The Net Success Blog
Here to help your business online
For those that are not familiar with the ‘first-mover-advantage’ theory it is, “the advantage that a business may derive from being the first to enter a market, or in regards to an online advantage being the first to use a new technology, advertising technique, communication channel etc.” So for a business venturing online this equates to the first business in an industry or niche market that utilises an unexploited and uncompetitive advertising communication channel.
First mover advantage (FMA) gained online allows businesses to attract followers and gain brand recognition and when done right, brand loyalty. Let’s take FMA on YouTube. Red Bull was one of the first movers to take advantage of the potential with social media, in particular YouTube. With almost daily uploads of new YouTube clips, Red Bull were able to position itself online as a ‘market value based expert’ in the energy drinks market.
What do I mean by ‘market value based expert’? Simply, they consistently provide valuable film clips to their YouTube subscribers that interest them. They know their market, and they know what would interest their demographic the most online. By doing this their brand loyalty increased, they dominated their market and most importantly positioned themselves in a way that attracted their target market to their brand before any of their competitors.
By taking the first steps before your competition, or most importantly before the majority of your market has, your business’s online marketing communications won’t be diluted by the bombardment of additional noise from your competition. Your business’s established following will be more likely to listen to you than anyone else and you will have more receptive followers that will see your business as the expert and subsequently want to buy from you.
Here’s 7 ways to get a head start on your competition and develop a following online:
- Create a Facebook Fan Page for your business and start communicating with your audience. Don’t bombard them with messages, 1 a day is sufficient, however make sure it’s worth reading. Provide value, tell them how they can profit or succeed by using your product. However don’t try to sell to them. Your followers aren’t interested in your sales pitch! Engage with them, provide them with information, humour or links that will benefit them, or make their day a more positive one. Then watch as your followers start to listen. Don’t forget to ask them to engage back.
- Create a YouTube Account – The same applies with YouTube as it does for Facebook. Provide them with valuable content and information. YouTube is a place where you can focus more on your products and services. However it’s not a sales pitch! Tell your audience how they can profit and succeed by using your products/services, and then they will listen!
- Create a Twitter Account – Start interacting with customers on Twitter. Retweet valuable information and don’t become mundane. You don’t have to talk about your business the whole time. Provide quotes, links and interesting content that will make people want to listen.
- Join Flickr if it's appropriate for your business model – Pictures are at the top of the list when it comes to viral sharing. Join and interact. Cross promote your pictures on all the other social media sites to ensure a strong promotional coverage. Here you should focus on showcasing your products and services.
- Find advertising solutions online – Whether it’s pay per click advertising on Google Adwords or a media buy through an ad network it is important to note that prices and volume are advantageous to those that move before the competition. Remember you will be advertising under the same keywords and networks as your competition, so the earlier you get in the better price and volume you will receive.
- Start Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) immediately! – SEO is the process of ranking your website under keywords relevant to your products and services on the search engines. The major search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing place major importance on age related optimisation, as the older a website, generally the more trusted it is seen by the search engines. Optimisation that occurs under keywords for a longer period of time will always bring in higher rankings than the same amount of optimisation over the shorter period. This is especially important when a keyword search engine ranking of #4 rather than #1 could mean thousands of dollars of lost sales and hence profits.
- Develop an email newsletter and start providing content to subscribers. The life time value of a customer is significant for almost all industries. Therefore once you attract a customer it is important to provide a means to keep that customer over the long term. An email newsletter that provides value will keep your brand at the forefront of your subscribers mind. When it comes to the time of purchase that means more sales for you and greater profits.
To sum up, the main point that you should take from this article is simple. Start IMMEDIATELY! Don’t let your competition run you over online because they took action first. Unexploited marketing and communication channels are there, waiting for a business in your market to take advantage of them. Take action now and continue to reap the rewards into the future. Or else your competition will.