Does Your Video Script Copy Sell Features or Benefits?
In the advertising world we have a saying: “features tell, but benefits sell!” So if you want your custom business video to to sell something, your marketing messages should focus on the benefits of your product to potential customers, and not on its features. Not everyone understands this concept, however, and that is probably the reason why people forget to apply it to their copy.
The main reason why features don’t sell is because customers really don’t care about them. Sure, they might use a list of features to decide between two similar products, but the features per se won’t make the customer want to buy the product.
Theodore Levitt was a very famous professor at the Harvard Business School, and he used to summarize this concept to his classes with the following example:
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
This applies to just about any product being sold. For example: People don’t want to buy web hosting, they want their websites online and accessible to web visitors. People don’t want to buy light bulbs. They want to be able to work or read at night.
A benefit is the value of your product to a customer. In other words, a benefit is what the product can do for a customer or how the product can help a customer. So keep this is mind when it comes to crafting your video script copy.
Here’s a few examples below to help you get started:
We’ve created two script examples for a fictitious Suck-Up Vacuum Cleaner. Script example A sells features, and script example B sells benefits. Which one would motivate you and compel you to take action?
a) Why choose the all new Suck-Up Vacuum cleaner? The Suck-Up Vacuum cleaner is lightweight, only 10 lbs. It’s packed with multiple tool options to easily clean your floors, stairs, furniture and more. And there’s no more having to change out bags, because it has a bagless canister design. Plus the HEPA filter, filters out 99.7% of small particles. Made with high-quality and durable materials, it is backed by a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.
b) Why choose the all new Suck-Up Vacuum cleaner? Unlike other vacuum cleaners, it’s super lightweight design means “there’s no more straining your back carrying your vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs!” .. You’ll also love saving time with its easy change cleaner head tools, so you can skip searching all around for that furniture brush. Plus you’ll also love saving money, because there’s no more bags to buy! … And, it’s also better for your health. The Suck-Up Vacuum HEPA filter will leave your house cleaner than ever before. Even the smallest speck of dust and debris is removed. Plus you’ll also love the peace of mind that comes with knowing there’s no worries if your Suck-Up Vacuum stops working.
Which Suck-Up would you purchase a or b? Probably b, because its description is focused on the benefits you’ll get from it, while the first one focuses on the features. Here, we’ll break it down a bit and show you the difference of the features and benefits of the fictitious Suck-Up Vacuum Cleaner:
- Feature: Lightweight (10 lbs.)
- Benefit: You won’t strain your back carrying Suck-Up Vacuum up and down the stairs.
- Feature: On board tools
- Benefit: Save time. No more searching for the furniture brush. It’s stored in the convenient compartment on the back of the Suck-Up Vacuum.
- Feature: Bagless
- Save money. No more bags to buy.
- Feature: 5-year warranty
- Benefit: Peace of mind. No worries if your Suck-Up Vacuum stops working.
- Feature: HEPA filter
- Benefit: Better for your health. Suck-Up Vacuum will leave your house cleaner than ever before. Even the smallest speck of dust and debris is removed when you use Suck-Up Vacuum, leaving your house cleaner than ever before.
Notice that the benefits language elicits one or more emotions—from discomfort and stress to health and pride. Bottom-line, benefits copy sell, and features are boring.
As we mentioned before, in a sense customers don’t even want to own the product. They just want to “hire” it to accomplish a certain task or solve a certain problem. If you focus your marketing on that task or problem – instead of focusing on the product – your message will resonate very strongly in the customer’s head, and that is what will trigger the sale.