Differentiating Your Business is all about Developing Your Brand and Your Value Proposition.
Your Value Proposition is a huge topic in itself – and one I’ll be returning to.
Today, I’m going to share the Key Steps you must take when developing and designing your website for it to be effective from a marketing perspective.
There are now millions and millions of businesses and websites online. Most businesses are competing with many others, selling services much like many others.
So it’s essential to stand out and to show exactly why doing business with you and your business is different from doing business with any of your competitors.
Developing your Value Proposition and highlighting it on your website is essential. There are a number of key steps to include:
Key Step 1 – Be Unique
It’s essential to demonstrate how what you offer is unique.
The first thing to check on your website is that you are highlighting the one thing that you and no one else offers.
Uniqueness is one of the key components for a compelling value proposition.
Of course a compelling offer is essential too. However, you do need both a compelling attractive offer – and a unique or exclusive element. If you have only one of these elements, it will be undermined by the absence of the other.
- A compelling offer which is not exclusive will be weakened by lack of uniqueness
- A unique offer which is not compelling will be weakened by lack of appeal
The key is to ensure there is an overlap – this is the sweet spot, where the prospect is compelled to take the next step.
(Of course, this one of the particularly powerful elements of a personal brand – you are unique).
Key Step 2 – Provide Clear Evidence
This step is about persuading your prospect that the value you offer is believable – and this is achieved through compelling statistics and testimonials. Marketing is all about perceptions, influencing the mind.
So, here you are looking at providing strong evidence to support your messages, to build credibility.
The key at this stage is to be specific. Use precise and compelling numbers – eg your service (or product) has helped 1720 businesses. Obviously the numbers must be believable in the context of your business. They may relate to numbers of customers served, to results (eg in profits, or in turnover or in new clients acquired) or to timescales – ideally all of these.
Here you are seeking to ensure that your prospect, your website visitor understands and believes the value you are creating.
Key Step 3 – Use Powerful Processes
This is where you look carefully at your objectives for your prospect on each page of your website – and especially the home page.
What exactly are you trying to persuade your prospect to do? What is your call to action – and what step are you asking them to take?
It could be a direct buying step, but more often you will be looking at building a relationship before asking your prospects to buy – so you may be asking for an email address, via an opt-in form – or a phone call, or perhaps a sign-up for a (free) consultation.
You therefore need to look at the entire customer journey and proess through the web page – from the headline to the sub-headline to the paragraphs to the sign-up form. Each stage needs to be sufficiently compelling to persuade the prospect to take the next step.
The obvious process to look at here is the length of your optin form and whether it inhibits sign-ups unduly. In general terms of course, the more information you are asking for, the longer the process, so the stronger the value you need to build to persuadeyour prospect to take the extra steps.
If you only ask for an email address it is easier to convert and obtain the sign-up. Adding names, phone numbers and more information all acts as an inhibitor – but also qualifies your prospects. Anyone who has actually gone through a long process is a great prospect!
It’s all about finding the right balance.
Key Step 4 – Tell a Compelling Story
It’s essential that your copy is strong enough to support the value of your offer.
Copywriting is a specialist, advanced, marketing skill – and top copywriters are very highly skilled and highly paid. So do get help with this if it isn’t your strength.
This is another topic all of it’s own, but generally, you need to be telling stories, rather than listing benefits – this is about engaging the emotions. People are interested in people, so make your stories as real as possible.
Key Step 5 – Use Powerful Images Reflecting Your Value
Images are the first thing your visitors brain processes, so you need to make sure you tap into the value of your images.
Ask yourself whether the images you are using on your website convey the value you are offering.
It’s not sufficient to use images which are attractive or appealing in themselves, they need to work harder than that. they need to link directly to the value you offer. If you are a vet and your value proposition is linked to “treating pets as family” say, you need to use images which include a family orientation, not simply images of pets.
Here’s a tip: don’t be too subtle about this. Images register in your visitor’s brain in milli-seconds. for most, there just isn’t enough time for subtlety.
Key Step 6 – Link Your Brand and Your Value Proposition
There are inextricable links between your brand and your value proposition. In fact, it can be said that your brand is how your value proposition is experienced.
As they experience your services and products, your customer develops expectations and beliefs about those experiences and the business that provided them. This is your brand.
So, in this sense, a brand is not so much a promise as creating expectations. It is about subtly influencing the mind and creating perceptions – because, as we all know, perception is reality. Not just in marketing, but energetically.
It’s key to your value proposition that your customer’s experiences match the expectations and reinforce your brand values. So, it’s essential always to focus on delivery as well as your marketing messages – and ensure that your customer’s experience lives up to the expectations you have created.
It’s really worth spending time on all these key points. The 6 Key Step process is a great system to use to improve your website’s performance. Obviously you need to look at the detail of how these steps and principles translate for your specific business.
Use these Key Steps and you will create powerful and compelling messages – and your website will achieve great results for you. Your Business, your Brand, your Website and your Offers, will stand out in today’s “crowded marketplace”.
To Your Success
Sophia James, Inspiring Communication For Success â€“ Personal and Business Online Brand and Marketing Expert