How to differentiate your B2B website
What does differentiation mean?
Differentiation is about making sure your business website is unique and different from others in your industry. This is done by focusing on the ‘why’ behind what you do, and asking yourself “Why should people buy from me and not another business?”
Why do you need to do it?
If you’re in the business of selling products and services online, chances are there are competitors who offer a very similar service. If this is the case, then there’s the danger that your website may look very similar to theirs or have the same messaging. For example, when we do competitor research, we often find many companies claiming to be industry leaders but with nothing to back it up.
Without any differentiation, this could lead potential customers to wonder why they should buy from you instead of your competitors and won't see any value in buying from you apart from maybe a price difference.
Differentiation can help attract new customers by setting yourself apart from other businesses and making your website more appealing and memorable to them. It can also keep existing customers happy by making sure that they understand how your business differs from others'.
Position your product
Differentiate your product by positioning it against your competitors. The best way to do this is to offer a different value proposition, e.g., premium, middle, or budget. Are you selling a Mercedes or a Skoda, and how does that benefit your customers?
Communicate your values
The second major differentiation tactic is to communicate your values. These are the key beliefs, attitudes, and characteristics that you want to communicate about your business. They may include:
- A focus on customer service
- A commitment to environmental sustainability
- An emphasis on quality products and services
- A sense of fun and humour in your communications
When you design your website, it's important to think about how you can use it to communicate your values. This doesn't mean that you need to be overly promotional or use lots of marketing buzzwords. Instead, think about the things that make up who you are as a business and how those qualities relate to the type of customers who will be visiting your website.
A report published by Ipsos - Global Trends 2021 - found that between 2013 and 2021, the number of consumers in Great Britain stating that they buy from brands they believe reflect their own principles, rose 17% to around 60%.
Play to your strengths
If you've a great product or service, this is the time to promote its strengths. It's important not to exaggerate or mislead customers, but we all know that some products and services are better than others. So why not highlight these differences? You can do this by:
- Providing testimonials from happy customers.
- Demonstrating how other people have benefited from your products or services.
- Giving examples of what customers have said about their experiences with you.
Engage your customers
Most B2B websites are the same, and usually quite dull. Yours doesn’t have to be. Engage your customers with unique content such as infographics, articles, downloads, and video.
Create a unique design for your industry, use a creative approach to get your messages across.
This is not only good at appealing to your potential customers but is great for SEO too, search engines love unique content.
Add trust indicators and social proof, such as case studies, awards, testimonials, certifications, clients.
Your potential customers don’t know who you are, what your background is or what kind of experience you have. They only know what they see on your website. That’s why it’s important to add trust indicators and social proof to your website. These items show potential clients that you are a professional business that can deliver results for them.
People buy from people
Your team makes you different, and your customers want to do business with someone they can relate to. They want a relationship with your business, not just another transaction.
The best way to differentiate yourself is by showing off your team members and the relationships they've built over the years. Showcase testimonials, photos of them in action, or even videos of them talking about why they love working for your company.
This is especially important if you're trying to stand out from competitors who aren't local or don't have a physical presence where you are located — customers want to feel like they’re dealing with a real person.
Sell, don't tell.
It's a mistake to think that your website should be a brochure. Your website needs to be a place where people want to spend time, where they can find the information they want, when they want it.
It's not just about advertising your products or services - it's about providing value. This is what makes you stand out from the crowd.
- Create an experience
- Use content that helps customers solve problems
- Be visually appealing
- Create compelling calls-to-action
- Be consistent
Don’t stock up on stock
If your competitors are using stock photos from Shutterstock or Adobe Stock (as many do), why not commission professional photography and have some original photos taken?
It's worth investing in this if it will help you have a visual style to differentiate yourself from the crowd, and these photos can also be used across all of your on and offline promotional materials too.
There are many ways to differentiate your website, hopefully these strategies give you a good start in creating a website that stands out from your competitors.