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How to write a value proposition for content

How to write a value proposition for content

How to write a value proposition for content

How to write a value proposition for content

Lauren Pope

Content Strategy and Digital Transformation Consultant

You’re probably familiar with the idea of a business value proposition, but what about a content value proposition? A business value proposition captures how your product or service helps your users and explains why it’s better than the competition. It’s a useful idea to borrow and translate to content if you want to pin down the value it’s bringing to your organisation. 

In this article I’ll explain more about what a content value proposition is, why you need one, and how to write a good one.

What is a content value proposition?

To start, we’ll look at what a business value proposition is. At its most simple, it’s an articulation of three things:

  • the problem or need your users have and how you help
  • the value your product or service brings to users
  • why your way of helping is unique or better than the competition

Here are some examples:

  • Slack: One platform for your team and your work. All the features of Slack work together so you can too.
  • Monzo: Banking made easy: Spend, save and manage your money, all in one place. Open a full UK bank account from your phone, for free.
  • Notion: Too many tools? Too much chaos?: With Notion, all your work is in one place. Three tools in one. No more messy tabs, folders, and apps.
  • GatherContent: Docs, spreadsheets, shared drives, email—your existing tools aren’t designed to manage content operations. Use GatherContent to save time, improve content quality and move on from the old way.

This idea neatly ladders down to content. It’s about understanding the role that content plays in your overall user experience:

  • how does content help your users with a problem or a need?
  • what value does your content deliver for users?
  • what makes your content unique or better than the competition?

It’s a pledge for how you will make the best content possible, to deliver on user needs and meet business goals. You could have an overarching one for all your content, or different ones for different kinds of content or audiences if you’re working across a diverse portfolio.

Do I need a content value proposition if I have a content strategy?

If you have a content strategy, you might wonder why you need a content proposition too. And the answer might be ‘You don’t’. If your content strategy works, covers everything you do, and everyone across the whole organisation knows and understands it, you can stop reading here.

But, if:

  • other teams don’t ‘get’ content
  • senior stakeholders can’t see the value
  • you work across lots of products or types of content ...

... then a content proposition could be a useful tool to have in your back pocket.

A content proposition is a brilliant way to communicate the value of content and your ambition for what it can do for your organisation. It should be a simple, snappy sentence or two that nails why investing in or cooperating with the content team is worth it, or how content supports a particular product or service. It’s an elevator pitch you can use if you’re lucky enough to get in a lift at the same time as that tricky stakeholder you’re trying to get on-side.

If you work across a diverse content portfolio, having a set of propositions can be helpful for breaking down your overarching strategy into audience or product-specific chunks.

How to write a content value proposition

Your goal should be to come up with something memorable and short that makes a lightbulb go on for the reader: ‘Ping! So that’s what content’s for!’

Getting to that takes some work. Start by going wide: gather your business value proposition, content strategy, mission, vision, values, user research, personas, and do some background reading in preparation.

Then have a go at answering these questions:

  1. What’s the problem or need that your product or service helps users with?
  2. How does content help your users with that problem or a need? 
  3. What role does content play in the overall user experience your organisation delivers?
  4. What value does your content deliver for users?
  5. What makes your content unique or better than the competition?

Once you’ve done that, try filling in the blanks in this sentence:

Our content helps ………(who)……… do ………(benefit)……….. by ………(differentiator)……………

That should give you the basis for your proposition. But don’t stop there. Put some time into making this a beautiful piece of copy that will stick in people’s minds.

Using your content value proposition

Once you have your beautifully crafted content value proposition, use it. Use it in documents, in conversations, and any time you get a chance to talk about what you do.

It’s also a good idea to refresh it from time to time. If your product or service changes, or your approach to content develops, make sure you bring your proposition up to date too.  

A value proposition captures how your content helps your users and explains why it’s better than that of the competition. It’s a brilliant tool to have if you need to sell people on investing in content, or if you want to help people understand what you do.

You’re probably familiar with the idea of a business value proposition, but what about a content value proposition? A business value proposition captures how your product or service helps your users and explains why it’s better than the competition. It’s a useful idea to borrow and translate to content if you want to pin down the value it’s bringing to your organisation. 

In this article I’ll explain more about what a content value proposition is, why you need one, and how to write a good one.

What is a content value proposition?

To start, we’ll look at what a business value proposition is. At its most simple, it’s an articulation of three things:

  • the problem or need your users have and how you help
  • the value your product or service brings to users
  • why your way of helping is unique or better than the competition

Here are some examples:

  • Slack: One platform for your team and your work. All the features of Slack work together so you can too.
  • Monzo: Banking made easy: Spend, save and manage your money, all in one place. Open a full UK bank account from your phone, for free.
  • Notion: Too many tools? Too much chaos?: With Notion, all your work is in one place. Three tools in one. No more messy tabs, folders, and apps.
  • GatherContent: Docs, spreadsheets, shared drives, email—your existing tools aren’t designed to manage content operations. Use GatherContent to save time, improve content quality and move on from the old way.

This idea neatly ladders down to content. It’s about understanding the role that content plays in your overall user experience:

  • how does content help your users with a problem or a need?
  • what value does your content deliver for users?
  • what makes your content unique or better than the competition?

It’s a pledge for how you will make the best content possible, to deliver on user needs and meet business goals. You could have an overarching one for all your content, or different ones for different kinds of content or audiences if you’re working across a diverse portfolio.

Do I need a content value proposition if I have a content strategy?

If you have a content strategy, you might wonder why you need a content proposition too. And the answer might be ‘You don’t’. If your content strategy works, covers everything you do, and everyone across the whole organisation knows and understands it, you can stop reading here.

But, if:

  • other teams don’t ‘get’ content
  • senior stakeholders can’t see the value
  • you work across lots of products or types of content ...

... then a content proposition could be a useful tool to have in your back pocket.

A content proposition is a brilliant way to communicate the value of content and your ambition for what it can do for your organisation. It should be a simple, snappy sentence or two that nails why investing in or cooperating with the content team is worth it, or how content supports a particular product or service. It’s an elevator pitch you can use if you’re lucky enough to get in a lift at the same time as that tricky stakeholder you’re trying to get on-side.

If you work across a diverse content portfolio, having a set of propositions can be helpful for breaking down your overarching strategy into audience or product-specific chunks.

How to write a content value proposition

Your goal should be to come up with something memorable and short that makes a lightbulb go on for the reader: ‘Ping! So that’s what content’s for!’

Getting to that takes some work. Start by going wide: gather your business value proposition, content strategy, mission, vision, values, user research, personas, and do some background reading in preparation.

Then have a go at answering these questions:

  1. What’s the problem or need that your product or service helps users with?
  2. How does content help your users with that problem or a need? 
  3. What role does content play in the overall user experience your organisation delivers?
  4. What value does your content deliver for users?
  5. What makes your content unique or better than the competition?

Once you’ve done that, try filling in the blanks in this sentence:

Our content helps ………(who)……… do ………(benefit)……….. by ………(differentiator)……………

That should give you the basis for your proposition. But don’t stop there. Put some time into making this a beautiful piece of copy that will stick in people’s minds.

Using your content value proposition

Once you have your beautifully crafted content value proposition, use it. Use it in documents, in conversations, and any time you get a chance to talk about what you do.

It’s also a good idea to refresh it from time to time. If your product or service changes, or your approach to content develops, make sure you bring your proposition up to date too.  

A value proposition captures how your content helps your users and explains why it’s better than that of the competition. It’s a brilliant tool to have if you need to sell people on investing in content, or if you want to help people understand what you do.

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About the author

Lauren Pope

Lauren is a freelance content strategy and digital transformation consultant, working with organisations that make the world a better, fairer, more beautiful place.

Lauren has been working in content and digital since way back in 2007 and since then has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, including adidas, American Express, Microsoft and Tetra Pak.  

She lives in Brighton, and loves the Downs, the sea, dystopian fiction and bold lipstick.


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