Marketing is a huge industry (and a great career), but it can be challenging for a smaller agency to attract clients. In practice, marketing does not lend itself well to discount pricing, and traditional advertising tactics used to market a marketing agency can be downright confusing. So how can your business stand out?
For many successful marketing ventures, the answer is a unique selling proposition (USP). Something specific that makes your company stand out from the competition. Your USP might relate to who you are as a company, who you serve, or what services you offer.
Here are 10 ways marketing companies can earn business with standout USPs.
Make company culture a feature.
Being unusual makes you stand out. Chandelier built their culture on fun, holding status meetings (even with clients) in a ball pit and uses in some highly unusual methods of engaging employees and sparking creativity. Pulling clients into a high-energy culture of creativity is a highly successful USP.
Narrow your focus to a highly-specialized niche.
Working within a single industry may seem impractical at first. It sounds counter-intuitive to offer services to fewer customers, but many single industries offer an unlimited number of possible customers, and specific industry knowledge is compelling.
Corecubed, for example, specializes in aging care marketing. Their customers include homecare, independent living and assisted living facilities, hospice care agencies, and other businesses serving seniors.
Build a custom tool.
U.K.- based marketing agency Click Intelligence developed a USP around their Link Discovery Platform, a tool they developed to identify viable targets for outreach content and establish quality backlinks.
Developing an in-house tool that supports your services and gives customers an edge they can easily understand is a powerful selling point.
Offer a unique range of services.
While offering all the services is usually difficult to pull off, some agencies specialize in one thing and do it exceptionally well. Avalaunch Media is such an agency. While the offer other services their USP is spectacular visual content. Infographics, motion graphics, interactive graphics, presentations and slides...their beautiful and interesting visuals make quite an impact.
Highlight a minority owner.
Women are not a minority in the general population, but women business owners are. Women and minorities making a splash in the business world is news-worthy. The About page of Mary Pomerantz Advertising begins with these words, “Mary Pomerantz Advertising is an award winning, nationally certified Woman-owned advertising agency.” Woman-owned is baked into the branding of this agency, and it's a good way to win clients who want to support female or minority-owned business...and journalists love a minority-does-good angle.
Crowdsource your work.
Finding the marketing magic in outsourcing your inspiration. Victors & Spoils enlists the help of literally thousands of freelancers around the world. Projects are managed by a staffer, and the work is done by creatives who have the right experience for that particular market segment. Drawing from a gigantic pool of talent offers innovative diversity few companies can match.
Sustainability is a popular topic, and one many businesses and consumers value. If you make it a point to practice sustainable marketing and work with companies that share your values, it can be a conscientious USP. You can't just recycle your soda cans and call yourself green, though. You have to be all in.
Fresh Green Ads is a prime example. “We offer a portfolio of sustainable media that create awareness and impact for your brands, with a minimal impact on the environment. FRESH GREEN ADS© is 100% eco friendly and we use natural elements only.”
A wide range of people, including gender, ethnicity, age, and experience can really bring something new to the table...creative energy, different cultures, even different socioeconomic backgrounds can bring a richness to your work; a deeper understanding of your audience.
As the Cashmere Agency in LA says, “We are tailors of culture. Diversity, Relevancy, and Authenticity are at the core of who we are and what we do.”
If you reject the idea that everyone at your company should fit a mold and hire outside the box, you may have the perfect USP.
Focus on local.
Nifty Marketing is run by a guy who looks like he belongs on a middle school mathlete team. 14, tops. And he lives in Idaho. But Mike Ramsey had a great USP idea, ran with it, and hit the big time. Nifty Marketing specializes in local search marketing and SEO.
Seems obvious, but I looked at dozens of marketing websites to find examples for this post, and this is the only one that put local search front and center.
Be Neil Patel.
Okay, you can't actually be Neil Patel, but you can make a personable, brilliant executive the face of your organization, and his appeal becomes your USP. Focus your visibility on your people – either an active social team or a single, powerful rainmaker, and let them build authority and audience for your business.
It can be risky to tie personalities to your business, as witnesses by the huge kerfuffle when Reddit fired one of its moderators, but you can't buy better publicity when your guy becomes THE guy in your industry.
What makes your company different, daring, or authoritative might not be obvious at first glance, and you may have to put your imagination to work. You'd do it for a client, so why settle for looking like a run-of-the-mill agency when you can put your marketing expertise to work and find your shine?
What's your USP? Let us know in the comments.