Pop quiz. You’re about to make a purchase, you’ve searched online, and you’ve come up between two businesses that have the identical offer of what you’re looking for.
Are you more likely to…
- Go with a company that has been in business the longest, even though their website is boring?
- Or are you going to go with a company that a friend says changed my life for the better?
I’m guessing you’re going to go with your friend’s recommendation, think of all the recommendation posts you see on your newsfeed every other day.
An enthusiastic referral given by someone other than the business is way more powerful than history, location and even price.
What Does The Recommendation Do?
What a referral does is give a potential customer a valuable word of mouth or written testimonial on why they should do business with you.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at how this can go terribly wrong if you don’t back up the word-of-mouth referrals with social proof online.
Have you ever wondered how many people follow through on calling the person that they have been given the referral for? Do you think every time someone refers you; they contact you straight away?
The answer is no!
In the majority of cases, they get out their smartphone and start a search.
When they do, what are they going to find?
Is your Facebook page showing up the way you want it to?
Do not be lulled into a false sense of security of being a predominantly referral-based business.
The way you show up face-2-face should be exactly the way people find you online, the customer’s perception is indeed your reality.
What this means is they need to be able to find you, your social pages and profiles, and know it is you and feel the way they would if they would have met you in the street.
If this doesn’t add up, you almost definitely miss out on some of your word of mouth referrals.
What You Can Do About This?
How you position yourself on all social media platforms and your website is critical to how successful you’re going to be with your referrals in the future.
Never underestimate how little people care about your product or your service…harsh and true.
Like you, they are constantly being bombarded with content, and are swimming with a ‘gazillion’ pieces of information on their timeline every single day.
They will not go looking for your website just because you told them to. Make it ridiculously easy for them to click or to buy.
Tell them why they should care and then how your product or service is going to help them solve the problem.
Pages with low engagement and low sales from organic reach, almost always have this exact problem where there are not enough benefits and way too many features.
Features vs Benefits – It’s A Real Thing
What’s the difference and why does it matter?
When it comes to marketing…aka. content, images, etc. there are two primary approaches you can take. The first focus is on your product or service and what it does, including all the shiny bells and whistles you’ve worked hard to develop.
The other focus is on how your product or service will improve your customer’s life.
Which of these approaches do you think is more effective?
Although closely linked, these two concepts are completely different, and if you don’t consider the user intent (the way you want your customer to feel) from the outset, even the most innovative revolutionary products will fail to hit the mark.
What Is A Feature?
A feature is something your product/service has or is. An example, this could be a razor with five blade heads, or a power drill with interchangeable bits, or a foaming facial scrub etc.
Features often directly address common problems experienced by the ideal client.
What Is A Benefit?
On the other hand, benefits are the outcomes or the results the user will (hopefully) experience by using your product and service, the very reason why a prospective customer becomes an actual customer in the first place.
Although it might seem counterintuitive, consumers really do not want to buy things for the sake of buying them…they simply want to solve their problems.
This is what I see a lot of on social media when it comes to content, copy, images, stories, images and video. The main reason why so many businesses confuse features and benefits comes back to the intent.
Business owners often spend a great deal of time checking out the common problems experienced by their target market or their ideal customer. It’s easy for these people to forget that the average person, the benefits of using their product may not be immediately obvious.
Just because you know your product will make your ideal customer’s life better, it doesn’t mean they (the potential customer) knows.
As harsh as it might sound, quite honestly, people don’t care about you, your company or how long you’ve been in business. They don’t care about your qualification or how many late nights you’ve done or whether you’re on a beach with a laptop!
All they care about is themselves, and this may not be at a conscious level. What they care about is how you’re going to help them.
The good old saying WII FM – What’s in it for me? It’s a question that is never far from a customer’s mind.
The Feature-Benefit Matrix.
If you’ve been in business for any time, you may have come across the feature-benefit matrix and despite sounding completely boring, it’s absolutely beneficial for any kind of content marketing that you may be doing.
What it does is help you keep your message consistent, relevant and accessible to that most important person…your potential customer or customer.
How To Use The Matrix
Step One: Come up with five features your product or service offers.
Step Two: Write down three benefits for each one of those features.
When used correctly, this formula will help you quickly and easily identify each of the unique benefits offered by your product’s features. This, in turn, can make your overall message or the words you use in your posts and in your content a whole lot easier.
An example of this could be you are in the business of nutritional yeast and have it for sale on your website.
Option one – Nutritional yeast now available on our website. Click this link.
Option Two – Here is a recipe for vegan Macaroni and Cheese with a huge serve of B12, click here for the recipe. You can get some nutritional yeast…aka Vegan Parmesan by clicking this link.
Where to use features versus benefits in your copy?
This should be a clear example when focusing on the benefits of your products or services, it can be seen as significantly more effective than highlighting the features.
Think about the explainer link for your ‘Google My Business’ listing, the bio on your Instagram account, the tagline of your LinkedIn Profile, the banner on your Facebook page…the work you do using the matrix can help with all of that.
By using this simple tool, the matrix for feature versus benefits in your copy, your content, your images, your videos, will help you stand out online…all using organic marketing…which costs nothing other than some time and energy.
Not only will this help you stand-out online, but it is also the social proof your potential customer is looking for and ‘back-up’ what you do face-2-face meaning you are everywhere you need to be, showing up as the real deal matching the customer’s perception, which you can now see is indeed your reality.
No matter where your potential customer goes, they will find a rock-solid representation of who you are, what you do, which means when you are searched they find exactly who you are.
A Final Note
In a nutshell, it comes down to consistency….every.single.day.
When you give your customers and community the love and respect they deserve when you show up as you do in reality…BOOM, you’ve nailed it.
Have a great week,