through learning and development, which comes through trying new things.

Yes, some things won’t work and some marketing won’t be as effective as you want it to be, but that’s just reality.

It really is about trying different things, learning what works and what doesn’t, and getting your team involved.

5.  Not knowing where to start

There are 100s of ways to market your business, so no wonder business owners struggle to figure out where to start. Not only that, it’s difficult to know what works and what doesn’t.

This is a massive problem.

For business owners this is a case of picking up a few books, reading some blogs, following some people that know what they’re doing and learning from them.

You need to learn how to become a marketer for your business. We’ve already mentioned that marketing is getting harder, so you have to get your head around how to effectively market your business.

Are you ready to become a marketer?

I don’t want you to suffer from these five challenges, so as a business owner it’s a case of grabbing the bull by the horns and learning what’s effective and working today.

You will have to allocate some of your budget, your human resource and your time into making this happen.

Marketing is an important job that needs doing and if you do nothing it’s going to become harder for people to find you and to understand what you do.

I hope you that from today you make marketing a priority and get everyone involved.

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

Since starting our business in Fife in 2013 we have worked with businesses in many different sectors from all over Scotland, and quite a number of our projects have been based in Fife.

As a marketing consultancy it’s not uncommon to have people ask as if we can suggest other marketing agencies and consultants in the Fife area. There are few legitimate reasons why this happens.

Firstly, people like to compare and receive more than one quote for the work that needs to be carried out, which is completely expected, especially if you are considering investing a significant amount of money.

Secondly, sometimes we have to recommend other marketing consultancies due to a conflict of interest. For example, an IT Service Provider may make an enquiry to work with us, and if we are already working with an IT Service Provider, there would be a clear conflict of interest and we would therefore suggest another marketing company to work with in Fife.

We pride ourselves on being open and transparent as much as possible, and in doing so we have listed here 4 of the best marketing consultants in Fife.

1. Robertson Collaborate

Established in 2009 with years of business-to-consumer and business-to-business experience, Robertson Collaborate is an independent strategic marketing and digital commerce consultancy based in Scotland that helps clients grow their business.

Robertson Collaborate provides marketing and digital commerce strategy and support for growth businesses throughout Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife, Perthshire and Angus. They help you identify the right marketing mix to increase sales through customer acquisition and retention. They create plans and help deliver them too, often using our network of trusted partners.

2. ICT Advisor

Brian Mathers runs this Web Marketing Company and Web Design Company in Glenrothes Fife. ICT help your business plan, build and design your website and then assist with the marketing so your website wins races against your competitors.

Even, if you already have an ecommerce or brochure website, ICT will come and improve your websites performance.

3. Alpha Tango

Alpha Tango are a WordPress, Woocommerce, and PHP based development house with a focus on delivering great websites and offering support, services and advice for people that want to succeed online.

4. K2 Marketing

The philosophy behind K2 has always been to provide high level strategic marketing support together with market leading creative communications without paying the rates of city based agencies.

K2 have a highly skilled team of consultants, graphic designers and web developers that can rival any in Scotland.

Headed by Managing Director, Sean Kennedy, and supported by Creative Director Iain Cummings, K2 Marketing offers clients a fresh new way of doing business.

 

There you have it, 4 other marketing companies in Fife that we would suggest for you to consider if you are looking for additional quotes, or if you require additional advice or direction.

I hope that whatever you do, you find the best marketing company and consultant to work with that you trust and can really connect with.

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

The Content Marketing Academy 2015 has been a massive hit, so much so that we are already thinking about next year! For those of you who couldn’t make it along to the conference this time round, we thought we would write a blog article summarising the speakers and what’s been happening, so you don’t feel left out…

The first day of the conference, which was the workshop with Marcus Sheridan, was a once in a lifetime opportunity for business owners to interact with Marcus on his first and only UK visit this year. Marcus was on firing form and gave a fantastic presentation interacting with the delegates and got the crowd worked up to start using content marketing to make the most of their business. Look out for our blog exclusively on the one day workshop with Marcus you are sure to learn something important you can add to your business.

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