How to Write Compelling, Benefits-Driven Marketing Content
Writing marketing content is tricky, but it’s something that every business must do. Good content speaks directly to the targeted reader and provides them exactly what they want to know, quickly. This requires extensive knowledge of your audience…getting in their head and understanding how they think.
I find that most marketing content is overloaded with lists of features, but lacks tangible benefits that will help customers reach their goals. This is one of the most difficult things for marketing content writers to overcome, but once the difference is understood, it’s very simple to identify features vs. benefits and write content that will make the sale.
It’s not that features are unimportant, they are important, but the outcomes or benefits are going to create much stronger emotional connections with your customers.
Let’s look at some examples:
· Provide mobile access to services
· Industry leading support
· Fast deployment and implementation
· Active directory integration with endpoint discovery
· Initiate scans with one-click actions
· Improve user experience with secure anytime, anywhere access
· Reduce maintenance and upgrade costs
· Increase productivity with mobile access
· Eliminate security threats leaving your business to grow without risk
I have reviewed several software and hardware brochures and datasheets to find these features and benefits. Unfortunately, many of the features you see listed above were included in lists of benefits. This is not uncommon, but it’s best to find the true benefits of your product and use them to differentiate from the competition. In B2B marketing most benefits are going to align with cost savings, increased productivity, or something that impacts the bottom line of the business. Your product features are really important because they make these benefits possible, but the benefits are going to hit home with the executive who wants to show-up as the hero (saving the business time and money) to their boss.
Identifying benefits is part of creating effective product messaging. One method for finding the true benefits is to start with some of your most impactful features and drill down until you can’t go any further.
If your accounting software is mobile-ready for business staff members, that means your staff can access the product at any time from their mobile device. Some may think that ‘anytime access’ is the benefit, but that is not the ultimate business benefit.
If an accounting staff member can access at any time, they can easily work more frequently which means an increase in productivity. The ‘increase in productivity’ is the business benefit. A business leader will read this and know that their staff members will work more frequently, ultimately completing their job in less time which saves the business money.
Feature-focused marketing can be ineffective, especially in technology, because features can be technical and difficult for a reader to fully understand. The reader will be left to figure out how the feature connects to what they are trying to accomplish and they may miss the connection or wrongly interpret the feature.
With time and practice, benefit-driven marketing becomes second nature. Developing great product messaging is the place to start and practice. And, features will be important because you want to make sure that the benefits you present are accurate. The way to do this is to ensure your product has features that support each benefit. In addition, create messaging for each audience you target. One feature may benefit different audience segments in different ways. Who knows, you may even learn something new about your product!