The purpose of a content audit is two fold. First, only keep the best stuff on your site because simple = better. Second, make it easier for the right audience to see how valuable you are to them. So far in this series on content auditing, showing value has played second fiddle to what I’ve written about simplifying website content. No more! There’s nothing like the power of a story to prove your value, but sometimes the best thing to do is tell them exactly what you do. In this post I’ll be getting into the meaning and importance of value propositions on your website. I’ll also talk about how to take writing you’ve audited and mold it into value props that suit your audience.
What’s a Value Proposition?
In my last post about finding your most valuable content I hinted that sometimes businesses make it difficult for audiences to connect. Whether it’s contact info, or how you can solve your customers’ problems in the best possible way, there is no such thing as being too clear. This is where the value proposition comes in.
You’ll find definitions all over the internet, but here’s the one I like best (cobbled from several definitions all over the internet). A value proposition is: a direct statement that explains what you do for a customer, the specific benefits they will see, and the unique benefit of working with you over a competitor.
Let’s break this down into it’s three parts by focusing on the different words we need for each
What You do for a Customer
This part of the value prop must be clear, complete, and focused on action. It can be helpful to make a list of all the ways your business or nonprofit supports your audience. Condense this list into the core verbs that represent your operation. Verbs are crucial in this step because they show your audience the basic actions you can take to help them.
Specific Benefits You Provide
This stage of the value prop is all about adjectives. Ask yourself this. After you have done all the things you do for your customer, what is their life like? Is there more time or positive feelings in their day? Do they have less debt?
How You’re Better than Everyone Else
It’s okay to be proud of it. After all, the reason you can best serve your customers is because of the life you’ve lived. Your experiences are what make you, you. And you are what makes a difference to your audience. The third step of the value prop is all about nouns. The most important thing here is that a noun is not always one word. Rather than a “lawyer,” you might be a “lawyer, who survived family court as a child and commits to making legal proceedings easier for the entire family.” We’ll get into grammatical specifics another time. The point here is that the words after “lawyer” give it unique meaning.
Unless you are a business or nonprofit that is solving a problem no one has ever solved before (this is rare), the third part of the value prop is the most important.
Other people are doing the same things you are, and bringing the same improvement to customers’ lives that you are. The only thing you can do completely different is be you. Nail the last part of the value prop because this is your connection to the people you can help the most.
I loved “Mad Libs” as a kid. Let’s bring those back. Our value prop “Mad Lib” looks like this:
We (verbs) which helps you (adjectives) because we are (super specific nouns).
We navigate, and resolve family legal cases to help you feel more secure in your most important relationships because we are lawyers who have survived family court ourselves.
Conclusion: How to Use Value Props on Your Site
If you’ve followed through on the steps I’ve gone over in previous posts, you already have a great sense of your best content. While you only need one value prop to define your business overall, each page on your site needs a value prop to justify it’s existence. People should know where they are on your site and what they will gain from it right away.
Get your value prop out front.
It doesn’t have to be the first thing on your page but it must be prominent.
Your existing content might not contain the best verbs, adjectives, and nouns right out of the gate. That’s okay, this is why you did an audit in the first place. You can still use this as the inspiration for a good value prop. A dictionary and a thesaurus can be your best friends right now. Take what you’ve already written about your business and polish it to stand out as the key takeaways for your page.
And as always, have fun!