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Why Herd Marketing Can Hurt Your Business

February 21, 2019
written by Amber Dawson
Copywriter

Just because everyone else is doing something, doesn’t mean it’s right. Make it easy for people to choose you by standing out from the herd.

TL;DR

  • Don’t just copy your competition – they may not be doing it right.
  • Back up your claims otherwise you’ll tarnish your reputation.
  • Don’t assume you have to compete on price. Cheapest doesnt mean best.
  • Find your niche and establish your voice within your industry.

Marketing is important. We all recognise that. As a way to promote and attract customers to your brand, it’s imperative that you’re presenting your business is the right way.

The problem is, most people think they can do it themselves. Sadly, whilst experts in their industry, most business owners don’t usually follow the basic rules of marketing. It’s important to stick to the principles which have been proven to work effectively. Otherwise, you could be damaging your company without even realising it.

Looking At The Competition

The primary trap that business owners fall into is copying their competition. 93% of people look at their competitors’ websites. Whilst it’s good practice to know what they’re up to, you shouldn’t blindly follow their examples. You see your competitors doing something a certain way and think that must be how it’s done.

Wrong.

The whole idea behind marketing is to stand out – step away from your rivals and offer something new. If your business looks identical to the others, how are potential customers going to choose between you? It becomes a lottery of who gets who’s business. And you shouldn’t be relying on pure luck to bring in work.

Avoid Common Mistakes

By looking at the competition, you also replicate their mistakes.

For instance, many business websites greet you with big “Welcome To My Site” introductions. No one cares about this.

What you need is a strong, grab-your-attention-immediately headline. You don’t need to ease your viewers in. You need to appeal to them straight away before you lose their interest.

Secondly, most of the herd don’t back up the claims they make.

Saying you have the highest resolution rate in the industry doesn’t mean anything unless you can prove it. Anyone can claim something, and if you’re found to be not telling the truth it could damage your reputation irreparably. Make sure you explain your claim so there’s no room for people to question it.

Similarly, claiming you have experience doesn’t mean much. How many years of experience are you talking?

40 years: wow, that’s a lot and will really help build trust with your customers.

2 months: isn’t going to put you in a good light, so avoid making big claims about it.

Just saying you’re experienced doesn’t mean anything. Backing it up is what makes it count.

Other common mistakes such as poor site navigation, lack of subheadings and large logos make websites a minefield for customers – 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.

Your website should be intuitively easy to use. A customer shouldn’t have to put any thought into where to find things.

Make it as simple as possible for people to buy from you and don’t let something as small as your website not working keep you from making a sale.

Don’t Assume

The herd makes assumptions about their customers.

If you respond to what your customers are telling you, you’ll succeed.

Many businesses think they know the best way of doing things, regardless of if they’re being told differently by their own customers. Listen to them. After all, without them, you don’t have a business at all.

Importantly, don’t always assume you have to compete on price. Cost isn’t everything and many people are willing to pay more for a better product or service.

Take Rolex for example. You can get a cheap, functioning watch from Argos for £10. So why would people spend thousands more on something that does the same thing? Well, they want the attention to detail, luxury finish that Rolex offers. They want the best and are willing to pay for it.

Similarly, if you’re a plasterer and can spend a few extra pounds on your materials to provide a job that’s a much higher quality, people will pay for it. The age old saying of ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ is followed by many consumers. So, as long as you’ve got a strong USP (Unique Selling Point), you can charge a fair price and still succeed.

Finding A Voice

The way to move away from the herd is to find your niche. Something that you offer that your competitors can’t. While it doesn’t even have to be something amazing. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking in your industry. It does, however, have to be of benefit to your customer.

Say, for example, you’re a builder. You do pretty much exactly what all your competitors do. You’re qualified, you do a good job, you’re competitively priced. You’re saying all that already, same as the rest.

But ask yourself, do you always clean up after yourself and leave it tidy? Of course. However, are you telling your customers that? It may be obvious, but someone who’s explicitly telling them all the advantages of using you is more likely to win their business.

Do you offer free quotes? Most builders do – in fact, it’s unusual for them to charge for one. But again, if you’re the only one saying you do free quotes, people will then see that as another benefit of using your service.

Don’t assume or infer. Tell them.

And when it comes to finding your USP, use the same logic.

You could start offering something that doesn’t mean much to you but could be the added persuasion a customer needs. Offer a guarantee on all your work for a year. Say if there are any problems within that time you’ll come back and fix it for free. If your work is good anyway, and the likelihood of it needing repairs in that time are slim to none, you’re not losing anything.

You may have to come out and do an extra hours work every few months, but in return, you’ll gain a load of new customers. Worth it?

This is because you’ve removed risk. You’ve countered against that thought of “what if something goes wrong” and provided a good reason for them to choose you. That’s the whole point. Remember that and you won’t go far wrong.

If you’re interested in learning more about how your USP can make you more money, check out this article that we’ve written.

Image is a megaphone shouting USP and Free Quotes and Tidy to make you stand out from the rest

Start Your Own Herd

Ultimately, if you copy everyone else you’ll just be exactly that – a copy.

Listen to proven marketing principles rather than your competitors and lead the way. Don’t trail behind at the back of the pack and settle for the leftovers.

It’s imperative to the success of your business that you market your business well.

Otherwise, your competition will get all the custom. The way to ensure that people come to you instead is to make it easy for them to decide – stand out for the right reasons. By offering guarantees and hard facts that back up your claims, you remove any risk or counter-arguments that may be forming in their minds.

Most importantly, offer a strong, clear benefit of using you. A USP.

A Helping Hand

If you want to reap the benefits of marketing yourself well, but don’t feel confident achieving it all yourself, we can help.

Adzooma will make you stand out with custom-made websites that are designed and written specifically for your business.

We’ll also create and manage your Google Ads to draw traffic to your site. You’ll be provided with your very own dashboard to access all the data that’s been collected about your ads, as well as those all important leads.

Alternatively, you can take advantage of our FREE Health Check which takes just one minute to create a personalised report on your PPC campaigns. So, you can see how your Google Ads are performing right now and how they could be improved.

Remove yourself from the herd today.

Author
Amber Dawson

I studied English at Exeter University and have a Creative Advertising Masters from Falmouth. I spend most of my time reading and have rainbow coloured bookshelves. As a content strategist, I use crayons, research and my understanding of The Simpsons to shape customer narratives and create content experiences tailored to Adzooma’s target audience.' LinkedIn
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