Part 2: Identifying Benefits
Did you miss Part 1? Click here to start at the beginning!
The main idea behind benefit-driven copy is to effectively engage readers and establish credibility by describing what the product's or service's features mean to your target audience. What amazing end result(s) will customers experience when they use your gadget? People want to know how the features translate to benefits, thus making their lives easier and/or more enjoyable.
In addition, customers want to know how you deliver those benefits. Whether the promise is to save time or money, increase productivity or reduce the pain associated with strenuous tasks, the trust you establish through explaining exactly how a concrete, measurable benefit is delivered will set you apart from your competition and keep your target audience interested and ready to read more.
*Speaking of reading more, the book Personal Selling: An Interactive Approach, by Ronald Marks, Ph.D., contains a Product Analysis Worksheet you may find useful. He outlines the 4 layers of product benefits: features, advantages, motives and benefits.
How do you spin features into advantages, advantages into benefits and benefits into well-informed copy? When identifying specific benefits, ask yourself the following:
- Who is your target audience? Stay-at-home moms? Working professionals? Students? Create a customer profile, post it on your office wall and live by it.
- What benefits are meaningful to your target audience? What motivates them? How does your product or service deliver those benefits?
- What jargon does your target audience know and use? Choose your words carefully – different words mean different things to different people.
- What does your target audience dislike, and how can you use that dissatisfaction to your advantage when writing copy?
An easy way to brainstorm answers to these questions and organize pertinent information is to make a list or a chart containing a column for features, a column for the advantages of those features and a third column for the benefits associated with those advantages.
For example, if you're selling a vacuum to stay-at-home moms, the features may be self-propelled, bagless and adjustable, and the advantages may include improved efficiency, easy steering and minimal clean-up, therefore making one extra hour each week and no more painful back injuries potential benefits.
Each feature has an advantage, and advantages mean benefits.
Keep the target audience's wants, needs and lingo in mind, and remember that one feature can mean more than one benefit. The key is details, details and more details.
To think in terms of benefits, and to successfully compose benefit-driven copy, formulate scenarios in which a person gains a specific benefit stemming from the advantages of the advertised features. This will help you to visualize the pros through the eyes of your target audience. Use imagery and specific examples to help customers envision themselves reaping the rewards of each promise.
Dig deep and be specific. Don't just list the apparent or obvious benefits. The more personal your benefits are, the more meaningful and real they will be to your customer. Whenever possible, describe your benefits in a way that can be measured and easily verified so they are less abstract. Measurable characteristics and specific values or numbers will grab your customers and make it easier for them to relate to the benefits you're presenting.
Make the promise, provide evidence, establish credibility and deliver.
After the important benefits are identified, the next step is to compose and prioritize them in a way that peaks the target audience's interest.
Due to the length of this article, it was split into 3 parts:
Have a Pawsitively Tail Waggin' Good Day!
P.S. This information was provided by Ruff Haus Design - Your Loyal Marketing Companion. Established in 1997, we are a special breed of full service graphic design company that works with a premier pack of clients. We bring a fresh outlook and tail-wagging enthusiasm to your marketing program.