How An Awesome Brand Messaging Strategy Will Help Tell Your Brand Story
Have you ever been to a networking event where you’re meeting all kinds of fearless local business owners? Then you ask one of them what they do. They respond with the best 30-word elevator pitch you’ve ever heard! They’re calm and collected. Their tone is engaging and positive. And their pitch is clear, straight-to-the-point, and gives you perfect insight on what their brand is all about. That’s damn good brand messaging right there.
But guess what? That perfect short and sweet elevator pitch didn’t become perfect out of nowhere. That took a team. And planning. And a brand strategy.
Your brand needs awesome business messaging that wows every person that you come in contact with. How do you do it? A well-thought-out brand strategy.
What is Brand Messaging?
Brand messaging is so much more than the words on your website, and it’s certainly deeper than just your slogan or tagline. Brand messaging is the overarching idea of how your brand appears written (or spoken) anywhere that it’s seen by your audience.
Social media post? Yep, that’s brand messaging. Copywriting for a television ad? Brand messaging. The way an employee answers the phone when a customer calls? Yep, that’s brand messaging too. Messaging within your brand can make or break a customer’s experience. Everywhere your brand appears should have messaging that is consistent, brand appropriate, and attention grabbing.
How do you go about staying consistent and incorporating the right brand messaging into your business at all times? A thought out brand messaging strategy.
The Role of Brand Messaging in Successful Marketing
Your overarching messaging strategy will drive the brand messaging for marketing, products, campaigns, copywriting, and anything else within your brand that needs writing.
The way we get down to the core of a brand’s messaging strategy is with what we call ‘The Code’. The Code is derived from the bottom three tiers of our one-of-a-kind BK branding pyramid.
Who you are.
Getting down to who you are and what your purpose, vision, and goals are is the first step in developing the right brand messaging. Dig deep to find what makes you the ballsy, bold, and successful brand that you are. Why did you start this business? What are your short and long term goals? Define what your brand’s personality is like. Maybe you’re a fun and spunky kind of company. Or you might want to keep things very professional and straightforward. Both are cool, you just have to get clear about who you are.
Key themes and tone.
Now that you know who are and what your goals are, how do you talk about them? By defining your brand’s key themes, you can easily separate and categorize the different elements that make you you! For example, as a drool-worthy taco shop, you define your 3 key themes as: authentic tacos ready to eat in under 5 minutes, food made with locally sourced ingredients, and 50+ year-old family recipes brought all the way from Guadalajara. Then you hone in on your tone—how you say what you want to say. Are you candid and energetic, or dignified and respectful? How does your brand sound when it says the things it’s got to say?
You know who you are, how you talk, and the general themes that define what you can center your messaging around. Now develop the actual messages for people to see. Your targeted messages should reflect your tone, your theme, and your personality and directly target your audience in a way that resonates with them. Every message needs to tell your brand story in some type of manner. Targeted brand messaging can include business copywriting for your website or ads, developing social media posts for Instagram, or when you’re branding taglines for your business. No matter where brand messaging appears, it should be consistent and illustrate your brand personality.
How To Create A Brand Message Strategy
In order to develop a kickass brand messaging strategy, you have to know the different elements that make up every brand message. Think about each of these elements for your brand. Write them down … know them. And then let them drive your strategic plan for branded messaging.
1. Know Your Audience. Define your audience and get to know them well. How do they speak? What are they interested in? What types of marketing elements are they drawn to? Do you have a younger audience who is highly engaging on social media, or do you have an older audience that resonates more with television and magazine ads?
2. Know Where You’re Headed. Have a clear direction for where you want your brand to go. Plan for 1 year, then 5 years, then 10 years. Where do you see yourself? Then develop a plan to best tackle the tasks to keep you on that path.
3. Define Your USP. Your unique selling proposition (USP) explains what makes you special. What elements of your brand or products make you different than your competition? By knowing how your brand stands out from the rest, you can focus your messaging on that USP and target customers with that advantage.
4. Craft Your Brand Story. Your brand needs a personality to grab the attention of potential customers. And then it needs depth to pull them in. You have to create your brand story to keep them wanting more–to keep them digging and digging further into your brand, then creating a loyal, long-term customer out of them.
5. Create Your Guidelines. Really get down to the specifics about what works for your brand and what doesn’t. For us, we create guidelines with The Code. Clearly define what your theme is and stick to it. Your tone? Always craft your messaging using it. Specifically define what language is OK and what is not OK. Then you’ll have consistency across your entire brand no matter where your audience comes across it.
Your Brand Messaging Strategy Impacts All Of Your Brand’s Content
Would you start driving to your destination without some form of direction? A messaging strategy provides that clear direction for your content. Now that you have your core brand messaging strategy down and you have a strategy in place, you can start creating messaging for specific projects and content. Websites, email marketing, social media campaigns, blogs—they are all part of the overarching messaging for brand marketing.
You should always include appropriate messaging in your brand messaging strategy for each of the following elements of your brand:
No matter what interpage your customers find themselves on, the messaging strategy for your website should be consistent with other elements of your brand. Home page and product page? They should both have language that speaks in your brand’s tone. Strategize with your team about how each of your website pages can work together well and always sound on-brand.
When directly targeting a customer with email marketing, make sure your email sounds like you. It should probably be personalized and genuine, but should also sound just like every other messaging piece your brand has written. A specific messaging strategy for email marketing should be thought up before sending out emails to your email list.
Brands often stray away from their messaging strategy when writing copy for social media. Just because they’re short and sweet doesn’t mean they get to be off-brand. You’ve got spice up your posts with better copywriting for your business social media page. When social media copy is engaging, fun, and on-brand, it helps your followers get to know you on a deeper level and makes them want to engage more.
Staying on-brand in blogs can be a challenge, especially when you get caught up in just trying to put out valuable information for your audience. Getting around the table and coming up with a messaging strategy for blogging every couple of months will help keep your writers on-topic while also being on-brand with language throughout their writing.
Is Your Strategy Effective?
You’ve been putting some awesome messages out there for the world to see. Now how do you know if your messaging is working? Ask yourself these 4 questions to check on your brand’s messaging success.
1. Is it simple and clear? Can you describe what your brand does in 30 words or less?
2. Is it consistent? If every one of your employees had to answer the question, ‘What do you do?’ would they all respond the same way? Does your tone sound the same in your blogs as it does on your social media? How about over the phone versus your sales pitches?
3. Is it emotionally engaging? Do you draw attention with the way you speak in your messages? Or is it dry and uninteresting because you don’t sound excited or passionate about what you do?
4. Does your content resonate with each stage of the sales funnel? Do you have a branded strategy for content marketing in the sales funnel?
Start With The Code
The Code is the framework for building a successful and converting brand messaging strategy. Before ever creating messaging strategies for any individual campaigns, you need to solidify this groundwork first.
Bareknuckle’s got your back. Let’s get around the table, drink some beer, and find out what makes your kickass brand so kickass.