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Going into the new year, it’s a good time to reflect on marketing strategies and just how effective they are. It’s easy to zoom in and focus on individual campaign and look to analytics for tangible proof of what has worked and what has not. Most companies are not taking the time to zoom out and audit their own messaging. Before we get find ourselves halfway into 2017, take a hard look at your company’s messaging. Do you have a strategy for messaging?

If you don’t have a messaging strategy in place, you’re in luck. You still have time to make one and I’m here to help! A messaging strategy consists of a single positioning statement and three or four supporting statements to go along with it.

Think of your positioning statement as a short and sweet slogan. Someone that encompasses your entire brand in a single sentence. It’s hard to boil a business into one, easy-to-swallow statement, but it’s extremely effective. I great positioning statement can be used across platforms, identifies your unique qualities, and is engaging.

When you’re ready to move onto the supporting statements, brevity is still important, but you get to be a little more specific. You can use a supporting statement to give more detail on a specific area of expertise that also helps prop up the positioning statement. Supporting statements are also there to inject authority into the larger, company positioning. Your supporting communication statements add value and demonstrative properties to what the business is all about.

How to use messaging strategies

Now that you have hammered out all the details, it’s time to implement the new strategy. Make a commitment to your messaging. Use your positioning statement when appropriate. Include it in the header of your website, in email signatures, and in press coverage. Get consumers used to what your business is about and what it can do for them. Then follow up with consistent support. The supporting statements are there to be disseminated frequently and consistently. Target your audience and serve your messaging accordingly. Track how effective your messaging is across platforms and tweak accordingly. After a bit of trial and error, you’ll have developed a messaging platform that is accessible and gets your brand across.

Make messaging work for you

Coming up with a messaging strategy further solidifies your brand. As people come to know about your business, they will either leave with a positive impression, bringing them back, or walk away from the interaction turned off. You want to keep people engaged and interactive. Having a messaging plan in place provides you with a platform of consistency. This furthers customer loyalty and understanding of your business. Ultimately, every message you put out into the world is a direct reflection of the company. Have a plan and make each and every message count. It’s more important than you think.