Marketing

How to Write the Perfect Value Proposition

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Humans have attention spans like goldfish. That’s the current thinking in large parts of the web design industry. Whilst we’re not entirely sold on that idea (it seems a bit harsh!) there is certainly some merit to the thinking behind it.

Internet users are very fussy about the time they spend online, and your website has a very short period of time in which to convince them to stay longer and hear what you have to say. Research by the Nielsen Normal Group suggests that you may have as little as 10-20 seconds to grab your users’ attention.

What is a Value Proposition?

The secret to grabbing and keeping the attention of your website’s visitors is with a perfectly constructed value proposition. Your value proposition should be a short blurb that tells the user exactly what it is you can help them with and why they should stick around to find out more.

First impressions matter, a lot. Especially with web design. So, it pays to get this right. In essence, your value proposition should sum up in a very short time what your business can offer. It’s your differentiator, your USP. It can pay to lead with a super-engaging headline of a few words to get them excited. Once they’re hooked, you can explain in a bit more detail (not much, though) how your business can help.

Sounds simple, right? Very often, it’s not. Squeezing the essence of your business into a few sentences can be incredibly difficult – that’s why copywriters make lots of money! We’ve helped a countless number of our clients construct a value proposition in our time though, so read on for our top tips.

Be Benefit Focused

It can be very tempting when writing about your own business to do just that. To tell people all about how special and amazing you are, how many awards you have won and why your company culture is just the coolest. That’s all wonderful, and is useful information, but not for a value proposition. Not if you want to draw a user in.

Your value proposition needs to tell the user exactly how you can help, focussing on the benefits of using your service or product and exactly what’s in it for them. Frankly, until I’ve learnt a bit more, I don’t care how many times you’ve been nominated for awards - I want to know how much money your accounting service is going to save me!

If you’re selling clothes tell me how much better I’m going to feel wearing yours. Don’t tell me about the manufacturing process, it’s boring. If you’re selling a service, tell me about the sort of results I can expect, that’s what I’m really here for.

Differentiate Yourself

Once you’re happy you’ve explained to your user exactly what’s in it for them, it’s time to set yourself apart from the competition. After all, yours won’t be the only website they’ll be looking at. A good value proposition should make yours the most memorable though.

What is it about your product or service that makes you better than the competition? To use the same examples, if your accountancy service is more thorough, tell me. If your e-commerce clothing site has the best brands or free delivery then tell me that too! Always remember to remain ‘benefit focused’ though.

Another useful way to differentiate yourself can be by location. Mentioning where you’re based in the value proposition can be useful for a couple of reasons. Firstly, depending on the type of business being in the same location as your customer can be essential. You don’t want to have to travel six hours for a meeting with your accountant for example. It also happens to be great for SEO. Specifically mentioning the city in which you are based in the copy is a great way to be found on search queries. If someone were to search for “web design agency Hampshire” for example, we’d want to make sure we were found for that!

Avoid Buzzwords

This is something that copywriters know all too well. When you’re trying to condense a business into a few words it is tempting to descend into buzzword bingo. Using buzzwords will jar your user and hurt any chances you had of engaging them. Words like ‘synergy’, ‘paradigm shifts’ and ‘disruption’ are not natural words that you’d use in everyday conversations – so they have no place in your value proposition either.

Remember that your users are real human beings, so they speak normal, human language. Keep it conversational but remember to keep your brand’s tone of voice in mind as well – it needs to sound authentic. Saying it out loud to your colleagues is a good way of keeping this on track, they’ll have a good feel for if it sounds right or not.

With modern internet users compared to the proverbial goldfish spending some time to get your value proposition right will pay dividends. People are busy and they want to know exactly what they’ll be getting for their hard-earned money, and they want to know now. Once you’ve hooked them in you can sweeten the deal with all the awards you’ve won and tell them how innovative your manufacturing process is. Only once you’ve reeled them with your value proposition though.

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