It can be challenging to stand out in a world filled with flashy brand names, high-dollar advertisements, and attention-grabbing graphics. However, businesses of every size and service type need to understand how messaging plays a role in their growth strategy.
Refining your brand message is more than just updating your website, although that’s on the list, too. Message consistency across channels, audiences, and experiences is key to creating a brand identity your customers trust. When your message is relevant to the right audience, you can establish credibility, encourage loyalty, and drive revenue.
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Your company can be the best in the industry, but if no one knows that, it may as well be untrue. Without a customer-facing presence that can be verified online, your business offering may seem suspicious.
In a digital-first world, information that can be confirmed with a quick Google search is essential. Establish your business’s expertise by crafting your website with the information your potential customers need to make a buying decision.
Provide an overview of what products or services you offer and the type of customers you specialize in serving. Make it easy for potential customers to learn more, reach out for a consultation, or make a purchase. Use clear calls to action, buttons, and linked text to guide them to their next step.
Share product information generously, including a blog with guides on how to use your products. This type of resource often drives visitors to your site even if they don’t already know your brand. Identify the resources that would be most relevant and useful to your target audience. Create an editorial plan with your team, prioritizing foundational pieces first.
Take your time to develop your strategy, establishing deadlines and responsible parties for each step in the process. This effort can be time-consuming, so consider investing in technical writing services to help you, especially if your product or service is complex. These content experts can serve as an extension of your team and enable you to keep up with content demands.
Staff turnover, unclear expectations, and shifting priorities are among some of the biggest threats to consistent brand messaging. Without a set of standards or rules, your brand and reputation are at risk of dilution. That’s why your business needs to establish brand guidelines designed to protect your investment and prepare for growth.
First, audit your communications channels and document the current state of your messaging. Resist the urge to begin editing, aside from the rare occasion where something is blatantly wrong. Rather, thoroughly assess your website, print publications, social media channels, and internal communications platforms. Review colors, logos, fonts, taglines, and product names and their abbreviations, logging the specific locations you’ve reviewed.
Once you’ve completed your audit, flag incorrect and outdated information. For example, if you renamed a product, it may be common to see internal channels referencing the original product name. This understandable yet risky bad habit can result in communication confusion between colleagues that can spill into the customer experience.
The brand guidelines you establish should cover how to use your logos, fonts, colors, and terminology. These guidelines serve as the North Star for your team’s language, external appearance, and messaging strategy. While these guidelines can seem rigid, they’re intended as a tool to ensure consistency and reliability.
Conduct training on these guidelines, where to find them, and how to keep one another accountable to them. Initially, you may get pushback, but keep your core purpose at the forefront: delivering a consistent experience for your customers.
You know your company is great, and you’re happy to spread the word to whoever will listen. However, there’s a reason why product and service recommendations from trusted friends and even influencers are more effective than yours. They’re perceived as impartial information instead of self-serving promotion.
Peer recommendations from people your audience members know, respect, or aspire to be like build near-immediate trust in your brand. When an authentic recommendation is delivered, your brand gains credibility by association. Your company can leverage this strategy, no matter your offering or budget.
First, consider who might be a relevant brand champion who would be willing to share your message. Internal candidates like team members are a great place to start, especially as they share their experience working for you. However, as internal stakeholders, their pitches — however well crafted — may not be enough. So going outside of the organization is essential.
Reach out to existing customers with opportunities to advocate for your brand authentically. After a customer makes a purchase, send a thank-you email with a request for a review and social media share. Incentivize their participation by offering a discount on a future purchase or a free add-on with their next order. This natural connection point feels authentic to your customer while providing you with a high-value, low-investment messaging deliverable.
Use your brand guidelines and messaging strategy to package easy-to-use content for brand champions to share. Supply them with links, copy, and images to make resharing information a snap. By pre-packaging content and adding social sharing buttons to your request, delighted customers can reinforce your messaging with little effort. Keep brand champions engaged long term by providing a first look at new products, exclusive discounts, and news to reshare.
Differentiating your business from its competitors is just the beginning of what message consistency can do for your brand. When you master the art of communicating exactly what your business has to offer, targeting customers becomes easier. By fine-tuning your message, protecting your brand presence, and equipping others to share the good word, your company’s profile becomes elevated. As a result, your business and your bottom line will thrive.