Creating lots and lots of content is not always a good thing. I’m allowed to say this, because I’ve seen what happens when organizations get swept up in the content marketing frenzy and the message gets completely lost along the way.
69% of businesses came into this year with big plans to increase their content marketing budgets. If so many organizations are doubling down on content, how will you make yours stand out?
A positioning statement is a commonly neglected piece of internal messaging. By writing one that makes sense, your positioning statement will be more valuable to your team and they’ll use it to scale content marketing initiatives.
What Is a Positioning Statement?
A positioning statement concisely states how a solution is different from its competitors and why it’s the best choice on the market.
Positioning statements are often understandably confused with value propositions. They are quite similar but also have unique places in a messaging strategy.
Your value proposition is an external statement that focuses on the value and benefits your solution provides to the customer. Your positioning statement is meant for your internal team and not for external communication.
It weaves in some components of the value prop—especially when speaking about differentiation. But the positioning statement is more broad, as it looks at your overall competitive position in the market.
Most organizations create value propositions before positioning statements so they can approach messaging from the customer’s perspective. Either way, make sure you don’t mix up the two. A good way to avoid confusion is to dive into some key questions when developing your positioning statement.
Ask These Questions Before Writing Your Positioning Statement
Developing a positioning statement that actually makes sense is tricky as hell. You have to distill big brand identity concepts down to a punchy statement. The balance you need to strike is a small but mighty sentence that highlights your solution’s unique attributes and competitive advantage.
To write your positioning statement, you’ll want to start by asking yourself four key questions.
- HOW is my solution here to help?
- WHO is my solution here to help?
- WHAT need does my solution meet better than anyone?
- WHY will my solution make an impact?
To answer these questions, start by looking at your existing marketing materials—you’ll likely find that the answers are right in front of you.
1. How is my solution here to help?
To determine your HOW, look at your mission statement.
It’s a great reference point when developing your position statement because it succinctly explains your organization’s purpose and how you plan to achieve it. The mission is also one of the most familiar messaging pieces for your team to grasp because it encompasses their day-to-day work. It’s what you do.
2. Who is my solution here to help?
To define the WHO in your positioning statement, take another look at your mission and dig into your personas.
The other big piece of your mission statement is who you help. Your solution is here for a reason: To make someone’s life a little better than it was before. That value-add should be front and center in the mission.
Buyer personas go deeper into how your solution helps each customer you serve. By detailing individual challenges and goals, personas reveal what makes your customers toss and turn at night and what gets them springing out of bed in the morning.
3. What need does my solution meet better than anyone?
To determine your WHAT, you’ll reference your value proposition and case studies.
The goal here is to consider not only the solution you bring to the market but also the many wonderful benefits it brings to your customers. Your value prop is a statement that tells your customers why they should purchase your solution and the way you deliver unique value to them.
Oftentimes, case studies are painstakingly created and shared, and then tragically forgotten. But, they are definitely worth revisiting when crafting your positioning statement.
What better way to figure out why your customers chose you over your competitors than to ask them directly? Be sure to include some variation of this question in the customer interview to capture this unbeatable response.
4. Why will my solution make an impact?
Finally, to identify your WHY, you’ll need to look to the future…your vision statement.
Your vision clearly conveys your organization’s meaning and how you plan to make an impact. This impact goes beyond the customers you serve, which is all spelled out in your mission and further explored in your personas.
The vision is “go big, or go home.” It explains why you will make a lasting impact on the market through your solution.
Figure Out What Makes Your Solution Special
More budget for content marketing is cause for excitement, but scaling should be done with care. A positioning statement is a strategic, behind-the-scenes tool that will guide your team in all of their efforts.
It’s pretty straightforward. If you want your content to stand out, you need to be confident about what makes your solution stand out in the market.