You may sell the best-darned lamp on the market, but does your audience know that? Have you created enough separation between you and your competitors in how you are marketing your products? Maybe, maybe not. Too many businesses are talking about their product in an ineffective way. Today, we find out what you can do to establish value for your products.
Value is what separates your business from your competitors. It all comes down to convincing people to be a part of your brand. You want people to feel like they’re a part of something bigger, a community that fits the image they want for themselves.
Now the only way to create a solid connection is to be clear and concise about WHY they should care. We recommend starting by defining your benefits and features. Organize the value of your product/service for your potential clients, and show them your competitive edge.
The Difference Between Features & Benefits
So, I am selling a wireless speaker that weighs less than a pound. It connects to most devices through a Bluetooth connection. The lithium-ion battery lasts for about 12 hours per charge. The signal to noise ratio (SNR) is 80 dB. Unlike other speakers, there is a built-in microphone. But, its water resistance is the best part!
Ok, I’m not really selling that. But for the sake of discussion, do you want to buy my speaker? Maybe some of you do. If you made a connection with it, you probably already know the significance of the signal to noise ratio or the convenience of Bluetooth connectivity.
In the example above, I was simply describing the features of the product I am selling. When you are selling a product, you are already aware of the value of each feature. That’s because you are already emotionally invested in it! You believe in the product enough to try to make a living off of it.
The key to communicating benefits is to tell them how your product will help them. Make your customers believe in your product. Use those features extract how they will benefit from them. Show your potential customers how their lives will improve by using your product or service. So, let’s try the whole “selling my speaker” thing again.
Wireless and solar charged, you can literally take this speaker anywhere. It is lightweight and compact, so it won’t slow you down on any rock climbing, kayaking, or snowshoeing adventures. With the latest in Bluetooth technology, your smartphone will always stay connected with a strong signal.
We optimized the signal to noise ratio (SNR) to provide the clear and rich sound you need for any get together. Throwing a pool party? No worries, the speaker is water resistant. Party as long as you want, the battery lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge.
Does that sound like a speaker you’d be more likely to buy? Thought so. See, as consumers, our wallets are driven by our desire to fulfill the image we desperately want for ourselves. This is the emotional connection that every marketing team tries to exploit.
The Emotional Connection
The goal of your marketing is to, ultimately, give your product or service value in the eyes of your target audience. The trick is to get people to buy into your product, and more importantly, your story.
Take a moment to consider a company you tend to tell everyone about. What is it about that particular company making you want to give them free promotion? The quality of their products? Their customer service? Do they help you save money?
Whatever the reason, this company established enough value for you to turn you into a salesman! Is their product actually the best on the market? Do they really have the best customer service in their industry? Are their prices truly the lowest?
Chances are, that company is not the best at what they do. Maybe their customer service is the best, but their prices are higher than their competitors. If customer service is the most important to you, you will be more likely to give them your business. Or maybe, while your experience was very positive, their competitor’s customer satisfaction is higher.
All of this comes down to how your audience is interacting with your brand. What does this all have to do with benefits and features? Benefits will connect people to your brand more easily. A feature merely provides information about your product or service with little emotional value.
Don’t Worry, We Need Both
WAIT! Before you scrap all of your current marketing, it is necessary to note the remaining importance of features. The point here is not to create an “either/or” discussion, but rather it is about finding a happy medium by using both. In the copy describing your product or service, communicate the benefits to your audience. In the rest of your marketing, make sure you include features. Many companies will include some sort of table to showcase the important features of their product.
Some people in your audience will connect to a benefit or feature before they even encounter your brand. If they see your laptop weighs less than 3 pounds, the value is established if they already know they want from the weight of a laptop.
This relationship of benefits and features needs to be changed based on your content strategy. Which, of course, is determined by your target audience. Figuring out your audience is one of the most important steps in starting a marketing plan.
Consider Your Audience
When thinking about your content strategy for a particular product or brand, one of the first things you should determine is who your target audience is. For the wireless speaker we talked about earlier, one target audience could be young adults who enjoy throwing small parties at their house. The speaker would allow them to easily play and control music directly from their phone.
If you are targeting people who are connected to your industry, features should be a prominent part of your marketing. Let’s say that you are selling gaming laptops and your target audience consists of gamers who know a lot about computers. The specifications of your laptops will be one of the first things your audience will look at before listening to any of the benefits you’re communicating. They will be the ones to care if the laptop has 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM, which probably doesn’t mean much to the common person.
This all comes down to value. Benefits tell people what value your Bluetooth speaker has. So, when you are developing your marketing strategy, plan on crafting every piece of content to target a particular audience. Every social post, every blog, and every section on your website should have a definite goal associated with it. Do you know what you want from your audience?
Crafting content is a difficult and time-consuming task. If you need help developing a content strategy for any of your business’s marketing needs, feel free to start your project with us today. Call or fill out our form here.