Why you should be using value-based marketing
If you want to grow your customer/client base, if you want to create loyal buyers, if you want to stand out from the crowd, then giving value is essential.
I’m going to start by giving you some hard truth. The purpose of this truth is to motivate you to take action and enable you to become a more ‘customer focused’ business.
Anyone who knows me would agree that I live by two core values. Make the buyer the centre of the universe and give them value. I genuinely believe this is the only way to build a sustainable and robust business in a world where competition is fierce and abundant.
As business owners/directors/founders/CEOs, whatever your preferred title; your primary and most important job is making sales! I think a lot of entrepreneurs forget this. If you don’t make sales, if you don’t get new clients; you’re going to go out of business! This reality is especially true if you want to grow.
Here’s the truth: If you’re caught up in the day-to-day of work; making products, teaching classes, cutting hair, mowing lawns, etc. Then you’re spending your time as an employee, not a business owner. If this is the case, and you’re passionate about growing your business, then it’s time to shift your focus.
And the first thing you need to do is give value! You need to set aside several hours a day and work your ass off helping people! “But I’m a business, not a charity” you may be thinking. Well, yes, but we need to focus on the bigger picture; business is a marathon, not a sprint.
We need to be focused on the long term health of our companies. I see giving value as an investment in a company. In fact, I think it’s the best investment you can make! Not only are you helping people, but you’re also building trust, loyalty and awareness for your brand.
So now I hope you’re eager to take action and keen to start making value a the priority within your company. Trust me… it’ll pay off big time! Let’s look at three things you can do quickly and efficiently to give value and start investing in your long-term success.
HVO, or High-Value Offer. You have heard of this before, it’s not a new concept, but it has been neglected for a long time. Many companies have started to realise how powerful an HVO is, and now websites and adverts are beginning to flaunt them. But the good news for us is that they’re typically not being used very well. So let’s look at how we create an HVO and how we use one effectively.
Choosing our HVO:
Like noses, HVOs come in all different shapes and sizes. Here’s a list of the most common ones:
- Swipe File
- Tutorial/Explainer video
- Online course
- Consultation/strategy call
- Facebook group
The list keeps going, but I’m sure you get the idea. Some of the things on that list seem pretty daunting, which is totally standard! The key is to find what works for you, and, more importantly, what you enjoy. Some of you may be excellent speakers and could smash out a podcast without breaking a sweat. Some of you are writers and are just waiting for an excuse to write an 8,000 word eBook. Or maybe you know a fantastic artist who owes you a favour and could whip up a scroll stopping infographic. Some of the above items may only work in some industries, so bear that in mind as well.
What should the HVO be about?
It’s now time to think about what your HVO is going to be about. It needs to be something that your target audience will find valuable… really valuable! And it needs to relate to your business. But most of all, it needs to be free! Yes, that’s right, we’re giving it away for free.
Sometimes it’s worth exchanging your HVO for a name and email address, especially if it’s something like an eBook, quiz or course. But bear in mind this exchange of data will put at least 40% of people off. Make sure you stay GDPR compliant and make sure you have a decent CRM. If you’re unsure about implementing this effectively, then feel free to send me a message, and I’ll help you out!
The Title/Headline: A little gift from Gossip Magazines:
A headline is always an excellent place to start. It’s the tool that’s going to draw in your target audience and encourage them to engage. I’m sorry to say it, but this is where you’ve got to get down in the dirt.
What are the best-selling magazines? Gossip magazines!
Who do the highest-paid copywriters work for? Gossip magazines!
Where do you find headlines that make you want to buy magazines even though you hate what they stand for? Gossip magazines!
I think you get my point.
We now need to make a ‘gossip magazine style’ headline. If you want some inspiration just Google ‘gossip magazine’, but be warned you’ll probably be seeing ads for them in your news feed for weeks! I’m not going to go into too much depth here, I feel I could write a whole blog about this. Let’s keep it simple. Here are a few elements you can use to give your headline some sparkle:
- Numbers are great! 5 ways… 7 tips… the 9 biggest…
- Intrigue is your friend. We’re an inquisitive species! If you can spark intrigue, people will engage in your content.
- Negatives win! Unfortunately, it’s true. ‘The biggest gardening mistakes you’re probably making, and how to fix them’.
- Keep it short and to the point. Make your main title 15 words or less and make it so a 12-year-old can understand.
- Empathy! Show your audience you understand them and that you care.
How to use your HVO to attract loyal buyers:
Hopefully, you have some ideas starting to form in your head… and hopefully, you’re getting excited about exploring them further.
There are three main ways I use HVOs to reach my audience, but I’m sure with some creative thinking, you could come up with some great alternatives.
Here are my methods:
- Paid social
- Free social
If your offer is good enough and you make it look attractive; it’ll be like a fire that you only need to stoke occasionally. Here are a few quick pointers on each of my methods and why I use them.
This allows you to get your HVO in front of your target audience quickly and cheaply. HVOs naturally have high engagement rates on social media which will help keep your ad spend down and your social proof up! Don’t panic that you’re not shoving products and services down peoples throats. As I said earlier; it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Free social is slower than paid, but it’s free! Make sure you use hashtags, group sharing and stories to get as much organic reach as possible. Prompting people to comment, like or share in the copy will increase the engagement rate and reach. Don’t be afraid to repost your HVO regularly changing up the graphic and copy on the post (on Facebook it’s likely that you’ll reach <5% of your followers per post).
My HVO is usually front and centre on my website. It helps establish me as knowledgeable about my craft and brings lots of value to my audience. I update it every few months to keep things fresh and engaging.
Here’s the really awesome part… If you create a brilliant HVO and distribute it effectively, then people WILL start approaching you. Sometimes it’ll take a little bit of time, especially if you’re starting from scratch, but it will happen.
I created a series of onboarding emails for my largest international client last summer. It was a series of 5 emails offering free and detailed advice in various formats. My client would regularly forward me emails from readers who would tell us how much it helped them. Funnily enough, the advertorial attached to the end of that series of emails was the most profitable… and that’s just one of the hundreds of personal examples I could tell you proving how powerful value-based marketing is.
Two: Getting more social.
I know we are probably creeping into the realms of ‘information overload’ so let’s focus on something a bit more familiar. I’m sure the majority of you post (somewhat) regularly on social… if you don’t then start! But let’s look at how you can start using it to engage on a more personal level and laser-focus the value we’re offering.
Social is buzzing with chat, and if you know where and how to look, it’s not hard to find. So your next task is to find content that is relevant to your business and start engaging. This method really relies on your ability to hustle, but it will pay off tenfold with a bit of commitment.
I think it would be a bit of a copout if I were to leave it there, primarily as I’m meant to be the knowledgeable person on this matter. So here are some great tips to take it to the next level.
Give it value:
Make sure every comment adds value. This usually means giving away free information that will help readers.
Respond… Every. Single. Time.
If somebody comments on your post you need to write a personal response. Even if it’s just a thank you. You never know, they may be your best customer in-waiting!
Emojis add extra meaning to your interactions and will make your responses more personal and engaging. There have been lots of studies showing that emojis increase engagement on posts, so don’t be afraid to drop in a few smileys. 🙂
The power of groups:
Jump in all the Facebook groups that relate to your industry and start talking to people. If you’re posting regularly, make sure you also share with the groups to increase your organic reach. And if anyone comments always reply. When I find a good group, I’ll set my notification settings to notify me when somebody posts so I can be the ‘first-responder’.
Speak your truth:
Talk passionately about what you love and be confident. You need to stand out from the crowd! Not everyone is going to like you, that’s a fact of life, even more so on social. But don’t worry about it! Focus on the people who do want to engage positively with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling rope or providing accounting software, be bold and put a face to your brand.
Pitty the naysayers
You’ll always find keyboard warriors eager to drag you down. My tactic is to correct them politely with a reasoned response. If their reply isn’t polite and reasoned; then I’ll just ignore them. I have great empathy for people who feel it necessary to bring others down. There is usually something pretty wrong in their own lives to make them that way.
Please, I beg you… Spellcheck!
Seems obvious I know, but nothing will kill your credibility quicker than bad spelling or embarrassing auto-corrects. Always doublecheck what you’re posting!
I advocate that the most exceptional marketing blurs the lines between business and customer, seller and buyer. If you can successfully engage people on a personal level, then you’ll see the money start rolling in. People buy from people, make sure you’re engaging as a person, not as a company.
Three: The Guarantee.
Here’s something that doesn’t get enough consideration, so I wanted to include it here.
I’m confident in saying that 99% of the Guarantees that I see online suck! They are a complete waste of time and space. How many times do you read the phrase; ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ in some form or another? Way too often! And it’s meaningless, it isn’t quantifiable. Even ‘satisfaction guaranteed or your money back’ doesn’t really mean anything. How do you qualify satisfaction?
Herein lies our opportunity to offer real value. My guarantee to you is; if you take action on this advice, then your conversion rate will go up, and you’ll secure more customers.
It’s time to create a ‘high-value guarantee’ that’ll prove to potential buyers that you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is. But how do we do this?
Well, first we need to sweat a bit. You know you have a good guarantee when it starts to worry you. It needs to do three main things:
- Be specific.
- Offer tangible/quantifiable value to your customer.
- Hold you accountable for providing an excellent product/service.
So let’s look at an example:
“If you don’t leave our salon looking and feeling fabulous then we will refund you the price of the service AND give you a Paul Mitchell gift pack worth £50”.
Now that’s a guarantee!
Adding some form of monetary value to your guarantee is fantastic. It shows that you’re willing to back up the claims you’re making and it’ll hold you accountable to offer an excellent product/service.
Here’s a simple but effective flow chart that’ll help you position your guarantee for maximum impact:
Example funnel structure:
> STEP ONE: Your HVO advert
> STEP TWO: Free offer (HVO) landing page:
Section 1: About the offer (really sell the value).
Section 2: Name and email request (if using a quiz/tool ask for their details right before the results page).
> STEP THREE: Thank you page
Section 1: Thank you copy (keep it short and sweet)
Section 2: Our current product/service offer
Section 3: Our fantastic guarantee
Section 4: Buy/Book/Call/Enquire Now (call to action/CTA)
Section 5: Your testimonials/case studies/social proof
Section 6: A bit about you and your company
Section 7: Your CTA again
> STEP FOUR: Follow up
If a purchase is made: Great! Follow up with newsletters and up-sells but don’t forget to keep offering value.
If a purchase is not made: Follow up with a series of HVO emails (three typically works well; spaced two days apart)
I hope that wraps it up nicely for you and I really hope you’re now motivated to start trying some of these tips. My goal here was to get you thinking about how you can bring more value to your customers and give you some tools to start taking action.
My skill is bringing value to customers and presenting it attractively (hence why I’m a marketer). If you need some specific ideas for your company, then feel free to send me a message/email, I’d love to help you out with some ideas.