Have you ever had a product that you've been dying to sell? It was a great product and would be perfect for the right person. You just didn't understand why it wasn't selling. That's because there is one crucial thing you haven't done yet —or maybe not done effectively- positioning your product correctly to sell itself to the customer.
Everyone wants to be successful. But not everyone knows what it takes to succeed. To help you get started on your path, I've decided to cover some fundamental tips that will help you position your product in a way that it will sell on its own!
Know your customer personas.
Before you even start developing a new product, the first step is to define your customer persona. Personas are fictional characters that represent your ideal customer.
Personas should be as detailed as possible, including demographics and psychographics (i.e., behaviors, motivations, pain points, challenges) of the characters you create. You can also include examples of your personas' social media behavior and preferences for content consumption (blogs vs. podcasts vs. email newsletters).
For each persona, you should ask yourself the following questions:
• How do they use our product?
• Which main problems does our product solve in their life?
• What value do they get from it?
You should have at least three different personas when starting—it gives you more flexibility during the ideation process and later on during growth hacking. Make sure to create several stages of each persona: beginner, intermediate and advanced users who would need different features depending on their level of knowledge and expertise.
List out your competitors.
You can start your exercise by listing out your direct competitors. What are the products or services that compete directly against yours? You can also consider indirect competitors. Who else might be solving your customers' problems? Are they using a different product or service to solve the same problem you're addressing with your product?
After you've identified your list of competitors, think about what problem their products are trying to solve and how they are addressing those problems.
List out their strengths and weaknesses. What features do they have that make them stand out from the crowd? What do they lack in functionality or innovation? Think about how this compares to your product and how it makes you more valuable than the competition.
Understand the competitive landscape.
- Understand the competitive landscape.
- Research your competitors. Lay out the features and benefits of your competitors' products to compare them to yours.
- Identify your point of differentiation. Find out what makes your product different from others on the market, then identify the most critical differentiator for your prospective buyers. This will help you stand out from the competition; make sure it's something that matters to your customers.
- Use this information to position your product. Your positioning statement should include:
- The target customer (that is, who you're selling to)
- The category or need that you're satisfying for customers
- A description of how your product solves customer problems better than the competition thanks to its unique benefits
Research keywords that relate to your product.
When you want to rank for specific keywords, it's essential to research them first. You don't want your positioning to be utterly reliant on a word that no one is searching for.
To start researching your potential keyword options, you can use Google Adwords Keyword Planner. This free tool from Google gives you information about search volume and competition.
If you have the budget for a paid tool, I recommend Ahrefs because their Keywords Explorer has more search volume data than any other tool I've found. In addition, Ahrefs gives you a "keyword difficulty" score that estimates how difficult it would be to rank in the top 10 results for each keyword based on your current website authority and other factors.
You also want to compare your potential keywords to your competitors. You don't want to waste time targeting keywords that they are already ranking well for without any significant effort (or at least not before coming up with an innovative way of approaching those topics). The best tool I know of for this is SEMrush (this allows you to see which keywords the top 5 results are ranking for in Google and the estimated traffic they get from each keyword).
Focus on a few core benefits.
As you develop your positioning strategy, consider the difference between benefits and features. Benefits are what your customers get from using your product or service. Benefits are what help you solve their problem.
At this point, you should focus on 3-5 core benefits of your brand. Why just three to five? You can't be everything to everybody at once! At the very least, it's impossible to communicate effectively with so many messages taking up space on your marketing materials.
It would be best to work out those few key benefits before moving forward with any marketing efforts. They will guide all copy and design decisions for years to come as they represent who you are and why customers should choose you over competitors.
Show the positive outcome of using your product.
If you need to use customer stories, focus on the positive outcome. Use this tactic when your product has a remarkable story to share with future customers. This is a great way to showcase success. However, if you have multiple stories in your arsenal, only highlight the ones that are most likely to keep your sales team's phone ringing off the hook.
When figuring out what to show off, please focus on the benefits of your product rather than its features. For example, instead of highlighting how many users love your product's user-friendly interface and quick set-up time, explain how it saves users from spending hours setting up their own CRM system from scratch by offering them a pre-built one that does everything they need it to do.
Remember that the price of a product is not always directly related to its quality, and it has little to do with the amount of time, labor, or process used in creating it. Always think about how you will position your product in a way that people will buy it. Whether you sell a consumer SaaS or a B2B SaaS or shoes, hats or Handbags, there are ways to have your product sell themselves as long as you put them out there in front of people who can appreciate your work.