Competing with Giants: How SMB Tech Companies Can Challenge the Big Names

by Gregg Crystal Mar 10, 2015

competing_with_giants.pngThe idea that a small company can’t compete with big business online is ludicrous.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, considering how fast things change on the internet, big business is in many ways at a competitive disadvantage with an agile and dedicated start-up.  

How can my business compete? Is there any way to rank for keywords when I’m competing against international corporations?

The short answer is yes. One niche at a time.  

Let me introduce you to the Katamari Philosophy.

It sounds Japanese but it actually comes from a video game.

Marketing guru Matt Cutts refers to it in a few marketing tutorials. In the PS2 game our hero rolls around a sticky ball (the katamari) in an attempt to rebuild his planet. Slowly but surely the ball picks up material and eventually becomes a giant star. This is how you grow your web presence - a little bit at a time.  

Katamari Niche Marketing.png

Here’s another quick analogy: think of developing web authority like building a snowman. You start with a small snowball. Roll it around a little bit. Pretty soon you’ve got Frosty’s mid-section.

That’s your first niche.

Next you start over with a new snowball. Roll it around. It grows even bigger than the first one. You pick up the midsection and place it on top of the base. Two niche markets down, time for a head. Get the picture?

To borrow a term from marketer Marcus Mariah, grow your web ranking “niche by niche.”  

Marketing Snowman: One Niche at a Time

Here are five tactics to help grow your presence online steadily:

Step 1: Target long tail keywords:

A short keyword for the technology sector might be “SAAS,” or the term “Software as a Service.” You will notice that if you type these well-known industry-wide terms into Google you get results like or The big players in the space dominate simple keywords. That’s not going to change. So, instead focus on something like “hire Salesforce developer.” These longer, unique phrases are called “long tail keywords.”  

Research! Build your entire web presence around long tail keywords. Use software like Hubspot’s keyword research tool. Focus on the keyword phrases you can rank for. Don’t waste your time on single words.  Ask yourself, “what will someone looking to buy my products search for?” Optimize your web pages to include the entire phrase (2-4 words). Add the phrase to your blogs. Use them in your titles. Use them repeatedly.  

Step 2: Produce high quality content:

Write with authority.  Share your expertise.  Solve problems for other people.  Produce content other people will want to share.  Make it sticky!  Google loves sticky content.  They want you to get found.

Inbound marketing strategies make it possible.

Step 3: Pick a niche and focus.

Don’t compete with big business on their terms.  Focus on areas where big companies can’t.  Emphasize quality vs. scale.  

Marketing Katamari Philosophy: Snowman Analogy

Step 4: Set realistic timeline expectations and iterate for success:

Inbound marketing does not create results overnight.  Be patient.

Produce 2-3 blogs per week.  Do it for 6-12 months.  The results will come.  Sustain this rate and the content will start working exponentially.  

Step 5: Start the second snowball

The beauty of the internet is that it provides ample opportunity for competition.  Take advantage of this opportunity by following the steps above and incorporating the inbound methodology.

In this way, your business can compete with big business online.

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