Have you ever tried copycat marketing? You pick a competitor, either aspirational or adversarial, learn what kind of marketing seems to be working for them, and then copy it.
Did it work? I’ll bet it did; kind of.
You choose a similar method (you both have billboards), similar offerings (free consultation), and serve similar markets (people who can pay for what you do).
So now what? Now you have to be better than the competition AND everyone has to know you’re better, right?
Not necessarily. The truth is, unless you’ve truly distinguished yourself from the competition, you won’t be able to shine. Our advice? Focus less on being the best and focus more on being the ONLY.
Separate Yourself by Identifying What Makes You Unique
But why would you want to be the only and not the best? Shouldn’t you be the best at what you do? Of course, you should be the best you can be. That said, unfocused marketing is very, very costly and worse, it’s ineffective.
The most effective and efficient marketing campaigns focus on something that’s important to your clients AND something that’s unique to your firm. This is often referred to as your Unique Selling Proposition, or your USP.
Your USP plays to your strengths and should be based on what makes your brand or product uniquely valuable to your customers.
But there’s a catch: being “unique” is rarely a strong USP in itself. You have to differentiate around some aspect your target audience cares about, otherwise your messaging won’t be nearly as effective as it could be.
How to Define Your USP With a Simple Framework
How can you separate yourself from your competitors when you do exactly the same thing? It’s true, you’re probably not the only one who does what you do—but here’s how to identify what makes you different.
Every USP is going to be, well, unique. Here’s how to discover your unique selling propositions and leverage them in your marketing:
- Make a list of all the potential differentiators that are beneficial to your clients. Get specific. Find a service or product that’s unique to your offering and solves at least one problem, even a small problem your client has.
- Research the competition. Who are your competitors and what are their USPs? Look for gaps where you can potentially introduce your brand differently.
- Compare your most unique angles against your audience’s needs. Are there any customer needs that haven’t been filled? Do you see any pain points that you can appeal to that your competitors haven’t?
- Take the information you’ve learned and sift through it to single out your strongest USPs.
- Implement that USP (or USPs) into all of your marketing messaging. It makes a world of difference!
Once you’ve got it, use this framework to spell it out succinctly:
[YOUR BRAND] offers [PRODUCT/SERVICE] for [TARGET MARKET] to [VALUE PROPOSITION], Unlike [THE ALTERNATIVE], we [KEY DIFFERENTIATOR].
Creating a Unique Selling Proposition Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
Your USP can be simple. Do you have ample parking and that makes life easier for your clients? Point that out. Do you offer virtual meetings? Do you speak Spanish? Something as simple as easy or free parking can actually make a big difference.
Your products don’t need to be wholly unique in and of themselves for you to have a strong USP. Look for a spot in the market where you can stand out and shine that’s relatively untouched by the competition. Bonus points if you can infuse your brand personality into your USP messaging as well!
Need help defining your USP? Contact us at GoBeyond SEO to book your free strategy session with us today!