How the Right Messaging Can Bring Your Brand to Life
As a company, what you say is important, but how you say it can be the difference between generic information and a strong, focused brand that strikes a chord with your target audience.
The writing style used when communicating information as a company is called messaging or brand voice. Your messaging sets the tone of your brand voice and creates the general impression you want your site visitors to have of your company.
Messaging can encompass a wide variety of different components, including a positioning statement explaining who you are as a company and a boilerplate paragraph for use in press releases and promotional materials. Perhaps the most important messaging element is a messaging architecture—a set of words or phrases that are arranged hierarchically to reflect your messaging priorities and communications goals.
Building Your Messaging Architecture
While a messaging architecture should be in line with your corporate mission, it is distinct in that it:
- Conveys an order of importance
- Is outward-facing, relating specifically to how you communicate with your audience rather than how you conduct your business internally
A messaging architecture should look like a simple list of brand attributes, ranked in order of importance, with sub-bullets that clarify and add depth to each attribute.
Here is an example of what a messaging architecture might look like for Apple, from a presentation by brand and content strategist Margot Bloomstein:
- Confident but approachable
- Minimally detailed
- Not fawning
To create your own messaging architecture, consider these questions:
- What is your company’s ONE most distinctive trait?
- What is the main reason someone should do business with you?
- What five words describe the tone you want your messaging to impart? (Authoritative, compassionate, educational, etc.)
- What is most important to your typical customer? (Technological expertise, saving time, customer service, cost, etc.)
Your messaging platform should:
- Convey who you are and who you want to be.
- Show what is most important to you as a company.
- Be written in plain language that your audience can relate to. No jargon or corporate-speak.
Once you have your messaging elements in place, circulate them throughout the company to make sure everyone is on the same page. Your messaging platform will help you build consistent, effective messaging for your website and serves as a guiding star for all content efforts.