Does Your Content do a Good Job of Telling Your Audience Who You Are?
Think about the last time you were drawn to a new brand or product — what was it that pulled you in? The bright green bottle might have lured you over to the shelf, but when you read the package and realized that it was organic chocolate milk, that’s what pushed you to add it to your cart. A website essentially works the same way. Smart design will draw people in, and the right website messaging will help you catch more people in your net and lead them towards making a purchase.
How strong is your net? If you want to catch people you need to have a messaging strategy behind the words you’re putting on the page.
But wait — can’t you just sit down and write what you want to say? Short answer, you will… once you have a strategy. The long answer is because it’s important to take a step back and think about the reasoning behind why you’re doing what you’re doing. That might sound obvious, but with your web content you have to go a few levels deeper than just a description of your business’s products or services.
Here’s how you can start digging in. Approach your messaging strategy through two funnels: what you want to say and how you want to say it. Outline all your content to figure out what the key things are that you need to touch on, and then think about your voice. The worst thing that can happen is if people visit your site and leave having no idea what you do. With an outline, you can make sure that the most important things about your business are being talked about consistently across your site. Everything will be said with the same ideas so the overall message of your site is coherent and defined.
Plus, with a messaging strategy, you save your team a ton of time because you’ll already know what to say and where.
With your voice, do you want to come off as more conversational or corporate? Think about how your sales people talk to your customers as a starting point. How they’re interacting with customers directly will give you an idea of the tone people are already associating with your brand.
Your brand’s voice and tone are crucial to how people perceive your product or service, and you want to use the right one to represent yourself well. Keep in mind, it is possible to make things sound awkward, for example if your business sells HR software but you’re talking to people like they’re getting ready to work out in a gym, it’s going to be confusing. While this might work for some companies with that type of branding already established, it can make it difficult for your customers to connect with you.
Now that you know how to plan, what do you put into your plan? As Drake poetically said, “Know yourself, know your worth.” You’ll want to write about the key aspects of your products or services so your customers get a full understanding of what you do — and why it provides value to them.
Build Your Messaging Strategy Around the Heart and Soul of Your Business
What is the “right” messaging strategy? That all depends on who you are and what you do. No one’s website messaging is going to be the same, because it should be specifically crafted to fit your brand. So even if you love the way one of your competitors talks about themselves, don’t copy it. They’ve done a good job of honing in their website messaging to reflect who they are, but it’s probably not going to fit you as well.
(P.S. If you’re chasing their punchy copy, you can still emanate their voice, just make sure that your content is always representing the focus of who you are as a business.)
Good messaging strategies don’t talk down to your audience — and they don’t talk above them either. You know what they say about assuming… don’t assume that customers talk about your industry the way you do! Write your content through the eyes of someone who knows nothing about your business. What do they need to know? What are they not going to know? Talk to them, not at them, and your content will be received better.
Your content should show how your business provides value. You can express this by providing content that answers the questions people are asking. When people reach your site, you want them to read your content and say, “ah ha! This is exactly what I was looking for”. The only way they can say that is if your message is clear from the start. A good understanding of your audience will show you the answers to what you should write about. Every audience has questions, that’s why they use the internet to find them! Your content messaging strategy should show them the right path forward.
Once you know what to write about and how you’re going to say it, build your outline and create your content! A well thought out messaging strategy will contribute to the overall strength of your website so you can cast your net around a larger portion of your audience.