On the quest to make our copy as effective as possible, there’s one tool we can wield that takes our power up a significant degree. You know about benefits; now meet deep benefits. Read on…
Today’s question is from Alice W., who asks, “I won’t get too much into it, but my employer has an awesome product. And I think I’m doing a pretty good job with writing headlines for our copy, but I want to really make sure I do it justice. Do you have any tips?”
The first place to start when thinking about creating copy for any product or service—or anything you’re trying to persuade people to do or think—is the benefit. What’s in it for your target audience? What do they get out of doing what you want them to do?
For example, if you’re writing about a new razor that has seven blades, it might initially seem like the seven blades are interesting. But what’s most compelling is what the user gets from those seven blades. The benefit, what’s in it for them, is a cleaner, closer, smoother shave than ever before.
So that’s benefits. But there’s also an advanced technique that can take the effect of your copy to a whole new level. What is that technique? Introducing “deep benefits.”
Deep benefits aren’t just about what’s in it for them. Deep benefits take the benefit to a deeper, emotional level that resonates in a very compelling way.
A deep benefit doesn’t just convey what you’ll get out of something; it conveys why you need to have something. A minivan has rear, side airbags. Great. The benefit is that it will keep your passengers safe in the event of an accident.
But let’s dig deeper. Who is it likely the passengers will be in the back of that minivan? Very likely, the driver’s children. The children that that parent works so hard to protect and care for, but who, in the event of an accident, they’re utterly helpless to protect.
The deep benefit in this scenario is that those side airbags protect your children when you’re helpless to.
Wow. A big difference, right? The deep benefit gets right to the heart of the matter.
You need to start your project (and, really, any copy project) by getting a good handle on who your target audience is. After that you can start to drill into the deep benefit just by asking “Why?” or “Why is that important?” to the benefit question.
That is, identify the benefit (side airbags protect passengers), and then start asking “Why is that important?” You’ll also find that other questions like, “Who?” “How?” “Where?” and “When?” can help you grasp scenarios as you dig it. But start with “Why?”
Now, is everything going to have a deep benefit? Probably not. It’s hard to come up with a deep benefit for perfume or cheese graters. But you’d also be surprised at how many things can have a deep benefit once you start asking the questions.
It might take a little bit of time to drill down to your deep benefit; anything that’s worthwhile takes a little effort, right? And if you really want to move people’s hearts and minds, it’ll take some thinking. But will it be worth it? You bet—you may just end up writing the most powerful copy of your career.
Your turn! Have you seen an ad with a powerful deep benefit? What did it say? Let us know in the comments below!