3 Ways to Align Your Messaging Strategy

Tristan Ramirez
By Tristan Ramirez

The digital landscape in today’s world presents a huge opportunity to large, established businesses and small, startup businesses alike. With new and innovative ways to engage users and uniquely connect, businesses can have a conversation with their consumers in a way not possible with traditional forms of marketing such as billboards and posters. This is especially important because there is no one size fits all approach to your consumers. Everyone has their own unique interests, experiences, and opinions. Today, businesses are able to hone in on those unique traits and speak directly to those consumers rather than broadcasting to the public.

Great news, right? Well, yes and no.

On the flip side, consumers have the ability to see right through you and your business. They have the ability to see your efforts across channels and evaluate you with ease. This means your business has to have an aligned presence across all channels, and your messaging must make sense to your consumers depending where they are in the buying journey. Think of it like a conversation – it has to progress otherwise the other person will lose interest.

Since marketing has become so dynamic and there seems to be a million different parts moving at any given time on any given channel, it has become challenging to maintain that consistency in your messaging strategy overall. This is why it will be critical to take some time to evaluate and strategize your overall messaging strategy going into 2019. Here are a few ways to do so:

Evaluate Your Funnel

Look at your consumer journey at a high level by breaking things down into a three-tiered funnel categorized cold, warm, and hot.

Think about the type of message you want to present to consumers on your first touch. This is where consumers are becoming aware of a need or want that needs to be fulfilled and you, ideally, have the solution. Avoid being too product-centric at this stage and focus more on being consumer-centric.

For the warm part of your funnel, consumers are now aware of the need or want that needs to be fulfilled. They are in the research phase of the consumer journey and are evaluating alternatives. Think of the kind of information that consumers might be looking for and the kinds of questions they may be asking. Aim to present content and messaging that answers those questions and provides that information.

For the hot part of your funnel, consumers are ready to make a buying decision. This is where you want to be much more product-centric and have a clear and strong call to action, urging consumers to make the purchase from you.

Once you have identified the general messaging content that you want to provide at each tier of the funnel, take a look at which channels you plan to use and at which tier. Your messaging should align across all channels within each tier. From there, the message should flow from tier to tier so that consumers will have a cohesive message and sequence of content from each stage in the buying journey regardless of where they interact with your brand.

Use a Messaging Hierarchy

A messaging hierarchy is a means of organizing your content to address key points, big questions, and identify the USPs of your brand in the process. This exercise is the holy grail of messaging strategy and should be referenced constantly. This works like a content drilldown, where you break down a question into 3 or more higher level key points which you break down with a number of more specific supporting points that detail the why for each of your key points.

This exercise can take a number of different forms in terms of organization but here is a basic example of how it works:

  • Main Question
    • Key Point
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point

This exercise can be done for as many questions or subjects as needed and should help your business address each one. This can then be referenced to align messaging across channels as well as throughout the consumer journey.

Use a Messaging Grid

A messaging grid is another means of aligning your messaging based on the main value proposition and type of consumer you are talking to. Similar to the messaging hierarchy, this can take a number of different physical forms but for the sake of this blog post we will break it down as it goes.

Identify four or five different value propositions that your business has to offer the consumer. This may be something like ‘convenience,’ ‘high quality,’ or ‘healthy’. This is really dependent upon your particular business and solution and is better to be a bit more specific. Think about why someone would want to purchase your product or solution.

Next, identify the types of consumers that you are aiming to get in front of and give them a persona. You should have at least two types of people in this group.

Lastly, start writing out your messaging for each of the value propositions under each of the personas. Here is a general example of how to go about this below:

  • Persona 1
    • Value 1 Message
    • Value 2 Message
    • Value 3 Message
  • Persona 2
    • Value 1 Message
    • Value 2 Message
    • Value 3 Message

You will start to find that your messaging will vary depending on the value and the persona. Certain values will mean more to some than they do to others. This all comes down to becoming as relevant as possible to you audience as we had mentioned before. This can be applied to all of your channels as well as to each tier of traffic in the consumer buying process.

To Sum Things Up…

At the end of the day, the consumer is the one ultimately making the buying decision. Your job as a business is to help them along the consumer journey in an effort to make them select your product or solution. With the digital landscape being as robust as it is today, this means consumers have a lot of visibility into what your business is saying as well as what your competitors are saying. As a business, this means you are able to reach your consumer in more ways than one while being hyper-relevant to their needs and wants.

This is why it is critical to have an aligned, cohesive messaging strategy in 2019. If you can effectively nurture consumers from the discovery stage through to the buying stage, you should have no problem getting them to choose your business. By having a cohesive messaging strategy, you are able to converse with your consumers rather than broadcast, develop a relationship with your consumers, and answer their questions before they even need to ask them.

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