When was the last time that you created an advert for your business? A Facebook update maybe? Perhaps you’ve designed some flyers or added a new page to your website. How did it go for you? Did you get the response that you hoped for?
What if I told you that a simple change in your approach could see the fruits of your marketing explode!
Ok, let’s cut to the chase. Let’s look at a few advert headlines, Which appeals to you most in the examples below? Headline A or headline B?
Advert for an iPod
A) The iPod has 1GB of storage
B) 1000 songs in your pocket!
Advert for a bed
A) This bed contains 3000 titanium pocket springs and memory foam.
B) The best nights sleep you’ll ever have- Guaranteed!
Advert for Internet Provider
A) 100Mbps download speed for £10 per month
B) Download a movie in 10 seconds and save 50% off your internet bill
Advert For A Fitness Regime
A) 6 hours of exercises on DVD for just £49.99
B) Lose two stone in 30 days or your money back
Advert For A Smoothie Maker
A) A 3 litre container and a 6000rpm motor
B) A delicious 5 a day smoothie for the whole family in just ten seconds!
What’s In It For Me?
I’m guessing you preferred headline B in all the above examples right? Do you know why? Because it appealed to your “what’s in it for me?” gene.
Every decision we make in life is to either gain something good or avoid something bad or sometimes to satisfy both criteria. Think about it, We choose to buy a burglar alarm in order to avoid being burgled. We brush our teeth to avoid bad dentistry. We follow a very similar pattern when we are being sold to buy subconsciously asking “what’s in it for me?”
Writing a good advert means tuning into this fact and it’s easier than you think.
Sell The Benefits. Tell the Features
What do I mean by this? You’ve all heard of features and benefits before, if you’ve ever been on a sales course you’ll have heard the term used but do you really understand the difference between a feature and a benefit?
FEATURES – What your product is about, it’s size, colour specification etc.
BENEFITS – What your product can do for the end user.
Let’s look at some more examples:
FEATURE – A cocktail of probiotic nutrients and jojoba
BENEFIT – Silky smooth hair with no split ends
FEATURE – Titanium chassis and cyclone chamber
BENEFIT – Light enough to carry upstairs and no need to change the bag ever!
Is it making more sense now?
People buy something that makes their life easier, makes them more attractive, helps them to have fun, they buy benefits not features. If your headline can select a benefit that appeals to the “What’s in it for me” gene then you’re onto a winner. Couple that with an image that reinforces the same point and it’s a double whammy.
Have you ever heard the famous saying “Sell the sizzle, not the sausage”? If it’s never meant anything to you before now then look at the pictures below. On the left, hand made sausages with organic ingredients made locally ( features) on the right a great bbq sausage that your friends will love (benefits).
Features Still Have A Place
It seems we’ve spent the last few minutes bashing features. It’s ok, we still love features as will your customers so make sure you go into detail later on in your ad copy for the sake of us geeks who like the technical specs.
So Let’s Look Again At This Marketing Secret
When designing an advert, Facebook cover, flyer or banner. The same rules apply. Think what is the main message that you want to get across, identify the benefit of that message and make that your headline. Don’t fall into the trap of putting your company name at the top either. A small logo somewhere, maybe near your contact details will suffice.
1) Think of an end benefit
2) Work that into a headline
3) If you can find an image that supports the benefit then that’s all the better
I’ll leave you with an example Facebook post promoting a new manicure system. A manicure is a luxury service. One that’s given in addition to a nail service. Being a luxury service means that you have to work even harder than normal. We looked at the features and decided on a benefit that would appeal.