Welcome back to our Small Businesses Marketing Guide! In this section, we’ll talk about crafting your value proposition, a key component of your marketing message that communicates the unique value you provide to your customers.
Your value proposition should answer the question, “Why should I choose your business over your competitors?” It should be a clear and compelling statement that highlights the benefits your customers will receive from your product or service and sets you apart from your competitors.
Crafting your value proposition requires a deep understanding of your target audience and what they’re looking for in a product or service. Here are some steps you can take to create an effective value proposition for your small business:
Identify your target audience
Your value proposition should be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of your target audience. Identify who your ideal customer is, and what their pain points, goals, and values are.
Define your unique value
Your unique value is what sets you apart from your competitors and makes you the best option for your target audience. It’s your competitive advantage. Identify what benefits your product or service provides that your competitors don’t, or what makes your offering superior in some way.
Highlight the benefits
Your value proposition should focus on the benefits your customers will receive from your product or service. How will it make their life easier, solve a problem they’re facing, or help them achieve their goals? Be specific and highlight the most compelling benefits. Bonus tip: Read up on “framing effects” and how the specific phrases you choose can drastically improve reception to your product (the human mind is both amazing and very stupid).
Keep it concise
Your value proposition should be a clear and concise statement that can be easily understood and remembered by your target audience. Keep it short and sweet, ideally one sentence or less. Think elevator pitch — can you pitch the idea to a potential client in a couple of seconds and have it resonate with them?
Test and refine
Crafting a value proposition is an iterative process. Test your value proposition with your target audience, and gather feedback to refine and improve it over time. An example with an email blast would be to segregate your list into two buckets and send two separate emails to test which one has the better open rate and conversion. Same thing with a landing page: if there’s a high bounce rate on it, the message might be off.
Here are some tips for crafting an effective value proposition for your small business:
- Use language your target audience can relate to: Your value proposition should use language and terminology that resonates with your target audience. Use their own words to describe the benefits of your product or service. You may be unaware of how comfortable you are with your business’s nomenclature — don’t assume your potential customer knows what you know.
- Focus on benefits, not features: Your value proposition should focus on the benefits your customers will receive, not just the features of your product or service. Highlight how your offering will solve their problems, make their life easier, or help them achieve their goals.
- Be specific and measurable: Use specific and measurable language in your value proposition to reinforce the benefits you’re offering. For example, “Reduce your energy bill by 50%” is more compelling than “Save money on your energy bill.”
- Avoid hype and exaggeration: Your value proposition should be honest and genuine. Avoid hype and exaggeration, and make sure you can back up your claims with evidence. If you find yourself writing something like “we synergize the efficiencies through hyperbolic transitional reference frames to blah blah blah”… start over.
- Differentiate yourself: Your value proposition should set you apart from your competitors. Identify what makes you unique and highlight it in your messaging.
Crafting a compelling value proposition is essential for small businesses to attract and retain customers. By identifying your target audience, defining your unique value, highlighting the benefits, keeping it concise, and testing and refining over time, you can create a value proposition that resonates with your customers and sets you apart from your competitors.