Messaging is the critical link between what you know about your buyers and how you apply that knowledge to content creation. Moreover, successful messaging reflects the wants, needs and challenges of your buyers, as well as where they are in their researching and consideration journeys.
As marketers, we want to guide our buyers along this journey seamlessly by offering unique insights, perspectives and best practices that can and should apply. Whether you’re pointing them to a new, disruptive trend in their industry, the features/capabilities of a best-in-class solution to help them keep pace with this solution, or how your organization has helped other companies succeed, you need to ensure their information needs are at the center of each story and narrative element.
Before you start to build your messaging, make sure you have an adequate profile of your target buyer and that you have identified your demand type. Once you address these areas, you can build your buyer-focused messaging by following three steps:
IDENTIFY relevant insights from the buyer profile/persona.
At first, this is a more scientific exercise, because you’re looking for patterns in your target buyer’s behaviors, business needs and preferences. But then the process gets a bit more fun, because as you identify patterns, you try to find ways that these points can fuel or support each other. Together, these insights can help you build a foundation for your marketing storyline. Some potential areas to focus on include your solution’s benefits and differentiators, as well as your buyer’s objections and emotions.
REFINE these insides into a broad, “keystone” messaging element.
After you connect the dots between buyer insights and the traits that define your solution or campaign, you’re ready to establish your messaging elements. You can either have one main keystone message or, if you’re developing a comprehensive, multi-touch nurture program, you can develop a keystone message and several supporting messaging elements. Start by cooking down your buyer insights into a single, concise statement. Write it in the first person so you’re actually in your buyer’s shoes. Use their tone of voice and the language they’d use to describe their own challenges or goals if they were at lunch with a colleague or in their mid-year review. This helps you stay in your buyer’s frame of mind during the entire content planning and creation process.
APPLY your messaging to each step in a buyer’s path to purchase.
We’ve gone through this process before, but from a high level, identify where you want to focus your campaign or asset: the top, middle or bottom of the funnel. Identify the questions your buyers have at this particular stage so you can further tailor your messaging.
Your buyer-focused messaging doesn’t have to be confined to a single content application. In fact, it can be used for onboarding, nurturing and competitor displacement campaigns; informing and empowering your employees, partners and sales reps; and even to fuel your thought leadership efforts via blogging, contributed articles and other commentary channels. Regardless of your goals and campaign plans, buyer-focused messaging can help you improve overall marketing effectiveness and ensure you’re addressing what’s truly important for your target audience.
Download our buyer-focused messaging guide to learn more about developing buyer-focused messaging.