Using Strategic Messaging to Promote Your Brand
The modern business environment is inundated with subpar brands and confusing messaging. It’s no wonder consumers aren’t sure which brands to trust and what companies they should stick with.
For entrepreneurs and business owners, the time is now to master your marketing campaign and push as much positive messaging as possible. Drawing in new customers and retaining your existing audience is more important – and more difficult – than ever before.
One of the best ways you can promote your brand and ensure long-term success is to practice messaging strategically. But what exactly is strategic messaging, and how do you make sure all of your brand’s messages are on point? Let’s examine this complex topic in more detail.
What Is Strategic Messaging?
Let’s clear up a few core concepts before we continue.
Your brand’s “messaging” is every bit of information associated with the brand intended to convey your brand’s identity, goals, focus, target audience, or offerings. Think of your messaging strategy as the way you communicate your brand’s value and “character” to your customers. Messaging can include:
- targeted advertising campaigns
- your slogan
- your brand’s aesthetic theme, such as its colors or logo
- photographs, including and especially box art for your products
Put simply, your brand’s messaging will be responsible for converting new customers into loyal brand advocates and for retaining existing customers over the long-term. That’s why it’s important to have a goal in mind when embarking on any new marketing campaign or designing anything that might impact your brand’s message overall.
Why Bother With Messaging Strategy?
It’s always better to plan things out ahead of time than to make it up as you go along. This is especially true when it comes to your brand’s message.
The reasons for this are straightforward: brand messaging mishaps can lead to disaster for your marketing campaigns and customer conversion efforts.
For example, say that you decided to wing your messaging and avoid strategizing at all for your software company. You specifically want to draw in new, young programmers who are most likely to try out your software product before anyone else and become its most loyal users.
However, your messaging strategy is cluttered and inefficient because:
- your marketing campaign doesn’t tie in with your overall product goals
- your box art isn’t compelling to your target audience
- your email newsletter doesn’t convey any good information
In effect, by not using strategic messaging to promote your brand, you’re handicapping all of your marketing and brand awareness efforts. If you want to be successful, you’ll master strategic messaging so that every bit of your brand’s message helps to push your company further and inspires better conversion rates.
How Can You Practice Strategic Messaging?
Fortunately, there are lots of different ways you can practice strategic messaging and bolster existing marketing campaigns. However, many of these strategies will be best implemented before you start marketing or selling your brand in earnest. Let’s break these down one by one.
Identify Your Brand’s USP
Every successful company has a USP or unique selling proposition, even in extremely saturated or competitive markets. Your brand’s USP can best be thought of as the single factor that separates it from the competition.
For instance, say that you run a clothing store that sells branded apparel. It’s important that you identify your brand’s USP so you can maximize its value and visibility when drawing in new clients. There has to be something unique about your brand that will cause people to choose it over the other apparel manufacturers in the industry.
What if you don’t know what your USP is? You can find your way by asking yourself a few key questions:
- What makes your brand different?
- What does your brand offer that others do not?
- What problems does your brand solve?
- Why would you choose your brand over another?
Answering all of these questions will likely help you to identify your USP if you haven’t already.
Know Your Audience
The best marketing campaigns are targeted campaigns. In order for t your messaging to be strategic and effective, it should be tailored for your target audience. Of course, that requires knowing your audience and who your ideal customer might be.
For instance, maybe you own a sunglasses company that sells shades to cool, young college students out in California. In that case, your target demographic probably has the following attributes or similar:
- 20s-30s in age
- male and female
- west coast, chill vibes
- cool colors that go well with coastal aesthetics
Knowing your target audience will help you to change your messages to be more direct and enticing to that audience.
For the above example, after identifying your target audience, you could strategically alter or write your messages to be more interesting to that demographic. For instance, you could make all of your marketing copy casual and relaxed instead of serious and brooding. You could also make sure that your brand’s messaging is light and California-chill, ranging from the design of your website to the box art for your sunglasses.
Craft a Compelling Story
Every good messaging effort needs to be accompanied by a story. These days, consumers aren’t satisfied with just buying any old product from some company. They want to know why they should buy your product, and the best way to do that is to build a story about your unique offerings and what your brand brings to the industry at large.
There are lots of historical examples you can look at for inspiration. For instance, the story of the Walt Disney Company is one of the most well-known in history. It began in a garage and, through a combination of luck, business savvy, and good old-fashioned American grit, Walt Disney forged an entertainment conglomerate that still dominates the movie, TV, and theme park industries to this day.
What’s your brand’s story? Figure it out, and don’t be afraid to embellish a little bit; people don’t mind you adding a bit of drama to the tale of your brand so long as it’s mostly accurate.
Add a Goal to Your Messaging Strategy
The goal of any company is ostensibly to turn a profit. But you should also determine and push your brand’s larger social goal.
Few companies start out just to make money, especially when their creators could have chosen any industry but eventually settled on one or another for some reason. These days, consumers are much more eco-friendly and socially conscious, and they want to know what you will do with their money beyond please your shareholders.
Many modern companies are jumping on the eco-friendliness bandwagon, as more and more entrepreneurs and CEOs look to turn a profit while also either helping the environment or purchasing recycled materials that they can use for their own products.
You should weave your company’s goal into every bit of marketing copy you create, as well as your overall brand aesthetic or identity. If you have a shoe company, for example, and want to empower kids to become fitter or combat the growing obesity crisis in America, you can add that goal to all of your messaging strategically.
People are much more likely to buy shoes from a company with marketing efforts directed toward getting kids up and moving than any other shoe company.
Create Brand Messaging Guidelines
Lastly, be sure that your company creates and maintains regular brand messaging guidelines. As your company grows and you start to hire copywriters or bring in design agencies, you should have guidelines on hand so that everyone is on the same page regarding your messaging theme, aesthetic, standards, and points to push.
Having brand messaging guidelines on hand at all times will prevent your marketing campaigns, your email newsletters, and your website copy from seeming disjointed and disconnected. It will also prevent any contradictions that might inadvertently pop up if you were to avoid setting out guidelines in the first place.
All in all, strategic messaging is the best way to promote your brand. All it requires is a little bit of forethought and some understanding about what makes your brand unique and worthwhile compared to others.
Don’t know where to start? That’s all right. Agencies like Harper+Scott are always around to help you with your marketing and private label or branded product creation. We aren’t just makers: we’re dreamers who can partner with you to help push your brand into new frontiers.
We’re ready and waiting for your call. Contact us today, and we can get started.