Messaging in the marketing world encompasses everything that your brand communicates to others – leads, customers, your community, stakeholders, and future employees. Your message should be representative of your business and foster a relationship with those who come across it.
But what happens when your message isn’t connecting with your audience? Conversations wane, your sales funnel may dry up, and employees or community interaction may drift away. If these sound familiar, your messaging may need some TLC.
The good news? Hope is not lost! We’re sharing tips and tricks on how to assess your brand’s current copy, tone, and voice and how to transform it into effective messaging that resonates with the people you want it to.
Why messaging matters
You may think that your brand’s messaging is spot on, but how others interpret that message could be something totally different.
It’s important to remember that messaging is for your clients, not for you. When your message aligns with your clients’ wants and needs, your have a much greater chance to experience a full sales funnel and leads that convert into long-term clients. When that happens it’s a pretty good indication that your message is connecting with the people who purchase your products and services.
And when your message isn’t connecting? You can probably guess what that looks like.
An old-fashioned approach – that you should leave in the past
Many businesses that haven’t recently visited or evaluated their brand messaging may find that the words, tone, and voice all align with what they want to hear. It’s easy for businesses to talk about themselves, what they do, and how they operate. As the owner or a key player in that business, it’s natural for you to want to read and hear about yourself.
But that’s not what your audience is looking for. Consumers want to hear about how your business benefits them – how you solve their problems. What value do you bring to their life? How do your products or services meet your clients’ needs? As you look at your messaging, try to get into your customers’ head and understand what it is that they’re looking for.
A car salesperson, for example, may assume that every person walking through the door wants to learn about the newest-model car. They start with a pitch about the latest features and ramble on about its slick design, great MPG, and unmatched power.
What the car salesperson fails to realize is that the potential customer wants to know how that car can serve them. And everyone is at a different place in their car-buying journey. By assuming that all people want to hear about the car’s features, the salesperson alienates buyers who have already done their research, those who came for a specific purpose to better understand how the car fits into their life, and those who have questions themselves.
The first thing to do when crafting messaging that resonates is to step back and really listen to your audience.
What do you think each person would want to hear from the car salesman?
Speak to your audience, not at them
The car salesperson should have spoken to his audience and not at them.
Speaking to your audience begins with listening to what they want and need. First we listen, then we respond in an engaging, two-way conversation. Speaking at your audience involves talking only about yourself and your products or services.
A great way to start understanding how to speak to your audience is by looking at frequently asked questions you get or hear. By examining them, you can better understand what your audience is interested in, and serve them at a higher level. Always speak to them. Never speak at them.
Is your messaging effective?
Sometimes, the best way to understand if your marketing message is effective is to step back and let someone else take a look. When you’re ‘in the weeds’ of your business, it can be easy to get hung up on small details while missing the bigger picture.
Sharper Creative can help you understand where your messaging stands and how you can craft it to better communicate to your target audience. Start the conversation with our team today to learn more.