Whether it’s your homepage copy, your Facebook ads, or the CTA in your latest ebook, anytime you communicate with people through words, you have an opportunity to make an impact through your marketing messaging. The stronger, more consistent your messaging, the more people are compelled to learn more, click around, sign up, download, etc.
Unfortunately, many brands either miss the mark or don’t make the impact they should. Whether their messaging is too inconsistent or too generic, it’s a lost opportunity. We hate to see bad messaging happen to good brands, so today we’re sharing our best tips to craft messaging that really converts.
How to Write Better Marketing Messaging
Strong marketing messaging is about communicating who you are and what you offer in a way that resonates with the people you’re trying to reach. Here’s how to make your messaging stick—no matter your industry.
1) Know who you’re talking to.
To communicate effectively, you need to understand who you’re talking to and what they care about. What are their needs? Wants? Fears? How does your brand solve their problems or enhance their lives?
Marketing personas give you this insight. They’re basically a demographic and psychographic profile of the different types of people you’re trying to reach. When you have a deep understanding of these marketing personas, you can better tailor your messaging and speak directly to those pain points.
Tip: Start with our guide to create your marketing personas (if you haven’t already). To find out what you want to know about your audience, you should call, email, survey, and chat with your customers. Ask them about their pain points, challenges, goals, frustrations, aspirations, etc. As you dive into those customer responses, you will see common themes and even phrases that can be useful in crafting your marketing copy. Remember: You want to speak to them in their own language.
Example: Slack does a fantastic job of tailoring brand messaging to different personas.
2) Follow your brand messaging framework.
Consistency is everything in marketing. The more frequently you interact with your audience, and the more consistently you tell your brand story, the easier it is to form a relationship with them. A strong messaging framework, which includes your value prop, tagline, and brand messaging pillars, ensures you are telling that consistent story throughout your marketing materials.
Your brand messaging pillars are especially handy when creating content and copy, as they are basically talking points that reinforce your value proposition. For example, a cookie company might use “healthy ingredients,” “unique recipes,” and “distinct flavors” as their three main brand messaging pillars.
Crafting copy around these selling points ensures you aren’t pitching a vague idea or generic solution. The more specific you are, the more impact your copy will have.
Example: For Thinx, makers of period panties, their social CTA is much more than a “follow us!” It’s a call to action to help them combat the stigma around menstruation, which is one of their main brand values.
3) Speak to people.
This is a simple one, but it’s probably one of the most common mistakes we see in marketing messaging. You always want to talk to people, not at or about them. Always write in second-person voice. (If it’s been a while since you’ve been in English class, that means using “you,” not “they.”) You should also avoid buzzwords or insider jargon that can make people feel intimidated or excluded if they’re not in the know.
Tip: Always talk to humans like they’re human. This is where your brand voice plays a big role. If you don’t know what yours is, here are 5 ways to find it. And if you want to ensure you’re creating truly valuable content, you can use these tips to get the BS out of your content marketing.
4) Be simple and direct.
You’re already fighting for attention, so don’t bury your message in flowery language or waste time with long, meandering paragraphs. Short, snappy, and simple copy grabs attention and nudges people along the buyer’s journey.
Tip: Always take a second pass to tighten your marketing copy.
- Is it clear and concise?
- Is there an interesting hook?
- Can you simplify or use a more powerful word?
If you need a little help or inspiration, check out our roundup of 100+ tools and resources to write better copy.
Example: Hims‘ messaging is short, concise, and impactful—extra points for the clever use of emojis.
5) Use emotion.
Emotion is everything. When you can tap into that with vibrant language that entices people to interact with you, your copy is much more likely to convert. Again, you want to speak directly to people’s needs, hopes, fears, and desires.
Tip: Lead with benefits over features. Ultimately, no one cares if your brand’s jackets are made with a triple-reinforced, high-tech fabric; they care about keeping their family warm and comfortable on their next camping adventure. Similarly, leading with your brand values can also be an effective way to cultivate an emotional connection with your audience. See how these brands use their values in their marketing. And if you’re still struggling to come up with something good, try these copywriting exercises to get unstuck.
Example: Comforter maker Buffy has great brand messaging that draws site visitors into their story in an emotionally enticing way. Save the world and get a comfy comforter? Let’s do this.
How to Fine-Tune Your Marketing Messaging
When you put work into your brand messaging, you want to know that it’s working for you. That’s why A/B testing is your friend. With hard data, there’s no more relying on a hunch, intuition, or personal preference when it comes to your copy.
We prefer testing methods that are simple yet insightful. In our experience, one of the best tools for A/B testing copy is Facebook ads. They’re especially great because they’re easy to implement, far less costly, and tailored to the people you’re actually trying to reach. No matter what type of messaging you’re testing, whether it’s a new tagline, value prop, or CTA, Facebook ads can help you easily see what’s working and what’s not.
If you’re experimenting with various brand messaging, try this simple test:
- Build separate landing pages to test different copy for each. Use identical design, changing only the copy.
- Run a targeted FB ad to your customers for a week. Note: Remember that a highly targeted ad usually means less traffic. Keep in mind that you want to narrow your criteria, yet still generate enough numbers to get statistical significance on test results.
- See which landing page got more conversions.
Yep, it’s that easy. Of course, you can run more in-depth A/B tests, depending on your needs. There are plenty of useful tools and resources to do so.
- Validate your sample size with Optimizely’s calculator.
- Try Neil Patel’s A/B testing calculator to help you calculate conversions.
- Learn everything you need to know about A/B testing with Optimizely’s optimization glossary.
- Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization by CXL.
Based on your A/B tests, you should have better insight into what resonates and what needs to be tweaked.
However, research and revision are a huge part of finding the right messaging, so don’t consider it a one-and-done deal. There are always opportunities to improve. If your budget permits, we recommend testing your copy every six months (or anytime you change your marketing direction or brand strategy).
Look For More Ways to Tell Your Brand Story
If your brand creates a lot of content and/or has a lot of content creators, maintaining consistency is crucial. Ensure everyone on your team is familiar with your messaging framework (and knows where to find it). You can also check out a few more of our resources to tell your brand story effectively.
- Get inspired by how these brands turn their brand story into unique content.
- Learn how to put your brand’s values front and center in messaging.
- Try these tips to tell your brand story at every touchpoint.
Of course, if you’re struggling with crafting your messaging—or any part of your brand identity—hit us up. We’d love to help bring your story to life.