We’ve arrived! We’ve come to the fifth and final stage of our SEO content marketing research: mastering our messaging. We may not be a big brand name, but we do have our inherent strengths — our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) — to convert the mere browser into the client, subscriber, or customer, or even an evangelist, if we play our proverbial cards right! And we do have the cards in hand!
If you’ve been following our Mondays’ “how-to” series of posts, then you’re already familiar with the first four essential steps to smart SEO copywriting and content marketing, all of which involve research:
- Checking Out Your Competition
- Researching Market Trends
- Taking a Fearless SWOT Inventory
- Profiling Your Perfect Customer
Now here’s where it all comes together.
Welcome to Step 5: Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition: What Makes You So Good?
You’ve most likely run across the acronym, USP, and perhaps know it well from direct response copywriting. Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, means just that: you’ve something of value – unique, exclusive, and distinct to you – to offer.
So, the question becomes: what makes you so good? Based upon your competitive research, your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, and your perfect customer profile — what makes you the perfect source for your clients? Try to list ten things that make you special. If you find yourself stuck, imagine answering this question: “So, give me ten reasons I should work with (or buy from you)?”
Now the trick is to take these statements, massage them into what’s important to the customer, and turn them into marketing gold!
Putting It All Together: Transforming Mere Features into Dazzling Benefits
Here’s when all your research pays off. Here’s why:
Most websites out there — even the big brand, big money sites — make a very costly mistake.
They list features about their product or services — but they don’t list the benefits. They don’t tell their prospects WIIFM (what’s in it for me.) The sloppy writing on their part translates into a huge opportunity for you.
So, how do you go about transforming your features into benefits? Divide a piece of paper into two columns. On the top of one column, write “features,” and on the top of the other, write “benefits”: this is your Features/Benefits Matrix.
Now, take of peek at the items in the “What makes you so good” list. If they are features (facts about your company, and nothing else), put them in the “features” column. If they are benefits (addressing what’s in it for the customer), put it in the “benefits”column.
Defining your Unique Sales Proposition
At the end of this exercise, you should have a good idea of your company’s unique features, and more importantly, how to transform these features into benefit statements. And chances are one of those benefits statements stands out above the rest.
Maybe it’s that you offer the cheapest products online, or that your firm has helped their average client increase profits by 25 percent. Or maybe you offer a unique twist that your competitors can’t match.
That’s precisely your USP — your unique sales proposition. Your USP is what sets you apart and immediately distinguishes you from your competitors. A variation of your USP should be on every webpage you write (as well as every other piece of marketing material you distribute).
Stay tuned, as next Monday we will be getting down and dirty with keyword generation: capturing clicks with powerful keyphrases!