“How do you create an impactful message that is attractive to the masses? How often should a business refresh its message?”
A marketer at New York Life Insurance asked this question in a content marketing workshop. It’s one of the Top 100 Questions about content marketing. How do you create an impactful message that is attractive to the masses?
Put your audience’s needs first
The most successful content marketers put their audience first. It’s all about answering your audience’s big question: what’s in it for me? (WIIFM?)
A stark difference between the most successful and least successful marketers is how much emphasis they put on the audience’s needs. Here’s what the 2020 Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs research found:
- 88% of the most successful B2B marketers put meeting the audience’s information needs first.
- Only 50% of the least successful B2B marketers put audience needs first.
Results are similar for consumer marketers:
- 90% of the most successful B2C marketers put meeting the audience’s information needs first.
- Only 56% of the least successful B2C marketers put the audience first.
In other words, putting the audience’s needs first almost doubles your chances of big-time success.
Give the audience the information they need to create an impactful message
If you don’t, they turn to another source.
To get a deep understanding of which information buyers need, where they hunt for information, what obstacles they encounter, and how to help them overcome obstacles, you need to do buyer persona research.
Buyer personas give you insights into what buyers do when they are out of sight, offstage. Those insights are the keys to answering what’s in it for me? well.
These blogs will help you perform the buyer persona research you need:
- 5 Insights into Buyer Personas for Your Content Marketing: Adele Revella
- How to Deliver Consistent Content Marketing to All Buyer Personas
- See what buyers really do offstage.
Create a Message Map to hook your audience in 7 seconds
Use a Message Map to boil down your message to its essence. That’s how you can hook your audience quickly, in the first 7 seconds.
Your home base message answers the question, what’s in it for me? Home base is all about your audience, not about your brand.
This question referred to “masses” of people. Here’s a catch: The bigger your audience is, the harder it is to create content that’s relevant to all audience members.
Segmenting your audience and delivering relevant content for each segment can help. The smaller and more niche your audience is, the easier it is to create unique content for them.
Support home base with 3 positive points, and reasons to believe.
Your Message Map enables you to say what’s in it for customers? And give them 3 reasons to believe your home base.
Here’s an example from the insurance industry:
Consistency is Key
What’s In It for Me? A way to secure my family’s future. Keep this message consistent over time – because people remember messages that are consistent.
Why believe that? For 3 reasons. Because it’s a well-known brand, it provides great customer service, and its life insurance is tailored to my needs. Refresh the reasons to believe as needed, while keeping your home base constant.
When you keep your main message consistent over time, you add to its credibility. Your main message or home base is the 10% of your content that you want your audiences to retain, notes cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Carmen Simon.
Consistent messages can earn a place in your customers’ brains, specifically their “place cells.” What’s important is that, unlike short-term memory, place cells never run out of capacity.
Brains store consistent messages in place cells. Inconsistent messages never make it in there. That’s why learning the discipline to stay on message is crucial.
A Message Map guides you to create the perfect size message for a human brain – 1 main point, with 3 reasons to believe.
How often should a business refresh its message?
At least quarterly. Publicly traded companies update their stories each time they report earnings results, and that makes a natural rhythm.
Also update whenever a major new development – a new product, new brand, or big new customer – comes to light. Keep your story fresh and current.
“How do you best create an impactful message that will be attractive to the masses? How often should a business refresh its message?” is one of the Top 100 questions on Content Marketing.
You’ll find the answers here.
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