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What is a USP?A USP (or a Unique Selling Point) is what differentiates businesses, brands, and products from their competitors. It is, in layman’s terms, what makes you special. It is what you are best known for, or what you actively promote in your marketing, to convince others to follow you. And, whether you realise it or not, every successful business from household goods to, yes, even popular Instagrammers, have a USP.
Why should I have one?There are two main reasons to have a USP. Firstly, figuring out your USP will help you stand out from the others in your industry. You want to start a cooking Instagram? So do hundreds of others. What will you bring to the table that no other Instagram account can? How can you re-invent something other accounts do, so that it appears fresh and exciting? Secondly, your USP will be the starting point for promoting your account, as well as your measuring stick for all future marketing efforts. For example, you decide to share your newest picture over other social media, to help get your Instagram account out there. Does the picture reflect your USP? Is this the direction you want your account to go with? Or is there another way to promote yourself, one more in tune with your USP? By knowing what your USP is, you can help generate content that is reflective of your style, brand, and aesthetic. But how, exactly, can you find your USP?
Start and end with your target audienceThe best way to figure out your USP is, naturally, through your audience. After a few months of Instagram, put out a poll to your followers, asking which content they like the best. Or, if you’re feeling brave, you can message them directly through an email newsletter. Getting audience feedback is the number one way of figuring out your USP. Your audience is coming to you for a reason. They know why they like you. So find it out, and use it to drive your content!
Find and adapt to the gaps in the marketThat said, a little bit of research can’t hurt, especially if you are a business or brand. Find other competitors online and study their USP. Not only will this give you better insight into how to promote your own product but, if you’re savvy enough, you’ll find gaps in their market. What opportunities is that company missing out on? And how can you adapt your USP to fill that gap, thereby improving your brand, as well as the lives of your audience?
One unique thingWhen it comes to a USP, simple is always better. If you try to be different in every respect, then you’ll find yourself overworked, and overstretched, for very little gain. The best brands and businesses know how to find their one special quality, the one thing that makes them unique, and sell that to their audience. So, don’t try to be complicated. There might be lots of things good about you, but for your USP to be effective, focus on one thing and expand from there.
How can I promote my USP on Instagram?So, you’ve figured out your USP. You’ve done the research. You’ve asked your target audience. You’ve checked out the competition. Now, how do you promote this USP on Instagram? The better question is this: How can you visually represent your USP in a creative, clear, and memorable manner? Instagram is, after all, about visuals. In order to effectively promote your USP on Instagram, you need to create pictures that perfectly encapsulate the meaning behind it. Just how the USP sums up everything about you, your pictures need to sum up everything about your USP. This is a lot harder than it sounds. However, here are a few examples to help inspire your carefully crafted Instagram snaps.
StarbucksOn the official Starbucks website, the company’s mission statement is: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, one neighbourhood at a time. This, alongside their promise to make coffee exactly how you like it, has lead to their Instagram account having warm, inviting, and user generated content. Many of the pictures on the Instagram feed have a human hand, or a person, in the shot. This helps to promote the idea of the human spirit, and the notion that a Starbucks beverage is incomplete without its most important ingredient: You.
Mast Brothers ChocolateOn the official Mast Brothers website, the company push the attention to detail, the quality, and the handmade feeling of their chocolate. Or, as they say, “we are introducing chocolate to the world with an obsessive attention to detail, meticulous craftsmanship, groundbreaking innovation, and inspirational simplicity.” This direction is definitely reflected in their Instagram account. With close-up shots of their chocolate, both in and out of its wrapper, as well as an emphasis on the chocolate making process, this account creates simple, yet delicious, looking photographs. So, whether your USP focuses on the product, the people, or something else that makes you extraordinary, don’t be afraid to share it on Instagram. A USP can not only be your guide in your business, but also a wealth of inspiration for your Instagram.