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A value proposition is a statement or promise you make that attempts to position your brand as worthy of being noticed and purchased from.

Basically, a value proposition helps your customer answer the question: Do the benefits of buying from your brand outweigh the cost?

If you don't know the value propositions that make your brand and your products worthwhile, then your brand will never stand out in the crowded digital space (or elsewhere). You must know what makes your brand, along with its offerings, valuable—or it will get lost among all the other companies selling similar products or services.

Maybe that's why 69% of brands have established a value proposition. It helps them find and focus on their niche.

Here's an example of a used car salesman who really knows his value proposition:

Like it or not, he knows that his primary value proposition, "You should come to my business because you normally can't get a loan," is his best one for getting customers in the door.

You don't have to be as forward as John Loman, but it's worthwhile to identify and determine which value propositions are successful.

But how do you know whether your efforts are working?

1. Isolate the value proposition

If you've identified your value propositions, you're already on the road to creating more effective content.

If you haven't clearly defined your value proposition, do that first.

For example, if your company sells marketing automation software to other marketers, you want to isolate why those marketers buy your product and what your brand knows and does better than its competitors.

That's a process that our friendly neighborhood car salesperson, John, knows.

The difference between you and John is that you want to isolate the value proposition and use it as the lone variable in your tests. That is the only way to tell which value propositions are driving your conversions.

If we break down John's commercial, he touches on these value propositions:

  • He'll give you $5,400 more than your trade-in is worth.
  • Even if your credit is wrecked, ruined, bruised, battered, or bankrupt, he can give you a loan.
  • If you have no credit, he will give you a loan.
  • He'll even double your down payment up to $5,000 dollars.

If you want to test the effectiveness of one of John's value propositions, you need to select one of them and create content focusing on that single value proposition.

You should be able to read a value proposition in under five seconds. That means you can test anywhere, from a social media post to a two-minute commercial.

Let's say you go with the credit angle. You can create a commercial saying that no matter what your credit situation, you can get a loan from John.

That is how you isolate your value propositions. From there, you need to start making content about each of them.

2. Determine the channel to test

Certain value propositions will work better in certain channels.

In John's case, he would likely want to create television ads, radio ads, and banner ads. Maybe he even wants social media ads.

Choose which channels you want to test. Maybe you want to test email, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Determine the forms of content that perform best. For example, on most social media, videos and pictures are the best way to get attention.

In email, you want to ensure your content is easily accessible on all devices and email clients. At the same time, you also want to ensure every element, from subject line to downloadable asset, is packed with value.

Create content that focuses on using the variable you isolated in the prior step.

3. Find the goal metrics

Now that you've isolated the value proposition for testing and created the corresponding content for it, you need to define which metrics you will measure to determine whether the value proposition is working.

To do that, figure out what action you want potential leads to take for each channel you use.

For example, John would measure the success of his radio and TV ads by the number of people who show up at his dealership and call to inquire about his vehicles (using something like promo codes to track the channel that led to the conversion).

Look for the call to action. Track the associated metric. It's that simple. If you're measuring social media metrics, you want to track comments, clicks, views, shares, and likes.

If you're measuring email, you want to measure opens, clicks, downloads, and any other behaviors tied to your CTAs.

Also keep track of how many people purchased after taking any of the actions you are tracking.

4. Figure out what you are testing against

Now that you know what to measure, you must determine whether your numbers indicate success.

You can do that in the following ways:

  • Head-to-head. Compare how two different value propositions perform against each other on the same channel. Or you can compare how the same value proposition performs on two different channels.
  • Historical metrics. You should have metrics from previous campaigns. Compare metrics from your current value proposition-based campaigns with the same metrics from past campaigns.
  • Industry benchmarks. Locate industry benchmarks for metrics you are tracking. Find out what conversion rates look like at successful companies in your industry, if you can. Find benchmarks for the industry as a whole. Set a goal based on those markers.
  • Self-defined. Set a goal based on an educated guess. Early on, you might not have historical numbers or industry benchmarks to use. Or maybe you're shooting to go far beyond historical benchmarks or industry standards. In those cases, pick a benchmark that seems reasonable and matches your goals.

Set a target number for the first month of testing. If you find that your number is unachievable, or that you are constantly blowing past your success indicator, the target might need to change. After the first month, don't mess with it too much; you want your goals to be relatively stable.

* * *

Now what?

You've set up your content and know what to track to determine whether your value proposition is successful.

Send out your emails, put up social posts, and put out other communications. From there, organize your data and look for the indicators of success that you set in step 4.

Decide what you want to do with your data: Determine the real-world implications of the data you've collected.

Ask...

  • Should you use only the best value proposition or a variety of the best ones you've tested?
  • Can you combine one or more to increase your chances of success?
  • How does the channel change the relative importance?

If John were to objectively test his value propositions, he would be able to create more targeted advertisements for each channel. He could create commercials with far fewer moving parts that resonate better with his audience.

Make one change at a time so you can see the effects of each change. Otherwise, you won't be able to figure out what works and what does not.

If you don't test your value propositions at all, how do you know what you should be spending your time on? Give the system in this article a try to see how your marketing efforts improve.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Acadia Otlowski

Acadia Otlowski is digital marketing manager at B2B demand generation agency HIPB2B.

LinkedIn: Acadia Otlowski

Twitter: @AcadiaOtlowski