Developing Your Message Strategy
Think for a moment about what your clients want to get out of working with you. Now, how confident are you in that answer? Are you sure that’s what they actually want, or is it what you think they want? It’s so easy to get caught up in our own ideas about what’s right for our clients that we tend to get lost in the latest industry trends, lose sight of our clients’ needs, and forget to take a step back to think about the core values we provide and how that sets us apart from the competition. Once this starts to happen, we often find ourselves with a business message that has gotten totally muddled in the marketplace.
Having a clear messaging strategy is imperative to success for businesses of all sizes. Your target audience needs to understand exactly why they should hire you and not that other business down the block.
In short, your messaging strategy is a tool that’s used to build trust and cultivate relationships with your target audience, existing clients and current employees. It should identify who you are as a business, what sets you apart from the competition, and what values you stand for. It should also communicate those points in a way that is crystal clear to your audience. Actually creating your message, however, requires a few key steps.
1. Do some market research
This first step is so important. Talk to anyone who fits into your target audience and identify what makes them tick. Ask them: What do they find valuable? What are their pain points? What are their buying triggers? What are their impressions of your products and services? What are their impressions of your competitors’ products and services? Having a solid understanding of these points is critical for establishing the foundation of your message.
2. Survey the competition
As important as it is to have a clear understanding of your clients’ needs, it’s equally as important to keep your finger on the pulse of your competition. Take a look at their websites as well as their advertising, marketing and social media efforts. What are they doing well? How does that compare to what your clients think you do well? There’s likely to be some overlap, but any points you can identify on your end that don’t also exist on theirs translates directly into your competitive differentiators, or what sets you apart from the competition.
3. Analyze your results
Now it’s time to review the data you collected from your clients and competitors. What have you learned about your business? The information you gathered should help you identify the “sweet spot” of customer needs that you satisfy better than your competition; the intangibles your audience is looking for that only you can deliver, and the type of emotional connection that would be most alluring to your audience.
Ultimately, you’ll want to write a concise statement that defines the heart and soul of who you are and what you do. Putting pen to paper can be tough, but for the biggest impact, use the specific language your audience is using – paying particular attention to key buzzwords and tone.
Once your message is established, it’s important to put it into practice early and often – and that’s where the strategy comes in. To start, everyone who works for your company should be conveying your message to your clientele at every turn. But to really make the most of your message, it should be backed by a defined marketing strategy that aims to land it in front of your target audience through multiple channels, including your website, advertising efforts, and social media marketing.
We understand this can be a lot to take on for any business. If you need help establishing your own messaging strategy, contact us today to schedule a consultation.