Want more customers? Perform content marketing. In content marketing you decide what makes you unique, i.e. your unique value proposition is the success key. Being able to communicate it makes the difference.

Every time I speak about content marketing with a customer I say “Tell stories about you! Tell your readers about your company. There is always a reason why your customers select you. Find it why and build your content on this.

The key element for an effective content marketing (but it’s true for every marketing action) is to understand what makes you special, unique. For identifying what is this special thing let start asking yourself this question: “What is my business, why should a customer buy from me?” Answer is neither so simple nor trivial. For example, if you ask what business is Starbucks in, they will not answer “coffee“, but “to become the preferred place between home and office“. We developed an (hypothetical) example to better understand this aspect, which is the cornerstone of the marketing process.

Suppose you are the owner or the CEO of a small construction company, like the thousands operating almost everywhere, devoted to houses or shops renovations. A company which is not manufacturing a product of its own, which operates in a fiercely competitive market where most people think price is the only leverage of success. In short, a case where differentiation is quite difficult.

Cartongesso e controsoffittiWe start, therefore, asking ourselves what makes us unique. Initially, we find that our specialty may be in the construction of plasterboard ceilings and walls. This will specialize a bit, but certainly does not make us unique. Anyone of our competitors can say they can build them as well. Furthermore we are not even those with the lowest price, or those who have built the most important artifacts.

Striving a little more, we discovered that how we made the plasterboards ceilings or walls shows that we care more about critical details, in particular we give much attention to the installation of structural elements (the aluminum rails). As a matter of fact we always advise our clients not to save money on structural elements since they are tied to a greater cost of labor than the moving parts (panels) where maintenance can be performed directly by the clients or with a marginal labor cost. Furthermore we employ aluminum (or coated) screws to reduce the risk of galvanic corrosion.

With this we can start producing content which talk about our specialty (the key element that makes us unique) and help customers. We begin, therefore, to build our own content about galvanic current, the risk of corrosion in metal and the risk associated with the corrosion on structural components. Example of possible contents would be:

  • technical articles on company blog written directly by us, or by a prominent guests (guest posting) author, for example, a university professors, or a curation of technical articles on the subject;
  • customers testimonies of those company artifacts installed since years, preferably as a video interview with footage of the installation, which shows among other things that is quite long time we recommend aluminum (or coated) screws;
  • podcasts and eBooks about durability, strength and stability of aluminum screws, preferably involving the manufacturer or the distributor of the product we used;
  • readers online surveys about the use of aluminum (or coated) screws, including any events of corrosion by galvanic currents in their installations.

Costruire contenuti anche nella nebbiaAfter a while, what we get is that we have been better identified by our market with a growing reputation. Our unique aspects will make us grow as authoritative operator, proving (without us you explicitly tell it) that we care the details which are an important element in construction.

Furthermore, even if a potential client asks a competitor for explanations about our topic, no matter what answer will come out from the competitor our position and reputation will be enhanced anyway. As a matter of fact, if (rare) our competitors say he does not use aluminum screws, the potential customer would give us more credibility in attention to detail than that of our competitor. If the competitor (most likely) will answer yes, that he is concerned to reduce the risk of galvanic current using aluminum screws, this will, again, asserts our authority, since we were the first to address the issue. Political campaigns communication experts call it “issue ownership”, i.e. we have created the topic, and it is our vocational topic. Every time the topic is discussed we increase our reputation and customer’s loyalty because the topic belongs to us.

Hence we were able to produce that make us stand up unique even in a mature, non-specialized, highly competitive industry, where it is difficult to differentiate. We the content we have created we can start collecting business contacts (leads). We will see in a future post how to convert these contacts into customers, thus in sales.

Which questions do you use to identify your unique value proposition? Have you ever wondered in which business you’re in and why people buy products or service you sell?  You can answer to these just commenting below.

[Flickr photos thanks to: Julian Berry e Volantra]

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