Magazines, TV, radio, billboards, social media, e-marketing: consumers are constantly bombarded with messages as they go about their daily lives.
So, spending time crafting yours is vital to helping your business cut through the noise and resonate with your audience.
Here’s how to make sure your messaging hits the spot:
- Define your target market
If you sell a product that’s used by most of the population, you might think that defining your market as ‘everyone’ could help you achieve more sales – but the opposite is true. Consumers like to feel understood and respond to products that address their needs and fit their lifestyles.
People use the same product for different purposes – fail to relate to them and they’ll look elsewhere.
Take soap as an example; a generic message such as ‘Feel squeaky clean with every wash’ tells us nothing about who you’re targeting – man, woman, young, old…?
But aim at a particular audience, such as the mother and baby market, and you can really focus on your target with a specific message they can identify with, such as, ‘Gentle care for the most delicate skin.’
- What’s your USP?
Really think about what’s different about your business; a food product made from 100% locally sourced ingredients, a personal trainer who only works with new mothers, or an accountant who only works with sole traders.
Don’t be afraid to be niche – as long as there is a market for you. An unusual or unique offering means you’ve carefully considered the needs of your customers and have taken time to produce something special or useful to them. Specialist over generic is a good thing!
- Learn from others
Think about the brands you use and like; what is it about them that resonates with you? What is it that makes you identify with them?
Also, consider brands that don’t get their messaging quite right for you; think about why that is and how you could avoid the same mistakes. Look at your competitors too; thinking about their messaging strengths and weakness will help to improve yours.
- Use your messaging in all your communications
Repeat your messaging anywhere that you talk about your brand, whether verbally, digitally or in print.
Website, social media, ads, brochures, press interviews, or customer emails.
Carry it through your logo and brand colours too; if you’re a natural product, reflect that by including soft shades in your brand pantones. Black and orange, for example, doesn’t scream ‘nature and calming’!
Being consistent demonstrates that you know who you are and what your products and services stand for. A strong message helps your customers understand that too.
- Segment your audience
Messaging isn’t just about defining your brand; it’s also about adapting your communication, so it’s appropriate to each stage of the buying process. Using your customer database to define potential, existing and lapsed buyers, and considering the best channels to reach each will help you speak to them in the right way.
‘Have you tried our new luxury vegan handmade chocolates?’ is a perfect online pop-up message for prospective buyers browsing your website…but not so great in direct marketing to customers who have recently purchased the product! Similarly, ‘Our solid oak storage trunk would look lovely with your new bed’ is a great upsell message in an email campaign to recent bed-buyers.
Send it to everyone and previous storage trunk buyers will feel like you don’t know them or their purchases.