To most advertisers, Facebook is a pretty easy sell—the site boasts over 1.94 billion monthly active users and provides an endless array of various marketing options to reach them. While this probably doesn’t come as a shock to most people, Facebook is considered valuable.
But what would happen if there weren’t any users on Facebook? Is the service still considered valuable? Without an audience, does the product hold any value in and of itself? Unfortunately, in the case of internet marketers, the answer would likely be no—without any users, advertisers have absolutely no reason to come to the platform. For social media sites, there’s a clear-cut relationship between users, advertisers, and the subsequent value they generate together.
Don’t Tell People What Your Product Does
If you want users to be attracted to your product, it has to benefit them in some way or another. The majority of Facebook users don’t utilize or even care about all of the features the platform has to offer. Facebook’s success is seen in the bigger picture. Zuckerberg doesn’t advertise what the features are but instead what they allow you to do. For example, your News Feed isn’t just an aggregated feed of user content, it’s a place to tell (or show) all of your friends “what’s on your mind.”
When it comes to trying new products, people are selfish. First and foremost, people aren’t interested in what your product does; they’re interested in what it can do for them. Facebook and other tech giants of today can teach us an important lesson:
Successful advertising isn’t about what your product does, it’s about telling the story of how people will benefit from your product.
How to Understand the Difference Between Features and Benefits
Creating captivating advertisements requires you to understand the difference between features and benefits. While marketers have always talked about the importance of discussing benefits in your advertisements, actually understanding the difference and implementing it in your own advertising efforts is a whole different story.
Your features are the best attributes of your product. While features may serve a purpose in distancing yourself from the competition, listing off reasons why the design of your product is so impeccable doesn’t involve the end user at all.
On the other hand, your benefits are the things your product does for its users. Marketing kitchenware based on the technical specifications of each pot and pan (features) wouldn’t work quite as well as marketing it based on the different meals you’ll be able to prepare (benefits). People are much more likely to tune into an advertisement that resonates with a problem in their life rather than an spec sheet filled with meaningless numbers.
Take a Look at the Wording
Rather than making ads about your product’s latest and greatest features, expressing the user-benefits of your product is significantly more effective in capturing the attention of the audience you’re trying to reach.
If you look at advertisements from the world’s biggest consumer companies, they all seem to have one thing in common: when it comes to advertising, you’re the star of the show. The best companies have mastered the art of marketing their benefits directly to you. Regardless of what type of media you’re advertising on, emphasizing these benefits always comes down to the wording surrounding your product.
A Few Great Examples of User Oriented Advertising
“Anything you can do, you can do better.”
Like Apple’s products, their marketing efforts are subtle, classy, and user-centered. This iPad Pro advertisement clearly communicates a refresh to the lineup while keeping all of the copy about you. In combination with a provocative photo of their sleek new product, this splash page does a great job at captivating user interest without overwhelming them with information.
“Get to all your files from anywhere, on any device, and share them with anyone.”
As one of the world’s most popular cloud-based file storage systems, working the way you do is Dropbox’s bread and butter. Dropbox conveys the core message of its product in less than 25 words, without the need for an extensive feature list or product overview. In the end, you don’t buy Dropbox for the storage; you buy it for what you can do with the storage.
“Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done.”
Despite boasting an impressive array of features that help teams stay organized and collaborate better, none are mentioned in Trello’s tagline. Instead, Trello hones in its capabilities by focusing directly on how the product impacts you and lets you figure out the rest on your own.
“Build your online portfolio. Create your next opportunity.”
Format is an online portfolio hosting service specializing in helping creative professionals be more creative. In practice, Format is a lot more than a series of customizable templates and hosting features—it’s a way for you to get your portfolio into the world and seek opportunities.
Digital marketing is a competition for attention. People don’t have the time to sift through feature lists and figure out how your product will benefit them on their own. If you want to convert customers, you need to spell it out for them.
Once you understand the differences between your products features and its benefits, creating captivating ads that give users true value will come easy. Always start by being direct: what exactly is your product going to do for other people? What should it be used for? What do you hope people will get out of it? If you can answer these questions in one or two sentences, you’re on the right track to coming up with a great tagline.