Do you buy products and services for their features or their benefits?
Features describe what a product or service can do. They’re the fine print you have to read so you know what you’re really buying.
Benefits, however, are the results or outcomes you want.
For example, my husband and I recently went shopping for a car.
We thought we were being good consumers. Before our test drive, we discussed the features we wanted—good gas mileage and a comfortable, yet utilitarian car.
Then we did our homework before checking out a sedan at the dealership.
As we drove around, I felt uncomfortable in the big front passenger seat. The sales rep looked uncomfortable, too, sitting in the back with no leg room.
Finally, I said, “This car makes me feel old.” So we started looking at our other options.
We were good consumers. We found a car with good gas mileage.
But what we really bought were a couple of benefits: we wanted to visit more places on a budget, and I wanted a car that made me feel young (or at least age appropriate).
Here are four reasons why writing about benefits—both real and perceived—will improve your website content and help your website visitors be better consumers.
Reason 1: Benefits Are Easier to Understand than Features
Features sound like jargon because they usually are. They’re the technical details that come with any product or service. Of course, people need to know those specifications to make an informed buying decision.
You need benefits, however, to explain why those features are necessary.
So by focusing your web content on benefits, you appeal to people who may not have technical knowledge, but want the results you offer.
Reason 2: Benefits Are the Positive Results Your Customers Want to Experience
Every small business owner is in the business of helping people.
By helping people you focus your content on why people looked for you in the first place—they want to know if you can solve their problem.
So as you write your web content, think about all the wonderful things people will be able to do with all those features.
Reason 3: Benefits Focus Your Content on “You the Customer”
Content is so often a dry list of what a business can do: “We can do this and this and this! Isn’t that exciting! So buy from us because we can do it all!”
It’s so easy as small business owners to get so caught up in our products and services that we actually forget about our customers.
So content that’s focused on benefits forces you to think about your customers first.
Reason 4: Benefits Tap into the Emotions of Buying
People think they’re being good consumers. They do their research. They even know their desired outcomes.
But at some level emotions kick in, like mine did with my car buying experience.
Benefits tap into those emotions and answer the question, why are you really buying this?
So as you consider the benefits of buying your products and services, think about both the real benefits and the perceived benefits. If you don’t know what they are, ask your customers.
Features are nice to have. In my car buying experience, though, I really didn’t consider all the features I ended up buying.
Benefits are the real reason people buy your products and services. So take some time to think about how all your specs fill a need.