Marketing maven and fellow blogger Michel Fortin learned an interesting lesson about blogging from the book 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. Very simply, the lesson is this:
IT’S BETTER TO BE FIRST THAN BEST
What Fortin pulled from that statement is that it’s more effective to be perceived as superior than to state outright that you are superior. So how, Fortin asks, can you create the perception of superiority? The interesting truth is, he observes, that if you’re perceived as first in some category, people have the natural tendency to think you’re the best in that category! That tends to work, Fortin points out, is that, even when your competitors are better than you. (Since you are the first, their marketing efforts only help remind people of…you!)
Look at your own life, Fortin says. You remember your first kiss (but most likely not your second one), your first car, your first job, etc. The conclusion this leads to about marketing is simple, Fortin says. If you market your company as "better", all you’re really doing is reminding others of your competition. On the other hand, there can be only one "first".
If there’s no category in which you can be first, manufacture one, advises Fortin. You can be, for example:
- first to cater to a specific market
- first to offer additional services to your core service
- first to offer a certain kind of bonus or reward
- first to package your service or product in a certain way
- first to offer a particular guarantee
As a blogging trainer and business ghost blogger, I like Fortin’s concept of creating "firsts". Here’s why: In blog posts, you can explain the whole thought process that led you to be the first at….(whatever), showing you’re sensitive to the needs and concerns of searchers (after all, why hadn’t your competitors thought of that way to make the product or service more customer-friendly?)
In fact, the reason blogging for business trumps traditional advertising in general is that, in blog posts, you get to share your thoughts in a conversational way. In fact, you might say most advertising is all about being best. With your business blog, on the other hand, you can keep reinventing your image, creating ways to make your business seem first.
Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but, through your business blog, you can be "first" in the eyes of those online searchers who need what you have to offer!