Building an effective messaging strategy: how to think first, then write

Alex shows us how to build an effective messaging strategy. See these four steps on how to build yours.

Strategies are supposed to help simplify processes, and your marketing messaging strategy is no different. The point isn’t to complicate your content creation – it’s to ensure that your messaging is aligned with the customer journey every step of the way.

Your messaging strategy shows who you are, what you do and who you do it for. It’s important because it provides consistency and helps you get the right message across to the most suitable customers for your product.

In an era where standing out from the digital crowd is becoming increasingly difficult, marketing messaging matters. Consumers are exposed to so much content each day, memorable, meaningful messages are the ones that are going to resonate with them.

But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Your unique messaging strategy should be informed by your market, competitors, buyer intelligence and target audience research. And it should be optimised regularly through feedback and testing. When you invest in these elements, you’ll quickly be able to gauge who your audience is and how to speak to them at every touchpoint.

Determine your USP

The hardest part of cementing your brand positioning is determining what sets your brand apart. It’s also the most important. Your unique selling point (USP) must be front and centre. What sets your business apart? Think about the factors that distinguish you, and focus on them. Now use them to grab your customer’s attention or lose your chance.

It could be your flawless customer service, your ethical business practices, your premium-quality products. In some cases, finding your USP might mean niching down. Filling a void in the market and doing it well is a form of standing out, and being the first to do something gives you a leg up.

Without a unique selling point, a messaging strategy isn’t likely to be effective. Clarify what sets you apart and make it an immovable part of your brand.

Identify your target audience

Finding out as much as you can about your target audience will help you to refine your messaging strategy so that it speaks to the customers you want to reach.

What are their wants, needs and pain points? What influences their decision-making? Start by compiling a buyer persona to determine things like their basic demographics or how they consume their media. 

Defining a target audience can be tricky. But don’t start too big—if your target is too broad, it may be hard to craft an effective messaging strategy.

Use social listening to understand what makes them tick and how best to relate to them. Voice of customer research will give you valuable insights that ensures your message really lands with your customers, taking your product from being “nice to have” to “I need that now” in their minds.

Build a compelling brand story

There is a reason you started your business, so talk about it. Good stories generate feelings, so the story behind your brand can help your customers form an emotional connection with it. This strengthens brand loyalty and drives customer retention.

Your story should form a key part of your messaging strategy – it’s where you came from, what you’re doing, and where you want to go. Making your business feel personal is a great way to resonate with your target audience.

Talk about any challenges your company had to overcome to get to where you are today, how your company is different from any other and why it exists in the first place. 

Create a clear messaging guideline

Your messaging strategy guideline offers your marketing team a playbook for how to create content and material. By collating all key information in a framework, you’ll reduce unnecessary back and forth, improve collaboration and empower consistency, which can increase revenue by 33%.

At a minimum, your messaging guideline should include your mission statement, USP, value proposition and brand pillars. Here’s a simple brand messaging framework by CoSchedule.

But you’ll need to go even deeper if you want to create a watertight messaging strategy. To do this, make sure you include your buyer persona, tone of voice, your brand personality and grammar preferences. Then you can pick apart the different forms of content your brand produces and tweak your messaging strategy for each one.

Having a strong messaging strategy helps to strengthen your brand and helps you stand out amongst competitors. But remember, what works now may not work later. As your brand and customer demands evolve, your messaging guidelines will fluctuate. Consistently innovating and listening to customer trends is crucial to help you stay relevant and on top.

At Yellow Door, we ask the right questions, look at the big picture and devise a game plan to elevate your brand. If you’d like to take your messaging strategy to the next level, get in touch with us.

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