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Your Marketing is About Standing Out, Not Following the Pack

It’s easier than ever to know what works when it comes to marketing online. What you should be doing. What the research shows.

What day of the week should I send blast emails?

How should I write headlines that get people to read more?

What social media best practices for businesses should I be implementing?

It’s easy to be a follower. Sometimes it makes sense to follow what the research shows and what industry leaders are doing when it comes to your marketing.

Sometimes, if you’re just finding out what works — you’re already too late.

It’s clear that we as Web users constantly change our habits.

  • When people get email overload, they unsubscribe from their newsletters and they stop opening blast emails.
  • When people get Twitter overload, they stop going on Twitter.
  • When people see too many link bait articles like “10 Reasons Why…” or “33 Cat Photos That …”, they stop reading them.

Internet marketing is a copycat business. You read some post on Copyblogger that guest posting is the way to score links and exposure … and then everyone does it. You hear that getting your Google+ picture next to your search results increases click throughs … and then everyone does it.

If you’re not in on the ground-floor or leading the way when it comes to unique marketing approaches, you’re not standing out. You’re following the pack, and your marketing becomes just like everyone else’s.

Here’s a great example from John Tabita over at Sitepoint:

When everyone was jumping on email marketing, I wanted to stand out amongst the clutter. So I mailed a full-color, single-sided newsletter, printed off my inkjet. It landed me more than one client.

In today’s SMS and email-filled culture, it’s never been more important to write and physically send thank you notes.

We started doing this a few weeks ago; we spent good money designing thank you cards and having them printed out on high-quality paper to send when we finalize a project with a client. It’s a differentiator. And even if they look at it for 30 seconds before they toss it out, it’s still made an impact.

Be different.

Don’t worry that you’re not sending your promotional emails on Tuesdays, when they have the highest open rate. We send ours on Thursdays – and it helps us stand out from all the folks who do what they’re told and send on Tuesdays. Don’t worry if you aren’t using one of the 101 headline formulas that “work.” Write a unique headline that makes people’s head tilt.

Your online marketing is about standing out – not following the pack.

Don’t always do what you’re told works. Be different. Stand out.

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