You are advised continuously to promote your USP in all your marketing materials to make you stand out.
OK, that makes sense. But what happens when you don’t have an obvious USP?
Plus, what if you work in a less-than-glamorous industry (aka one that’s as boring as hell) in which you and your competitors all offer the same range of services with very little to separate you?
How do you stand out then?
Well, there is one thing that differentiates you from everyone else – your team.
The makeup of your staff is unique to your business. Their skills, personalities and values can’t be replicated so make the most of them.
That doesn’t mean adopting the usual stuff like “our expert team offer a unique blend of talents…” YAWN.
Yes, they’re experts, they have years of experience, they act professionally, they put the customer first…everyone says that.
So how do you get the uniqueness of your team across?
It’s not what you say it’s how you say it
A given with any content writing for marketing materials is that it must show the reader how what you offer will make their life easier.
It must also engage with them and so be written in the second person.
But beyond that, there is a way of making yourself stand out, and that’s by using a unique style of writing.
A great way to do that is by using a little bit of humour. I don’t mean gags in every paragraph – that really won’t work. Instead, try to think of ways of saying things that show the personality of your business.
Currently, I’m working on a brochure for a data recovery/disaster recovery company. Not the most glamorous of industries and they don’t offer anything unique from their competitors (packaged differently yes, but in essence, they don’t have a standout-never-been-seen-before-service). So how have I made their brochure unique?
To start with I had a look at the industry to see what everyone else was saying. It was much-of-a-muchness. In fact, most of it was crammed with jargon or written using marketing-speak – bleugh.
My answer? – Ditch the jargon, forget the starchy-pseudo-professional talk, and instead use language that’s simple, straight talking and playful.
Playful language can add a new dimension to your marketing materials. It shows your personality and identifies you as a company that’s approachable and personable.
Of course, you have to be careful about how you use it. For example, it’s not advisable if writing for an undertaker.
Granted, it’s not a style every business owner will be comfortable with, but it’s worth giving it a try because something is refreshing about the approach.
When writing it’s so easy to fall into the same old styles, you see everywhere. I’ve had many clients over the years who have insisted on me using the dry technique because ‘that’s what our customers’ expect’.
Do they though? Or is it more to the fact that the clients aren’t brave enough to try something different?
Let’s face it unless you’re prepared to do something out of the ordinary you’re going to get lost in the background noise of all the other boring marketing that’s going on around you.
Be brave and dare to be different.
Sally Ormond is an international copywriter who does things differently.