This is a crash course on proper messaging for the digital age. Learn how to create marketing and advertising campaigns that will send your customers directly into your funnel with no obstacles in their way, powerfully increasing sales.
Great marketing copy does more than simply sell a product; it also establishes a relationship with the target audience. The beauty of appropriate messaging is that you can teach clients what they need to know in a creative, succinct manner by explaining either the advantages or characteristics of your product or service.
You might end up with bad or ineffective marketing if you don’t know when to employ advantages vs features in your content (and what the difference is). Below, we’ll go through when each of these alternatives is ideal to employ.
What’s the Difference Between Features and Benefits?
The features of a product or service describe what it accomplishes and which characteristics set it apart from the competitors. The benefits section explains why such features are important and how they benefit the target audience. Benefits are what urge people to buy, thus it’s usually best to go with a benefits-heavy strategy for marketing communications.
Both words are beneficial and provide clients with vital information such as design, pricing, and real-world relevance that they will require along their buyer’s journey. In the end, it is the advantages of having a product or service that drive customer purchases, hence when creating marketing copy, it is frequently advisable to emphasize benefits over features. This depicts how the customer’s life will be after the product or service has been purchased. If you do decide to promote features, make sure customers understand how those features will benefit them.
Take, for example, this commercial from Qordoba, an IT firm that uses AI to help businesses manage communication.
The company’s advertisement drew my attention by emphasizing the advantages of reading the report in terms of customer-facing information, which is something I’m interested in.
‘How do IT businesses manage their voice, tone, and writing style guidelines across a variety of customer-facing content types?’
I understood precisely what I would get from this product after reading this caption, and why it was worth my time.
Let’s take a look at another example of workplace features and advantages. This is a marketing email from Marriott hotels that I received this morning:
This commercial begins by stating the advantages of being a Marriott member — “yes to vacation vistas” — before going on to highlight the program’s perks, such as “no annual fees” and “3X points every $1 spent at more than 7,000 Marriott locations.”
Emphasizing that Marriott members get free advantages and then explaining how they get them (by earning rewards points) is a great method to describe the rewards membership’s benefits and features.
This is simple enough, but what if you’re selling many things at the same time?
If you’re running many campaigns, the answer to “should you utilize features or benefits?” may vary based on the product or service being promoted.
When Is It Better to Use Features or Benefits?
Consider this if you’re unclear whether to offer features or benefits for a specific product: features are the best option in a crowded market. A small firm providing meal-delivery kits, for example, would face competition (such as HelloFresh or Home Chef), requiring them to express their service’s competitive edge by mentioning unique characteristics. This would contain things like pricing, dietary restrictions, menu layout, and so forth.
If your company operates in a narrow industry or deals with a “drier” issue, however, benefits are the way to go. With your benefits, you’ll want to answer the following questions:
- What is the mechanism behind it?
- How does it make the life of a customer easier?
Try to add advantages in your demonstrations, ebooks, and other marketing material to appeal to an audience that may not have heard of your product or service previously.
Let’s look at some instances of features vs. benefits now that we’ve clarified the distinction.
Features and Benefits Examples
Here are some real-world examples of how to include features or advantages into commercials, product sites, email, or any other marketing materials for visual learners like myself:
1. Relaxed (features)
Why Is This a Feature: Calm employed singer Lindsey Stirling’s music as a unique gift accessible exclusively to Calm app users. It’s a one-of-a-kind feature that the viewers won’t find anyplace else.
This email promoting a special offer piqued my interest, which is another reason why emphasizing characteristics in your marketing materials may be good – to generate interest. Calm, a sleep meditation startup, achieved it this way:
Framing the work of singer/songwriter Lindsey Stirling as an exclusive feature strengthens consumer connections and makes them feel valued. Opening this email reminded me of how grateful I am to be an email subscriber due of wonderful offers like this (particularly considering I grew up watching Stirling on YouTube).
Consider giving consumers an offer that reminds them of the unique characteristics of your product or service if you’re conducting a campaign or want to build client connections.
2. HubSpot University (benefits)
Why are these advantages: HubSpot Academy allows clients to invest in themselves by learning new skills and earning certifications that they can post on LinkedIn, all of which will help them expand their businesses and careers.
Three advantages are given at the bottom of this product page for HubSpot Academy’s social media course, so prospects can understand how finishing this course will be worth their time.
Benefits don’t necessarily have to be brief statements; in fact, more is generally preferable on product sites. On web sites, it’s vital to provide your consumers with the information they seek, such as pricing, structure, completion time, and a description of how your goods or services outperform those of rivals.
3. OrganiGrowHairCo (OrganiGrowHairCo) (benefits)
Why are these advantages: This advertisement clearly illustrates why OrganiGro’s co-wash product is superior to traditional conditioners. It treats dandruff, reduces breakage, and washes the hair, all of which are beneficial to the buyer’s hair’s health.
If you’re a fan of natural hair, you’ve probably seen a lot of information touting the advantages of co-washing (washing your hair just with conditioner) as a means to prevent overwashing it with conventional shampoo. Co-washing is a way of replenishing moisture between washes since shampoo typically strips the hair as it cleanses.
OrganiGrow clearly makes the argument for why their co-wash solution is better to the competition in the Instagram commercial above, claiming that it is meant to cleanse while moisturizing, assisting the customer’s overall hair health.
Arcadia is number four (benefits)
Why is this advantageous: The audience is instantly drawn in by the possibility of saving money on their electricity bill. Who doesn’t desire to make a financial savings? The deal also includes a Google Home mini, which further encourages customers to purchase.
Can you identify the Arcadia Energy perks in this promotional tweet?
You’re correct if you picked the complete tweet!
Almost every word serves to explain why the reader should visit the linked website. As a consumer, I believe that “So, what’s the simplest method for me to save money on my energy bill for free? That thing is insanely tall!”
Words that aid the customer will connect with individuals who are browsing idly and aren’t really trying to purchase anything. Arcadia’s usage of perks to tempt potential clients was a brilliant decision on Twitter to increase interest in their campaign.
Benefits in marketing communications will impress a scroller. You just have a few seconds to make an impression.
Airtable is number five (features)
Why is this a useful feature? Airtable entices visitors to abandon monotonous spreadsheets by emphasizing its bright colors and project management features. In this Facebook commercial, all of its elegant features are on full show. What makes it superior to ordinary spreadsheets? It’s ‘adaptable, attractive, and enjoyable.’
Despite having no prior information, the beautiful, informative features in this Facebook ad explained me precisely what Airtable is and what their software performs. In fewer than thirty words, I’m certain that Airtable is a free product or service that renders tedious spreadsheets obsolete.
KeVita is number six (benefits)
Why is this advantageous: This scenario-based commercial portrays KeVita kombucha as the ideal natural energy drink, providing clients with a boost for every activity they engage in, regardless of location.
Kombucha is a probiotic-rich fermented tea drink that aids digestion and boosts energy levels. So, while promoting its kombucha on Instagram, the KeVita company sought to prove that, contrary to common assumption, kombucha isn’t simply a summer drink.
Benefit-enforcing and aesthetically pleasant GIFs like these make visual platforms like Instagram the ideal canvas for a benefit-oriented promotion.
Scrollers are often stopped by motion, particularly when it is combined with bright pink lettering. The background, a ski lift blanketed in new snow (referred to as “powder” by skiers), emphasizes the drink’s accessibility, while the tagline references to kombucha-fueled energy to get through a lengthy ski vacation.
Accessibility and vitality are two features of this article that immediately stood out to me. When it comes to snacking in the cold mountains, those two roles will be critical. If your product is like KeVita, a popular summer drink, consider a scenario-based commercial.
7. Dyson vacuum cleaner (benefits)
Why is this advantageous: The purpose of this animated commercial is to demonstrate how Dyson’s humidifier eliminates pollutants from your house and improves air quality. It’s an all-in-one solution for clients that combines the benefits of a humidifier, air purifier, and fan into one convenient package.
Our houses are teeming with pollutants, or so this commercial would have you think. Dyson uses some fairly compelling animation in this commercial for their air filtration system to really hammer home the “why” for clients. Dust, pet dander, and other microscopic contaminants are present in our homes, causing havoc on our delicate respiratory systems. Customers will be able to breathe easier after using this item. It tackles the issue and discusses how their product is a solution to the issue.
Using Features and Benefits in Your Marketing Strategy
The features or advantages marketing strategy may be used to nearly everything, from phones to shampoo. When writing copy, keep the following in mind:
- Decide what you want to convey and which communications approach is most appropriate.
- “Does this ad communicate features or benefits?” you may wonder.
It’s critical to understand the difference between the two so that your audience gets clear message that explains why they should select your product or service over the competition.
This story was first published on February 27, 2020, and it has been updated for accuracy.
Watch This Video-
The “features and benefits chart” is a great tool for businesses to use. It allows them to show the features of their product, as well as the benefits it provides. The chart can be used in many different ways, such as on a website or even printed out.
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