How To Come Up With A USP When You Don’t Have One Part 3 [Copywriting Guides]

Without a USP we have no big idea or anything else. Even if we’re geniuses or have genius products, we’ll still be perceived as run of the mill mediocre. And if we write for clients and they have no USP (or none we can find), they’ll be perceived as mediocre too.

This is no position anyone wants to be in, so finding a USP becomes our number one goal, hence this mini series to help you see the wood through the trees of what makes successful businesses stand out.

If you want to start at the beginning, you can read part 1 and the follow up part 2 here: https://scienceofcopywriting.com/copywriting/how-to-come-up-with-a-usp-when-you-dont-have-one-part-1-copywriting-guides/

Today, in my FB news feed, a sponsored video popped up. The video was of a 40+ year old guy teaching in front of a blue coloured whiteboard (the blue colour seemed a bit odd – maybe that was what got my attention).

The headline was awkward (I can’t recall it, and even after looking at the screenshot I saved, it’s still almost impossible to retain the words). Here it is: “Why ‘New Targeting’ is NOT how we scale Facebook Ads and the myth of…”.

But I still watched the whole video from beginning to end (I don’t do that very often – even in the interests of science – after all, if a video is boring to me – and I’m part of the target audience, I’m not going to learn much).

The big idea (ie. the USP) was simple: “If you think targeting is the key for successful Facebook ads, you’re wrong”. This big idea has been used a hundred times – not that specific example, but the concept of debunking myths (and it doesn’t even matter if the myth turns out to have been true all along).

It’s the controversy that matters, which makes Controversy another USP in your arsenal of big ideas. It’s also another ‘goto’ that journalists look for. News anchors regularly interview pairs of people with opposite opinions just to get viewers to pay attention and stay.

In the example video ad I watched, they knew one thing – that any pro watching would know this was click baity, so they had to debunk that fast – and they did (or else I would have stopped watching within a few seconds).

They did this in a number of ways, but top of the list was telling us what we already knew to be true, which in this case it was that the average click through rate of an FB ad was 1%.

Then they hit us with their claim. Their click rate was between 5% and 15% and ads didn’t burn out in a week. Any pro knows a claim like that is phenomenal. I was hooked.

But here’s the best bit. I am their target audience. I clicked the ad. I watched it till the end. And I signed up for their webinar. That is proof in itself (to me – the target audience) that they know something about FB ads.

If you’re stuck for a USP, think about using controversy – there are a million ways.

Have you found this series useful? Let me know in the comments (and thanks as always for being here).


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  • I’d already decided my “brand” name was to be Copy by Julia (copybyjulia.com still under construction). To keep things simple so I don’t need a new bank account in a company name. Still trying to find my USP though!

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