Here’s the fourth chapter of Active Web Group’s “How to Build Your Brand From Scratch” series. We’ll discuss how to build an effective Messaging Strategy. If you missed the last chapter, you can catch up. If you already qualify for Messaging guru status, you can skip ahead to our next chapter about locating your Brand’s best audience.
A successful Messaging Strategy will define your brand in an official statement. This strategy should encompass all active goals and objectives your brand has and reflect them with a strategic approach. This statement will position you brand as it wants to be seen while also appealing to the most appropriate demographics, to your intended niche. Similar to a Mission Statement, your Messaging Strategy should adapt to the same changes your brand endures, so your message can remain clear and cohesive.
Now that we know what a Messaging Strategy is, we need to know why it’s so important.
A strong messaging strategy lays your brand’s foundation for its public relations and advertising efforts, which should adhere to the brand’s stated standards. Other elements such as logos and designs should complement the brand’s messaging strategy as well.
Simply put, the messaging statement is the foundation for your brand and serves as the platform for existing and potential customers to identify your company and how it stands out from its competitors.
Analogy List (Tell a story)
Your messaging strategy will build your brand’s reputation and will be how your current and potential customers perceive you. Ideally your message will become your brand is known for. Without a reputable brand image and perception, you’re either invisible, imperceptible, or possibly, both).
How does your brand want to communicate with its public? How does your brand want to be viewed or perceived? To begin you’ll need a concrete branding strategy, and this installment speaks to the communications aspect of your corporate structure.
How to Build Your Own Messaging Strategy
Identify Your Niche
First Understand Your Niche and establish ways to position your products. Cohesive messaging is all-important so choose your wording with care, as it’s essential for your message to align with your strengths. When you have identified your niche, you’ll need to market your brand as being the best at your that niche. Some examples include:
- The Oldest
- The Most Affordable
- The Most Durable
- The Highest Quality
To bring back an old example, Mercedes-Benz won’t market their products the same way Kia will because they have different selling points. Mercedes positions their cars as the best because of their high quality, prestigious history, and elitist attitude. That’s their market and they’re working it. Brands like Kia will position themselves in a more practical ‘more for your money’ angle because they wouldn’t be able to compete in an apples-to-apples comparison with a luxury brand like Mercedes-Benz.
Now that you have clearly identified your niche and positioning, it’s time to establish your Buyer Personas. Your Buyer Personas are hypothetical profiles of your ideal customers, based on your products, positioning, and demographic targeting. When you have an ideal customer mapped out, it makes the rest of your Messaging and Content Strategies easier because you can add some relevant context to the equation.
To create effective Buyer Personas, you’ll first need to compile useful data to base your evidence upon. You can collect customer information from locations such as:
Conduct surveys on programs like Survey Monkey and send them to your customers in exchange for a small reward, such as a 10% discount on their next purchase. Include questions that would supply the most value to your Marketing efforts!
You can learn a lot about your website visitors from your Google Analytics Account. Everything from demographics, geographics, interests, and more can all be found there.
Facebook Audience Insights
Similar to Google Analytics, you can use Facebook Audience Insights to collect information from your Facebook followers.
Email Subscriber List
You can use Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights to import valuable information from your email subscribers.
Develop a Killer Content Marketing Strategy
A strong Content Marketing Strategy is what attracts fans and establishes trust. Fans quickly become bored by sales content, as they want to be entertained passively as they would at a movie theater. Publishing branded content is a way to entertain your audience, engage them, and promote your brand in a way that will spread like wild fire. Some content examples include:
External Public Relations Business Model
Brands have an external communications strategy the same way businesses have an internal strategy in regards to the structure of their company. This typically has to do with Operations and Customer Experience components of your company. Some examples include:
- Company Policies
- How Customers are Greeted and Treated
- How Your Brand Cooperates with the Press
- How Your Brand Responds to a Public Relations Crisis
The Long-Term Benefits
A strong and consistent Messaging Strategy will benefit your brand long after your best advertisement has faded from memory. Here are some core benefits to staying true to your brand’s word:
A More Recognizable Brand
As we’ve said, a customer will be more likely to purchase from your company if they recognize your Company’s name. Having a consistent Messaging Strategy ensures they will remember your brand, as every piece of content they consume will be a reminder of who you are and what you stand for.
More Website Traffic and Exposure
More website traffic means more exposure and brand recognition. It also provides a foundation for a stronger web presence, which will take your brand farther than you may have thought possible.
More Sales and Overall Business Growth
While there are countless benefits in having a consistent brand and messaging strategy, the most compelling is the bottom line. Increasing the reach and influence your business has will create the opportunity for more sales, growth, and revenue.
Every component of your branding strategy is important, but the Messaging Strategy is what receives the most attention. It’s essential for effectively reaching and resonating with your intended audience(s) and catapulting your brand up your industry’s food chain. By successfully identifying your audience and creating content to attract and retain them, you can develop a presence with your brand that your customers will identify with. This success begins with the right Messaging Strategy!