Why Website Copy Is About Value, Not Features
When you’re updating your website to and market your goods or services, it can be easy to focus on the more tangible aspects of what you’re selling. You’ve worked on your product for a long time, and naturally — you’re proud of it. You want to highlight all the tiny little features you’ve developed and underline all the ways in which your service delivers on its promise.
But simply listing product or service features isn’t enough. Instead, you need to let your customer know why they need your product and why it has value for them. You need to create a connection between the product and the customer.
And when you’re selling online — you need to highlight value through your web copy. Here’s how.
Build your buyer personas
When you’re highlighting the value of your product or service, you need to draw it out from the features for your customer. Simply listing them doesn’t create value, as it just describes your product. It is the value inherent in those features that you need to underscore.
So to begin with, list out all the functions that it has to offer. For example, if you are selling a speaker system, it might look like the below:
Wireless connections with other devices
High sound quality
Variety of colors
Once you’ve created this list, you need to highlight those which will be of most value to your audience. To that end, you will need to give some thought as to who your target audience is and what they are looking for from their purchase. This means developing one or more buyer personas that represent a broad idea of who your customers are.
Someone buying speakers for example might have a passion for music, and as such would look for high quality audio output. They might also be a gamer or film fan, and therefore surround sound capabilities would be essential.
Once you’ve identified the key features of your product or service that will most relate to your buyer personas, you need to highlight how they provide value to the consumer. To achieve this, you’ll need to delve into your buyer personas again to think about what makes your customers tick.
What are their fears, interests, pain points, and goals? Once you’ve established these points, show how your product or service can help alleviate or resolve them.
Create value through emotion
When you’re highlighting the value of your product or service, use emotionally-charged language that will resonate with your audience. Emotional language will truly convey to your customers the value in what you are providing, because it helps them connect the dots between their lives and your offering.
For example, the file sharing service Dropbox offers safe and secure cloud storage, so customers don’t have to worry or stress about their personal files getting breached.
Emotion is a huge driver of an individual’s decision to buy, so be sure to capitalize on it as much as possible. Project management and B2B tools tend to focus their marketing copy around building better teams, eliminating stress, and having a better time at work. It’s the emotional value that really gets people going (and buying) — even in B2B.
And online, with shorter attention spans, emotional words can really help push and pull the reader and drive your message home. When building out your site, think carefully about how subheadings and content blocks will help direct the reader. Use simple and minimalist templates to highlight value —- clutter says chaos.
Create a need for your product
Often, your customers might not think they want or even need what you’re selling. They’re living their life fine without it, so why buy? To counter this, you need to create that need for them. Highlighting issues or problems that they might experience and then offering your product or service as a resolution to it instantly gives you significant value.
If we return to the speaker example again, we could consider whether the buyer is a gamer, who might be playing games online well into the night. As such, they might run the risk of waking up their partner or their roommate, so would require a headphone jack. This might be expressed as:
Headphone plug-in and auxiliary input so you can listen at night, comfortable in the knowledge you won’t disturb the rest of your house.
It might not be something that has ever crossed their mind before... However, once you create that need, you put yourself in the perfect position to resolve it.
By highlighting how your product or service can benefit the customer, you explicitly address their unspoken fears. By showing how you can resolve these fears, you then create value in what you’re providing.
You also show that you understand your customers and that you get their struggles and needs. That’s so essential for great web copywriting. You won’t be able to rely on tone, inflection, or body language, so yours words are going to have to work extra hard.
Everyone has features, but only you have value
When you compare similar products, you might often find that they have similar features. For example, web builders or video streaming services often offer the same functions as their competitors, with only minor differences between them.
Brands therefore need to utilize value as a means of differentiating their product or service from the rest of the market. It is this perceived quality that makes what you sell stand out from your competitors.
Here are some ways to communicate that value on your website:
Highlight CSR or charitable work — show how a sale positively contributes to causes
Focus on the people and the stories behind the brand
Go head-to-head with comparison tables — and show why you’re the best
Inject humor or personality to help dial down the ‘sales pitch’
Offer content and resources for free — show customers that their success is your priority.
Your web copy shouldn’t focus on the basic features of your product or service. Instead, you need to highlight the intrinsic value of what you’re offering, and help the customer realize what value it has for them. Learn about your audience through your buyer personas, and bear them in mind when you’re writing your web copy. Know your consumers and know your product, and let it inform your copy throughout.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.