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Signal to Noise: How To Stand Out From The Pack Online

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The signal-to-noise ratio has long been an important concept for scientists, engineers, and those who work in associated fields. However, with the increasing amount of digital advertising, online marketing options and tactics, almost any given topic is flooded with information. This is especially true with regard to anything marketing-related in both the B2C and B2B fields, because industry professionals understand the importance of content publication more than any other field.

Filter Out The Digital Noise

There's no way around it - it's difficult for readers to separate the signal from the noise when it comes to social media, search, and other online media when so many companies are publishing spam every day. Many potential readers simply won't have the time or inclination to separate the good from the bad.

Smart businesses can set themselves apart from the crowd of competitors be engaging in strategic content marketing, creating an effective website, and developing a solid understanding of how to effectively leverage SEO best practices.

How do your customers currently discover your business? If you don't know, start by gaining a solid understanding of that through your analytics software; I recommend Google Analytics.

Regardless of how they discover your company, chances are that if they found you, they found some of your competitors as well. So, how are you going to make the best first impression? It's about more than just writing catchy ad copy; it's about building trust and credibility as soon as your potential new clients discover your company online.

Be The Answer To Their Questions

Building trust and credibility starts with being honest about what your customers want as well as what you have to offer. Much of the time, it begins with a simple interaction via search (organic as well as paid search), social media, or a word-of-mouth exchange that prompts a Google brand-name search. Once they reach the website, you need to make it easy for them to filter through your own self-generated noise. You can do that by keeping it simple.

There's recent evidence that simplicity might be more important than ever. The Content Marketing Institute recently released the findings from their latest survey of B2B marketers that detail both positive and negative aspects of business websites. While the survey and associated findings were directed at the B2B landscape, plenty of the findings are valuable for consumer-facing brands as well.

One key takeaway was how users are more likely to leave a website that doesn't make the information obvious; especially the lack of an easily-findable contact form, or a way to share information with a colleague, manager, or boss. Marketing Profs recently reported that 94% of B2B organizations tend to internally share and curate information before making purchasing decisions.

The article also covers how users interact and make purchasing decisions based on their interactions with content published by B2B marketers on their websites and external websites, which is valuable information for anyone responsible for creating or managing a company's web presence in general.

This information is relevant for B2C marketers as well, by helping them understand the myriad ways that consumers interact with content, ads and a company's overall web presence.

Limit And Monitor Your Platforms To Lower The Noise Levels

Just because Instagram is buzzing doesn't necessarily mean it's a good fit for your brand. Every company has limited budgets and time, so optimize your social engagement by learning where your target audience actually spends their time. This begins with defining a persona for your target market, then pairing that persona with social media networks appropriately. For help with that, see these articles:

Are You Using Your B2B Marketing Personas Effectively?
How to Choose the Right Social Media Networks For Your B2B Business

Consumers interact with brands across multiple touch points, from email to search to social networks, so you'll need to diversify your presence away from just social media. Guest blogging on niche-related authority publishers, and connecting with niche influencers can be a great way to expand your reach and audience.

Ready To Filter Out the Noise And Be The Signal?

Start by tracking your leads and the sources they come from, overall reach online, and even just simply talking to customers to discover how they came to your business. These discoveries and conversations can lead to significant success both online and off, and help your business build a positive reputation that truly sets it apart from the noise in the online realm.