Apr 20, 2017 / by Susan Guillory

If I could pinpoint one major mistake that tons of brands make in regards to their web copy and marketing content, it’s focusing on the features of a product rather than its benefits.

What’s the difference, you ask?

  • Features point out what brands think people care about: 64 GB hard drive, multiple color options, customizable.
  • Benefits discuss why the customer cares: does more in less time, gets whites whiter, eco-friendly.

Why No One Cares About Your Product’s Features

Features are nice. They’re a necessary part of your product’s packaging, and they provide important information to your customer. But your product page is the place for those features, not your marketing. Let’s say you sell organic cat food. It contains essentially the same ingredients as all your competitors’ cat food, so how can you get people to buy it over all the other options out there? You do it by telling shoppers why this cat food is better. You provide benefits to buying your product. Not sure how to focus on those benefits? Follow these suggestions.

1. Start with Customer Feedback If you solicit customer reviews online, read them to help you understand the benefits customers see. Maybe everyone raves about how their cat’s fur is shinier and they have fewer hairballs after eating your cat food. Whatever your customers are telling you, you can consider these to be your product’s benefits.

2. Don’t Make Unsubstantiated Claims You can’t claim that your cat food makes cats live longer unless you have a scientific study proving that. So don’t say it. Stay away from absolute claims or ones with numbers (“twice as effective”) unless you have the backing to prove them. The FTC or other watchdogs may shut down your website or make you reprint packaging that makes any false or unproven claims, and that’s an expense you simply can’t afford.

3. Consider What Will Make People Buy Your product may have tons of benefits. Zero in on the ones most likely to appeal to your audience. For example: if you know your cat food customers don’t shop based on price because organic cat food tends to cost more, you probably won’t win any sales by focusing on the fact that yours is the most affordable of all organic cat food.

They might, however, care that you only use vegetarian products that are easy on their cat’s digestive system. Knowing your audience helps you determine what benefits to focus on.

Start putting your product’s benefits, not features, at the core of your marketing endeavors, and see if you don’t get a more positive result.

Images: Pexels 

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About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.