As marketers, we know the success of our product often hinges on our messaging. The words we use can make the difference between customers getting it — or not.

But with so many things to say, and only seconds to make an impression, it’s a struggle to find the right message. Where do you begin? What really matters to your audience? How can you stand out?

In this webinar with messaging strategist and conversion copywriter, Diane Wiredu, shares how to create effective messaging that builds your brand and resonates with your audience.

Key takeaways on how to find the right marketing message

  • The heart of messaging is connection
  • In business, your story or company narrative IS your strategy. Lead with it.
  • Use messaging structure to have a conversation with your reader. Give them the answers they need to make a decision, in a logical flow, using what you know about their emotions and behaviour.
  • Shape a clear message with powerful words and copy techniques that work.
    • Surprise me.
    • Less is more.
    • Be a copycat.
    • Get to the point.
    • Keep it personal (go small).
    • Play it on repeat.
  • In the end, you don’t decide what the right message is. Your customers do.
    • Publish. Get feedback. Repeat.

[09:14] Messaging = Connection

  • With a few words, we can help people “get it”.
    • People need to feel something in order to be compelled to take action.
  • The problem? Everybody is trying to do the same thing. How do you cut through the noise?
    • We are fighting…
      • …sameness
      • …boring(ness)
        • “The cardinal marketing sin is being boring.” ~Dan Kennedy
      • …irrelevance
    • Finding the right message is all about finding the right words for the right people and putting them in the right order.

[13:34] Triple-S Messaging Framework: How to tell your STORY

  • Story (or narrative) is that fundamental truth that your company lives by. Your story is a foundational way to differentiate your messaging. In business, story is the strategy.
    • What change are you trying to make? And why?
    • What’s the promise you make—and keep—for your customers?
    • What’s at stake for them?
    • What do you really deliver?
    • What do you do differently?
    • What are you unapologetic about?
      • Patagonia: Force for good
        • “We care. We stand for something bigger. Together, let’s change the world.”
      • TransferWise (Wise): Peoples’ savior
        • “You’re being treated unfairly. We’re gonna put a stop to it. We stand up for what’s right!”
      • NaNLABS: Status quo challenger
        • “The way things are being done is flawed. We offer a better alternative.”

How to tell the right story

[21:28] Triple-S Messaging Framework: How to STRUCTURE your marketing message

  • Messaging Structure: Copy is a conversation between you and the reader.
    • “Enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.” ~Robert Collier Principle
    • Know thy customer.
      • Pain points
      • Needs
      • Desires
      • Hesitations
      • Triggers
    • What is the catalyst that gets your customer to you?
    • Kill your “buyer persona”. Instead, know their…
      • Emotion (what they believe) + Behaviour (what they want to do [JTBD])
    • Know thy stage of awareness.
      • Unaware: “I don’t have a problem. I have opinions and thoughts.”
      • Problem-aware: “I know I’ve got a problem, but I don’t know how to solve it.”
      • Solution-aware: “I know there’s a solution to my problem, but I haven’t found the product that delivers it.”
      • Product-aware: “I know you and your product. But is it right for me?”
      • Most aware: “I know you and your product. Tell me the deal. I’m ready to buy!”

 

Marketing awareness cycle

 

    • What is your prospect thinking?
      • “Who the heck are you? And what do you do?”
        • Headline
      • “Cool, but what’s in it for me?”
        • Customer-Focused Value Prop
      • “Can I trust you?”
        • Social Proof/Trust Markers
      • “Okay… Show me then. How do you do it?”
        • Features/Products -> Benefit
      • “Okay… But why should I care about this?”
        • Agitation/Explanation -> Benefit
      • “Why should I believe you?”
        • Social Proof
      • “What do I get?”
        • Transformation + Outcome
      • “Alright. What should I do next?”
        • Call to Action

Overcoming customer objections

[35:21] Triple-S Messaging Framework: How to SHAPE your marketing message

  • Shape and define your message.
    • 6 Quick Strategies to Sssexy Up Your Messaging
      • #1 Surprise me: Use unexpected words in your copy.
        • Coda: “Enough of this sheet.” “No more ping-ponging between documents.”
      • #2 Less is more: Beware of too many adjectives, or too many things.
        • Logentries: “The Fastest Way to Analyze Your Log Data.”
      • #3 Be a copycat: Steal your customers’ words. Make them feel seen.
        • When servers repeat a food order back to their customer, their tips increase by 68%.
      • #4 Get to the point: Cut the clutter. Be clear and concise.
        • “Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills, and meaningless jargon.” ~William Zinsser
      • #5 Keep it personal: Write to ONE reader (one person, one problem, one solution)
        • “Walk away from the ocean and look for a large swimming pool.” ~Seth Godin, This is Marketing
        • In business, you need to go small to go big.
      • #6 Play it on repeat: Own it. Repeat It. Stay top-of-mind.
        • “Create once. Distribute forever. “ ~Ross Simmonds

Q and A on how to find the right marketing message

[52:38] Q: I’m currently facing an internal challenge: There’s an embedded belief that consumer messaging needs to be completely functional at the point of purchase to drive conversions. I’d love your thoughts.

A: We need to know people’s emotion + behaviour. This informs every single purchase. Show the stats if you can; but, the best thing to do is to test the messaging and see which one comes out on top.

 

[55:17] Q: How do you balance surprise and unexpected words with SEO?

A: I don’t write for SEO. I don’t focus on SEO first. It’s the last thing that I think of. When doing copy or messaging, I really focus on the connection first. Focus on writing for what your customers need to get them from A to B.

 

[57:30] Q: What if a company is brand new and has very little-to-no social proof?

A: It depends on your industry, but leverage your credentials and/or story. Also try launching a beta to get those first few testimonials, not only to improve your product, but also to use that messaging.

 

[1:00:16] Q: Do you have any tips for getting to the bottom of a story? I’ve just joined a company that has no marketing, and they try to be all things to all people.

A: My first question is, “Do you have access to the founder?” You need to grab that person and present why narrative and story is so important to narrow down. You find so many gems when you discover why the founder started the company. Remember: The story that sticks is the one that most resonates with your audience.

 

[1:05:04] Q: How do you get senior leadership onboard with customer-first messaging if they’re reluctant to change what’s always been?

A: Show, don’t tell. If you don’t have to get them onboard and can just do it, then just do it. But, if you’re not creating messaging that’s customer-first, then what are you creating? Your customer has to be at the heart because that’s why your business exists: to help people. It’s been scientifically proven that if your customer doesn’t feel seen or heard, they won’t take action. Interview your customer. If there is a mismatch between your messaging and their pain points and desires, you need to change it.

 

[51:53] Q: How do you resonate with contacts when you’re selling a necessary product rather than something they want to have?

A: You have to meet them where they’re at. Start with what you already know they want. If there’s a divide between what your customers want and what you’re offering, you’re in the change business. You can’t tell them to change. You need a better story.

 

[1:09:20] Q: When you work in a company with many parts and so many different audiences, but one website, how do you narrow down to one clear message for one person?

A: This is why landing pages are so much more effective than homepages. What you can do with a homepage is cater to the majority of the type of customers that are really going to connect with you. In other words, cater to the prospects that are most likely to convert.

This event was live on 25 Jan 2022, 08:30