When you’re marketing your products or services, your first task is to capture your prospective customers’ interest—in less than 5 seconds. That means communicating consistently across all channels: website, social, and print. Below are some tips for creating effective messaging:
- Know who your ideal customers are. Always keep your in mind. Ask yourself these questions:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What do they look like? What do they like?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- Be brief. People’s attention spans are very short, and cell phone screens are very small. Don’t overload visitors with information, and if you’re talking about something complex, break it down into manageable bites.
- Use language that’s easy to understand. Avoid industry jargon, and don’t use acronyms that your audience isn’t likely to know. If you must use them, define them on first mention, especially if they may have multiple meanings.
- APR: annual percentage rate versus annual prime rate
- CAO: chief accounting officer versus chief administrative officer
- Highlight your successes. Case studies are effective because everyone likes stories with happy endings. Use the situation-action-result format, and focus the result on something that’s easy to remember. Consider these examples:
- Before: Our efforts helped the company save money.
- After: Our efforts helped the company save more than $100,000.
Because the first example has no amount listed, readers might think that the savings were too minimal to report. The second example corrects the problem.
Keep in mind that a well-written case study may be the most compelling real-world example you present, but it isn’t the only one. Make your examples work for you, and keep them simple. For instance, if your main selling point involves a process, be sure to explain it in terms your readers can relate to.
- Monitor your analytics. Continuously improve your messaging by conducting A/B tests. Tracking the results of those tests will show how many readers prefer multiple versions of the same piece of messaging.
- Examine your imagery. As with written content, your icons, photography, and other graphical elements should speak to your audience. If your brand personality is creative and fun, use plenty of color and eye-catching imagery to reflect those characteristics. Also, make sure that your audience is represented. For example, if your target customers belong to a visible minority, your photography and icons should affirm the culture of that minority.
- Say it with video. The right presentation can inspire a stronger emotional response than static content on a page or screen. Videos will also give you a wider reach on social media.
- Tailor your messaging to your brand personality. If you’re trying for a conversational style, use informal language and avoid long sentences—again, be brief! It’s a good idea to create a brand standards manual to capture the design and personality of your messaging.
- Proofread your work. No matter how often you’ve looked at your content, mistakes can still creep in. Before it goes live, have someone else check it for errors.
When you’re creating messaging, recognize your limitations. If you can’t solve the problem your customers face, then your business is not the right fit for them. You must be able to provide them with instant answers, and you must be able to communicate that ability through your messaging. If you can’t, you have the wrong target customer, the wrong messaging, or both. You have 5 seconds to make a positive impact and get your prospective customers interested. The right messaging will make all of those seconds count.
Badie Designs helps organizations create powerful messaging across many industries. Contact us today for a consultation.