Reaching the right audiences with the right messages is fundamental for B2B marketing success. Without clear and consistent messaging, it can be nearly impossible to engage the ideal buyers and highlight why your solution is the best one for them.
That’s where a messaging framework comes in. A brand messaging framework is a tool that helps embody and communicate your strategy and story across all different lines of business. It also provides an easy way to visualize the individual messaging elements that come together to comprise it. A successful framework produces coherent and consistent messaging that resonates with target audiences, differentiates your organization from the competition and communicates key value propositions.
While there isn’t one absolute right way to construct your brand messaging framework, a comprehensive approach will account for company-level messaging, product positioning and specific messages tailored to each of your personas. From here, adapting your framework to fit your business is important so that it’s logical, complete and understandable for everyone who will apply it.
Let’s dive in on each of these three components more closely for a deeper look at how to build (or refine) your framework for complete and compelling company messaging.
Convey Your Brand with Company Messaging
At the highest level, company messaging gets to the heart of what customers need and how your company’s product/service/solution does a particularly good job of meeting those needs. Company-level messaging will often include components such as a brand promise, positioning statement and a mission statement that all speak to who your brand is and what you want to accomplish as a company.
Company messaging should also include brand pillars, which are the 3-4 most important selling points for your offering. When crafting these pillars, think of one-word descriptors that differentiate your brand from competitors, such as “revenue-centric,” “proven,” or “reliable.” You should then be able to speak to each pillar with 3-4 supporting bullets that explain how your brand embodies this benefit.
It’s important to remember that corporate messaging should not involve specific offerings or solutions. Instead, keep your messages big-picture and related to your organization as a whole—not just the individual pieces that comprise it. Consider interviewing key execs to build a cohesive understanding of the process and vision that went into creating the company. To keep yourself on track, imagine your brand pillars and supporting messages appearing on a website “About Us” page or a “What We Do” section. Messages should be succinct yet deep enough for potential customers to immediately know what your company stands for as well as what you do.
Differentiate Your Offering with Product Messaging
Product messaging, on the other hand, dives deep into the key value propositions of your products and/or services. You should have product messaging unique to each of your offerings that not only describes the individual features, but also the benefits users can expect from your solutions and how those benefits will make their lives easier. For instance, if you offer 24/7 live chat services, one of your messages might be: “Expert technical help at your fingertips, whenever and wherever you need it.”
Just like you want to clearly communicate the key benefits of your offering, it is also important to convey what makes your solution stand above other options. However, you need to know where the rest stand in order to authentically communicate how your solution outshines alternatives. To do so, complete thorough research of your competitors’ messaging and offerings to benchmark crucial details. First, identify who your competitors are. Then, dig into what their solution comes with, what their solution does that yours does not and what are their potential buying pain points that could keep customers from moving forward.
It’s important to note that even if your solution mix is unique from competitors’ offerings, you should still incorporate key terms and phrases that resonate with your industry so prospects can find you. Imagine your future customers taking to Google to research potential solutions—are you using industry language that prospects would type into a search bar? If not, it might be time to hone your product messages, so it’s clear to buyers what space you’re playing in without sacrificing your unique selling points.
Speak to Your Audience with Persona Messaging
Persona-level messaging takes product messages and customizes them to the unique pain points and needs of your different personas. These can also be thought of as the talking points your sales team will leverage when meeting new prospects and explaining the value of your offering.
To develop effective persona messages, you must first have well-developed buyer personas. Your buyer personas should be up to date and cover the individual’s different job responsibilities and pain points so you can speak to each persona accurately. To supplement or validate your personas, meet with different customer-facing groups in your organization, such as Sales and Support, for firsthand insight on the messages that resonate and intrigue buyers the most. You can even conduct focus groups if you’re launching a new product and currently don’t have an existing pool of customers from which to glean insights.
With your buyer personas cemented and corporate messaging crystallized, it’s time to synthesize those insights into cohesive, benefits-driven persona messaging. These boiled-down core ideas form the basis for your brand identity and should be essential ideas that ring true for website visitors, blog readers, webinar attendees and sales prospects alike. Since salespeople can be present to adjust messages in real-time based on customer reactions and needs, your digital presence needs to be a stand-in “salesman” to drives the process forward with engaging and accurate messages.
Engage and Advance Conversions with Your Messaging
Ultimately, solid messaging will illustrate your knowledge and capabilities and exactly how your product/service will positively impact your customer. As B2B buyers do an increasing amount of independent research—making it about 70% of the way through the buying process before speaking with a rep—it’s more important than ever to prioritize strong messaging that meets them in their research and gets right to the heart of what they need and how you can help.
Developing a reliable messaging framework that not only intrigues buyers but also serves as a reliable outline for internal teams will ensure your messaging aligns across channels and communications. A strong framework could be the difference between whether your target audience will choose your product/service or turn to competitors. Keeping your messaging clear and customer-centric will initiate more conversations with prospects and help advance leads through the funnel.
Looking for more messaging insights? Download our Messaging That Matters eBook for applicable tips and strategies to get your messaging foundation right.