How to Express VALUE in your Marketing
What does value really mean?
When it comes to business, value is the usefulness, worth, and importance of your products and services… Not in your mind but in the minds of your customers. This comes from how well a product fulfills customer needs and matches customer preferences.
Your Unique Value Proposition
Your value proposition is the way in which you express the worth of your product or service so that it’s attractive to customers. It’s what makes them want to buy the first time and it’s also what keeps them coming back for more. Mick Jagger might not be able to get satisfaction, but can your customer? Your value proposition expresses the benefit you offer that makes clients feel happy and fulfilled.
Arguably your business’ value proposition is the most important element of your overall marketing message. Why? Because a value proposition tells prospects why they should do business with you rather than your competitors, and makes the benefits of your products or services crystal clear from the outset.
Communication is Critical
Sometimes the way you communicate value is even more important than the actual service or product itself! Skilled communication ensures that your customers understand just how much value they’re getting, which helps to maximize their sense of satisfaction.
Take SEO, for example. Most businesses know that they need Search Engine Optimization. However, they don’t really understand what it involves, the amount of work that goes into it, and the many ways in which it helps their business. Short of getting a #1 ranking in Google, it can be hard for them to appreciate the value they’re getting… Unless you communicate it to them effectively in a way that makes sense to them and illustrates the benefits they’re receiving.
As we’ve explained in our post about How to Give Your Customers What They Really Want, today’s consumers have become savvier and more sensitive. They’re tired of being sold to and are wary of anything and anyone claiming to have quick and easy fixes for their problems. Too many businesses either bury their value proposition in buzzwords or meaningless slogans or they don’t bother highlighting it on their site and in their marketing campaigns. Often, businesses haven’t even figured out their own value propositions so they aren’t able to express it in the content marketing.
So if you don’t know how to hone in on your value proposition, here are three ways to create added value that can be easily integrated into your business plan today:
1. Make it About your Customer, not Yourself
Remember, it’s really not about you. It’s about your customers. To market your value properly you need to see your business through the eyes of your customers. Think about what’s important to your target market and how your product or service helps them.
The language that you choose matters. Make sure that your marketing copy screams “You” (the customer) and not “Me, me, me!” On your website, if you have a product-based business, is your marketing copy rattling off all the ways that the product is awesome? (Me!) Or does the language explain how the product can help the customer, with the customer as the focus? (You)
This is even more apparent with service-based business. Does your marketing copy read “We do this, we do that”? (Me!) Or do you explain how the services can help reach the clients’ objectives, with the client as the focus? (You)
This idea bridges directly into the next point:
2. Focus on Benefits, not Features
What problems are you solving? Many businesses miss the boat by focusing on features instead of benefits. Let’s take a popular example of a company that understands how to focus on benefits rather than features: Apple.
Apple knows how crowded and competitive the smart device market is, so instead of focusing on a certain feature—virtually none of which are unique to the iPhone or iOS—the company instead focuses on the experience of using an iPhone.
The tech giant writes, “Every iPhone we’ve made — and we mean every single one — was built on the same belief. That a phone should be more than a collection of features. That, above all, a phone should be absolutely simple, beautiful, and magical to use.”
Ok, so most companies can’t pull off using words like “magical” to describe using their products, but what they’re really doing with their choice of language is selling an overall experience, not just a smartphone.
Apple understands that focusing on the unique features of iPhone wouldn’t be enough to distinguish the device in such a crowded market. By highlighting the overall experience of using the device, however, Apple’s value proposition is as unique as its approach to product design and aesthetics.
There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel! Take a page from Apple’s book and focus on the benefits of your product or service and why your customers will absolutely love the experience of choosing your brand. Make sure to do it in simple, concise terms and make sure that your message is visible across all your marketing material.
3. Create Memorable Customer Experiences
It’s easy to highlight why your customers will absolutely love the experience of using your product or service if you make sure to provide an amazing customer experience! Nothing reinforces value like a positive customer service experience.
Think about the last great experience you had as a customer. What made it so good? Was it something about the atmosphere? Did an employee go above and beyond to make your day? Did you receive an unexpected bonus?
Whatever made it so extraordinary, the important thing is that it made you feel good. Positive emotions are at the root of customer satisfaction and loyalty. You can’t buy loyalty, it needs to be earned through positive experiences. And by the way, your customers need to be protected from negative experiences at all costs. Did you know that customers place up to twice as much importance on negative experiences as positive ones? Yikes! So it’s imperative that your brand consistently delivers exceptional customer experiences as a way to keep your hard-earned customers feeling great about the value they’re getting. That’s what keeps them coming back.
There’s no doubt that your product or service is awesome, helpful, useful… Otherwise, we’re sure you wouldn’t have gotten involved in the business in the first place. But you need to prioritize a great customer experience in order to reinforce the exceptional value that you’re offering and to make sure that your customers feel that value. Make sure that your marketing communications shine a big old spotlight on how and why your product or service is so helpful, awesome, and useful in ways that people can really feel.
Whether you’re writing copy for a Facebook ad, a blog post, or your home page, always highlight your value in a clear, concise way.
Driving Home Value
Marketing is all about promoting your business or service and the best thing to promote is the VALUE your business gives your target audience. To do this, you need to understand your target customer and see your business from their point of view. Once you have that down, focus your message in a clear, easy to understand way and make sure that your value proposition is always prominent in your marketing materials, from your website to your blog, to your ads.
It’s easy to add value to your marketing when your business embodies that value as its focus. Embodying value means making it about them, not you, putting benefits above features, and offering amazing customer experience.
If you’re thinking, “Wow, I know that I offer value but I’m not sure if I’m communicating it effectively,” you’re not alone. Expressing value takes finesse and expertise. But here at Barker Social, that’s part of our specialty! If you need help with your copywriting and digital marketing communications, don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer a free marketing consultation and would be happy to take a closer look at your brand to provide some ideas about how to add value to your marketing.