You can’t escape politics these days.
Elections are never-ending (rather like the DFS sale), and every news bulletin seems to include a couple of politicians flinging muck at each other.
They (the politicians) complain that the public doesn’t engage with them – well that’s because they’re sick and tired of all the backbiting.
It seems to me, the only way MPs and the like can talk about policies is by slamming their rival parties.
Get two of them in a room together and it rapidly reduces to a pre-school playground riot with one or other (but usually both) throwing a tantrum, claiming whatever’s gone wrong isn’t their fault, it’s down to the previous government.
Thank God they don’t run a business.
Mine’s bigger than yours
Unfortunately, there are a few businesses out there that have taken a leaf out of the politicians’ book.
Their preferred method of marketing is to slag off the products or services of their competitors.
You might think that’s a great way of getting customers, but is it?
Just think about it for a moment.
Someone lands on your website to take a look at your widget.
Your site looks very fancy, but your content just tells them you’re better than the rest because you’re the market leader.
Your widget is (apparently) fast, more efficient, more robust, more…well, it’s just better.
The problem with that is:
- If you are the market leader, where’s your proof?
- If your widget is so great why are you having to slag off the competitors rather than sell the benefits you offer
It comes across as though you have no idea how your widget will help your customers – and that’s not good.
It could even suggest to some people that your product isn’t that great, so rather than list a few lame benefits (that are features), you’ve opted to shout down your competitors.
Just as in the political example above, all that will do is turn your readers off.
Marketing through benefits
If you want to be taken seriously, you have to place your customer at the centre of everything you do.
Your marketing messages have to be aimed at them:
- How your product/service makes their life easier
- Case studies/testimonials that show how its helped real-life people
They have to read your content and think, “wow, they want to help me”.
Anyone who resorts to slagging off their competitors comes across as having nothing positive to say about their product.
Don’t be that person. Make sure you show your reader how you will make their life better.
Sally Ormond is an international copywriter. Working across all industries, she creates on-brand content for on and offline marketing as well as internal communications.