Maybe you’re at the launch phase, and you’re exploring branding for your website and social media presence, or perhaps you’re setting your goals for the future and dream of growing your team, expanding your product range or going international. Each business has a unique journey to becoming a profitable and self-sustaining enterprise.
Marketing is an essential component to focus on no matter what stage your business is in, and with a clear marketing message and a well-planned marketing strategy, you can capture the attention of your target market. A good marketing strategy will help you connect easily with your ideal clients, catapult your business reputation and increase your market share whether you’re in product or offering a service.
While most of us might have an idea of the primary zones to activate for digital marketing success—an active social media presence, a search engine optimized website, and a solid email marketing set-up to start with—your core marketing message will determine how you plan and execute your marketing. Taking some time to think about and set down your “why” for your business will energize your planning efforts and infuse your marketing with the magic to keep your campaigns fresh and innovative while staying true to your brand values.
What is a marketing message and why do you need one?
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
- Simon Sinek
The whole point of marketing is to connect with your target market, and communicating what you stand for is vital for authentic communication. Core marketing messaging is more than simply stating information about what you sell. It’s about showing your most important reason for why your business exists.
Let’s look at some examples of brands with strong core messaging.
TED — Ideas worth spreading
TED is an organization that shares inspirational talks from changemakers who inspire us and make us think. With a simple tagline, TED communicates what its brand is all about. The simplicity with which they can explain their “why” exemplifies how a strong marketing message connects with their audience and has allowed them to grow from an annual conference to a global phenomenon. The message is carried out throughout their content and in how they talk to their audience at every touchpoint. Here’s how they wrote their newsletter sign-up form:
Because their message is clear, TED was able to envision and execute an inclusive brand that works on multiple levels and platforms to supercharge audience engagement making TED Talks available for free and supporting the independent TEDx communities around the world even with their non-profit business model.
Kickstarter — To help bring creative projects to life
A crowdfunding platform for creative projects, Kickstarter, has revolutionized the funding landscape for inventors. Their core marketing message is that they enable creations that may not have been financially viable without the financial support needed to get ideas off the ground.
Creativity is infused into the brand with a playful logo that’s simple yet fun and memorable. To stay true to its “why,” Kickstarter must balance its own branding and marketing with the message of the products that creators list on the platform. Their brand value of being helpful is carried out through the template for listing a project that clearly distinguishes the elements of the project with how they enable supporters’ buy-in by providing practical information and the safety of the Kickstarter guarantee to both project initiators and investors.
Airbnb — The Future of Travel
The next example shows us how a brand can use video to communicate its marketing message. With all the changes to how people travel in the past few years, Airbnb has evolved how they communicate their message of making the travel experience even more accessible to their customers who are taking longer trips while working from new locations.
Not only does Airbnb inspire travel by showcasing inspiring homes, they also use the video to showcase the browsing experience of their new features at the same time. Notice how at 4:59, they outline the protections in place for guests who book via the platform.
House of Happy — Your Party, Your Way
If you’re thinking, wait a sec, Liz, these are businesses with enormous resources, this next example is a small business with big ideas. House of Happy provides bespoke party planning and execution as well as a range of ready-made products to dress up your next party at home.
House of Happy communicates its message of making the joy of gathering with friends accessible without the work throughout their website:
Notice how they infuse joy in their logo and visuals and carry it over into their social media presence with a brand voice that creates a seamless experience in the voice of their brand personality, the fairy godmother:
Are you feeling inspired yet? Let’s look at how you can identify your core marketing message and what you need to know to get started.
Step 1: Know your customer
When it comes to marketing, there’s no better way to get started than to get really clear on who you’re talking to. When you know your audience, you can speak directly to them, identify their pain points and tell them how your offer solves their problems. For example, a bespoke party planner might talk to busy working women who are short on time but still want the wow factor when they entertain.
Research shows that over three-quarters of consumers make purchasing decisions based on brand memorability. You don’t need to spend millions of dollars on ads to create a memorable brand when you have an authentic marketing message and follow up with excellent customer service, of course. What should they remember? A core marketing message must be unique and resonate with the audience, providing a solution to a problem rather than raising questions. In other words, it must be memorable enough to leave a positive impact on the audience without being pushy. Once you have identified the target audience, you can focus on developing core messaging that will be memorable and relevant to them.
Click over to my blog on creating customer personas for your digital marketing plan for a step-by-step guide on achieving this.
Step 2: Create a value proposition
Your value proposition is the unique solution that only your business provides customers. It’s how you differentiate your offer from the competition, and it goes hand-in-hand with your core marketing message. According to Hubspot, 64% of businesses have established value propositions.
The key to a successful value proposition is to focus on the customer and their needs. A value proposition can change over time, and a company can change its value proposition as it goes through different stages of development. Airbnb, for example, began as a way to offer an alternative to hotels and has since become a staple. It has launched multiple products with distinct value propositions. It can be good to review your value proposition along with your marketing message even if you’re already established. In my blog on marketing planning, you’ll find a handy guide to identifying your value proposition.
Step 3: Identify your core marketing message
Now you’re ready to outline your marketing message. Take a beat, grab a nice cuppa and a fresh sheet of paper, and dive in.
Identifying your company’s core marketing message involves identifying the key messages and concepts behind your entire business. Everything your company does should be based around these elements, including brand messaging and problem-solving. You can start by thinking of the pain points and benefits of your product or service. Then, you can narrow down the list of potential messages to focus on to create a core marketing message that captures your customers’ attention and makes them want to purchase your product.
We [provide] __________,so that you [get] _________,so that you [feel] _________.
It’s really that simple.
Take a step back and think about what you’d like to hear from a brand in your niche. It’s best to keep things simple, get to the point and use plain language. You can always get creative with how to expand on your message with clever campaigns and copywriting once you have the core in place.
How do you stay original? Keep away from cliches but also be specific. Here are two examples. Which one do you connect with the most?
- Our award-winning standing desk makes working a breeze, gives your body the gift of lowering your risk of weight gain and obesity and helps you feel amazing
- Stay energized throughout the day with our standing desk and say goodbye to aches and pains.
Here are a few questions to help you get the creative juices flowing.
Are you addressing your ideal client?
Consider how you can best speak to your target market. Do you need to write in the tone of a helpful friend, or do you need to take the role of an expert, so they feel supported through a transition?
What can your client reconsider about how they approach their problem?
When clients approach me for consultations on their digital marketing, they are either entirely new to the field, and I must show them their options, or they have already tried many approaches and are looking for a more robust strategy. You may need to be educated on the benefits of your offer or make it easy for them to overcome their immediate need.
Whatever the situation, make sure you’re making a direct connection to your ability to solve your client’s problem.
Do you need more help crafting your core marketing message or translating that to your digital marketing strategy? I can help. Book a 15 minute discovery call to see how we can work together.