Effective marketing starts with a clear message. Before you can spread the word about your business, you must know what to say and who you’re trying to reach. The goal of messaging is to provide the right words and tone so your digital marketing is focused and impactful.
A GreenMellen messaging strategy shares our recommendations based on our conversations with you, industry research, and our knowledge of marketing best practices. This is the foundation for the rest of your marketing—from your website and beyond.
Who a Messaging Strategy Helps
Having a messaging strategy in place isn’t just for you. It helps (either directly or indirectly) nearly everyone who touches your business.
- Business owners
- Professional marketers
- Your internal staff
- Your agency partner
- Your audience
How a Messaging Strategy Helps
We know who it helps, but how? What are the tangible benefits you can see from this?
- It clarifies why your business exists.
- It focuses your efforts in the right direction.
- It keeps your internal team consistent.
- It gives you the words to use when communicating.
- It stops you from having to guess at marketing.
What’s Included in the Strategy?
Every messaging strategy is different, but these are the pieces we typically include in each of the deliverables we build collaboratively with our clients.
- Target Audience: Who are you trying to help? This is the basic information about a fictional audience persona who represents your ideal customer.
- Problems: What problems does your audience have? This is the challenge facing the audience that causes them to look to you for help.
- Solution: How do you help solve their problem? These are the products or services you offer that help them to overcome the problem they face.
- Transformation: How does this change their life? We paint a before-and-after picture of what the audience experiences emotionally to show how you’ve helped them change.
- Stakes: Why does this matter? We contrast the end result of not addressing their problems with a more positive future when they’ve experienced the benefit of working with you.
- The Guide: Why should they trust you? To earn the audience’s trust you have to demonstrate empathy for their struggle and the competency to help them overcome it.
- Your Why: Why do you exist? Expressing your mission statement and core values explains the central purpose at the core of your organization.
- Marketplace Research: Who else might your audience choose? We take a look at your direct business competitors and what makes you different from them.
- Brand Attributes: What do you want to be known for? These are the adjectives and descriptors that you want your audience to associate with your brand.
- Brand Aesthetics: What do you want your experience to be? These are the visuals, feelings, and actions that you hope your audience to take when they encounter your brand.
- Elevator Pitch: How can we summarize your messaging? This synthesizes your entire messaging strategy into a more digestible paragraph to be learned and shared.
- Taglines: What are some examples of business taglines? This provides you with a list of even more messaging-focused headlines that can be used across your marketing.
Where to Use Your Messaging Strategy
Completing the messaging strategy is only the beginning. This is a valuable tool that your business can use in a wide range of ways.
- When updating your company website
- When adding a new landing page to the site
- When writing a blog post or press release
- When sending out a company email campaign
- When being interviewed on a podcast episode
- When posting something to social media
- When creating the copy for a magazine ad
- When speaking about your company at an event
- When recording a video to post online
- When answering a sales call
- When sending a proposal to a potential client
- When training your internal team on how to represent your brand
- When recruiting new talent to join your team
- When onboarding a new employee into the company
- When asked by a stranger what you do for a living
Messaging Terminology to Know
If you’ve got a shiny-new messaging strategy, these are some of the words and phrases you’ll see. Here’s what some of those mean (in case you don’t already know).
- Messaging strategy: a document that includes your internal language about your brand. This serves as the foundational guide for anything else you do in marketing.
- Marketing: any interaction between your business and your audience. Good marketing nurtures a mutually beneficial relationship to encourage people to do business with you.
- Brand: how people perceive your business. Every marketing interaction is an opportunity for your brand to make an impression and strengthen your relationship.
- Audience persona: a fictional representation of your target audience. This is based on research and your insights to give you a rough idea of who you’re speaking to.
- Stakes: the potential negative outcomes of not working with your business. It’s worth mentioning the tension points your audience feels so they get a sense of urgency.
- Marketplace: your industry and competitors. You’re not the only business people who are considering so you must think about how you compare to the other options.
- Unique selling point: these are the factors that make your business different from your competition. Think about why your audience should do business with you instead.
- Elevator pitch: a summarized version of your messaging strategy. This should be (ideally) memorized by you and your team to answer the question: what do you do for work?
- Tagline: an even more condensed version of your messaging. It boils one or two features of your business down to a single line that can be used in marketing.
What are the practical next steps to making the most of your messaging strategy? This is your checklist for getting started.
- Share the messaging strategy with your entire team.
- Take the time to review it together and answer their questions.
- Encourage them to use it as a resource to help grow the business.
- Keep practicing the terminology until it becomes internalized.
- Save the document in a place where you can easily find it again.
- Print it out to keep it close at hand at the office.
- Schedule a time to revisit every year and update where needed.
If you don’t already have a messaging strategy at your business, we’d love to have a conversation to see if we’d be a good fit for helping to make that a reality.
Leave a Reply