When you’ve designed a product or service you’re proud of, you likely have a long list of all the specs that make it really special and unique. But here’s a little secret – when it comes to marketing that product or service, your customers don’t really care about all those nifty features. They care about what those features can do for them.
That’s where the difference between features and benefits becomes crucial in small business marketing.
Features and benefits – what’s the difference?
In a nutshell, features are all the defining specifications that make your product what it is, and differentiates it from others. Benefits, on the other hand, describe how the product can actually solve a problem.
Another way of looking at is that features describe what a product is, and benefits describe what it does.
Why this distinction matters for small business content marketing
For example, a keen Instagrammer who’s in the market for a new phone probably doesn’t care exactly how many megapixels the camera has – they just want to know that it takes great photos.
Showcasing the benefits (as opposed to the features) of what you’re selling is also one of the aspects which separates good content from bad content, because it shows the reader what’s in it for them.
Features tell, benefits sell
In addition to highlighting how your product can make the customer’s life better, really selling the benefits can even help you beat the big boys in SEO. This is because focusing on benefits means you’re answering questions that might not come up as typical keywords. You might not be able to produce enough content to outrank them for obvious search terms, but may well rank for queries related to a specific problem.
For example, let’s say you’ve developed a low-cost, pretty basic accounting software package. The big players may go on and on about all the great features their product has – but maybe your customers just want something that’s cheap and easy to use – like yours. By highlighting those benefits, you increase your chances of ranking when a potential client does a Google search for, say, ‘affordable accounting software no training required’.
How to put this knowledge into action
While listing the features of your product or service is fine, always have that question at the back of your mind when you’re producing your content: how does this feature make my customer’s life easier?
And remember that if you need help with awesome content that allows the benefits of your product to really shine, Hunter & Scribe is ready to assist!