There is a lot of noise in the online world. The amount of information that people consume daily makes it very difficult for brands to communicate in a way that their message is heard. Communicating the right message at the right time takes practice and perseverance.
In marketing, there are two camps yelling at one another – one thinks quality always wins over quantity, and the other focuses on communicating as much as possible.
In spite of the fact that both are wrong at the same time, they both make valid points. Unless you create valuable content, it is pointless to publish anything at all. On the other hand, to stay relevant, you must create a lot of content and regularly communicate with your audience.
So how do you find the right balance?
What is a messaging framework?
It’s easy to come up with new content ideas. Almost every day, we learn a brand-new buzzword to use, a new topic to discuss, or a fresh trend to follow. It is important for brands to be critical about what they REALLY wish to communicate to their target audience. Jumping on any train that comes, throwing content at the wall, and seeing what sticks is not a strategy.
Content strategy begins with deciding what you want to communicate. This decision leads to the creation of a messaging framework or messaging hierarchy. The document contains the core messages a brand wants to convey, including its voice and language.
Sounds quite easy, right? In reality, many brands fail to define their messaging strategy before developing content, and they waste time and money publishing irrelevant content.
Defining your communication strategy affects more than just content. When you create a messaging framework for your brand, you are helping every department. Consider it a foundation for building your brand systematically by assisting all parts of it in growing: customer service, marketing, sales, and business development. Your employees will have less room to make mistakes when they know exactly what you want them to communicate and how to do it.
As Jasmine Bina, a Brand Strategist and CEO of Concept Bureau, writes:
“Good brand messaging solves multiple problems at once. A strong story can make issues around user behavior, trust, retention, and competitive forces disappear. It also takes the complex and makes it simple.”
For instance, consider your customer service team. If everyone on that team uses a different tone or describes your services differently, not only are you losing consistency, but you’re also losing your brand.
Therefore, you can think of a messaging framework as a guide for everyone working with your brand on what you want to say, how you want to say it, and to whom you want to say it.
3 MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF A MESSAGING FRAMEWORK
A typical, simple messaging framework consists of three parts:
- Value proposition
- Tone and language
- Target audience
When writing your value proposition, consider what you can offer your potential customers that other brands cannot. Next, define the unique benefit you provide your target customers, how you solve their specific needs, or how you satisfy their needs better than your competitors.
Let’s take Grammarly, for example. This is their value proposition:
Great Writing, Simplified
Compose bold, clear, mistake-free writing with Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant.
Using simple, easy, everyday language, Grammarly explains everything a customer needs to know about such a service in two short lines.
- They’ve defined the problem a customer might be trying to solve, which is making mistakes in their writing
- They’ve defined their target audience – people looking to improve their writing or check their spelling
- They’ve provided a solution – they have an AI-powered app that fixes your grammar and stylistic errors and improves the readability of your text
This is all a customer needs to know to consider using the app, which means their value proposition was successful.
TONE AND LANGUAGE
After you define your message, you need to determine what your brand’s voice and style will be.
The tone is the overall emotion or vibe expressed in your messages. Here, you must decide whether to remain formal or professional or friendly and conversational. The kind of personality you want your brand to have and the kind of relationships you want to build with your audience will determine this.
Language style refers to how words, phrases, and grammar are used in a message. A message’s complexity and formality can influence its interpretation and understanding. You can convey your brand’s value proposition, establish credibility, and foster trust with appropriate language.
A mix of the two can significantly impact how your target audience perceives and values your brand. In addition, it can impact how your messages are remembered and accepted, helping you build brand awareness.
You should probably define your target audience first in your messaging framework. Trying to communicate with an anonymous audience might just lead you to talk to yourself, which is what struggling brands do.
Who is the person you’re trying to reach? What is their age, and where do they live? What type of work do they do, and what problems do they face? Are they tech-savvy, or do they need simple explanations of complex solutions?
If you don’t put all of this on paper, you won’t be able to effectively communicate your brand’s message.
As soon as you’ve completed these three parts, you can move on to more complex ones, such as the brand promise, the positioning statement, the elevator pitch, the personas, the differentiators (what distinguishes you from the competition), the competitive landscape, and supporting information (which you use to support the key messages).
USING A MESSAGING FRAMEWORK IN YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY
An effective messaging framework creates a foundation for producing consistent and effective communications at all contact points. As we discussed when talking about building brand awareness, consistency helps build trust. In addition, it reduces the likelihood that your team will stray from the brand’s core values and goals.
By aligning your content production with your messaging framework, you can ensure your content is written in a consistent tone and language tailored to your customers. Using the language your customers understand, you can build stronger relationships and improve engagement.
Content created based on your messaging framework will reinforce your value proposition, helping you stay focused on your business objectives and reinforcing your unique selling point.