A messaging platform sounds pretty self explanatory: it’s the foundation of your brand’s messaging. One of the most important elements of building your brand is creating a brand message that is consistent throughout your organization, on your platforms, and in your marketing. Your messaging platform conveys your brand pillars, brand purpose, elevator pitch, press release boilerplate, value proposition, and voice and tone.
So, how does this make you money? Great question and one that you obviously have since you clicked into this. Let’s get started figuring it out!
The Anatomy of a Messaging Platform
In order to understand how a messaging platform can make money, it’s important to know what it is! Let’s quickly review the items I mentioned above so we’re all on the same page (pun intended).
Brand pillars are the lense through which you see your brand as a whole and a critical part of your messaging platform. When we create brand pillars for our clients, we usually choose 3-4 things that the company wants to be known for, both internally and externally. Think about how you want to be seen as a brand and that can be a good starting point for where you want to go. Here is our formula:
- Pillar attribute
- Pillar attribute
- Pillar attribute
Here’s an example of an actual pillar:
Acting with Integrity
Our brand identity proudly displays a culture of honesty, confidence, and expertise.
- We’re sincere. Our goals are transparent and our communication is honest and candid.
- We’re experts. Years of combined knowledge and expertise have helped us change countless lives for the better.
- We’re reliable. From launching satellite offices within 45 days, staffing near-perfectly rated call centers, and fulfilling urgent requests for holiday warehouse help, our recruiting specialists are always prepared.
To create true brand pillars, get everyone involved and brainstorm the things that make your business unique and qualified to do what you do.
The brand purpose is a mission statement, another major component to your messaging platform. It’s what you exist to do! Paired with your brand pillars, you should be able to show this to a new recruit or a client and they should be able to know right away what you’re all about.
It’s important to be able to quickly and succinctly relate what it is you do and what solutions you can offer. If you can’t explain what your company does in a few sentences then you need to go back to the drawing board! It’s important to be clear, concise, and transparent so your customers know what to expect and trust that you can deliver on your promises.
Press release boilerplate
You know that thing at the end of every press release that has basic information about the brand (re: the elevator pitch) and a press contact? That’s the boilerplate. Some people leave this out when talking about or creating their messaging platform. It may seem odd to write it before you have press to release, but it’s important to think ahead. This blurb should be readily available and easy to cut and paste into your press releases to provide a consistent message about who you are and what you do!
The value proposition is your differentiator. Sure, you make widgets, but what is SPECIAL about your widgets? Is it the process by which they are made? The materials you use? Find what makes you *the* business to use and be sure to put it into your messaging!
Voice and tone
Voice and tone are incredibly important to your messaging platform. It helps inform how content is written, what social media messaging should be saying, and how your brand should sound to the world. What we like to do is talk about what a brand IS and what it ISN’T. Think about your brand as a person, what adjectives would you want people to use to describe you and what adjectives would you not want to be associated with?
Your brand is experienced, trustworthy, approachable, and informal.
Your brand is not aloof, bland, conventional, or formal.
This will help you set the tone for how your brand should sound and the way the content should be written. In the example above, the brand seems like a friend who is easy to talk to and is always ready to help you out. It doesn’t seem like a stiff academic that speaks in the third person. Just keep in mind that your voice can take on various degrees of your adjectives. It’s usually better for your website copy to be a little more conservative than your social media and blog content but it’s up to you! Find a happy medium and stick to it to make sure it’s consistent.
The Money Magic of Messaging Platforms
This is the nitty gritty of what this is all about! Now that we know what a messaging platform is, let’s look at how it can actually help you generate revenue.
1. Strengthen brand identity
Definition: A brand identity is how your customers recognize you. From your logo to your tagline, your brand identity is the element that makes your brand your brand. Think about the McDonald’s golden arches (did you just whisper “I’m lovin’ it” to yourself?)–you can just see those arches on a sign or on the side of the highway and you know that’s a McDonald’s calling you in for some salty fries and triple-filtered coke (no, we are not sponsored by them, I’m writing while craving a snack).
Clear and defined brand messaging will help strengthen your brand identity. If your messaging is consistent across all platforms (website, collateral, ads, social, etc.), consumers will know exactly who you are and what you offer, which helps to improve brand trust and recognition. Having unclear messaging can confuse consumers, who will then be unsure as to whether you actually offer solutions to their problems or needs. A strong brand identity will also make your brand more recognizable (whispers :: golden arches :: ).
2. Create content that’s relevant to your audience
Definition: Content is not just a blog (you may not even NEED a blog), it’s the words that people read on your social, your website, your ad copy, your flyers, your menu, your sales collateral, your ebooks and whitepapers–it’s a lot of things.
A strong messaging platform will help aid your marketing team when it comes to creating content. Content is an essential component to all of your marketing efforts. Without a clearly defined messaging platform, your content is going to be inconsistent which makes your brand look inconsistent. If your marketing team is aware of what your brand message is, it will help inform not only the tone of the content you create and publish, but also it will also guide your employees regarding what curated content they should share (curated content is content written by other publishers and brands. Yes! Your curated content needs to be on brand, too!). This way, your content will reinforce your brand message, thereby helping to attract more high-quality leads and help to more effectively nurture them through the sales funnel (we know it’s a loop and not a funnel but you know what we mean).
3. Make it easier to engage with leads
Your sales team needs to be aware of what your brand message is or they are going to have a hard time engaging with your leads. Leads will be confused if your sales people aren’t reinforcing your brand message. When your sales team understands your brand message, they’ll be able to address the challenges and problems that your leads have and to better sell them on your brand as the best possible solution. This also helps your sales team identify and pursue better leads–if they are clear on the brand values, pillars, and solutions, it’s much easier for them to identify who your product or service can help and who it cannot.
4. Align your marketing and sales teams
Ok, this is two blogs in a row where I’m linking to the Smarketing post but honestly, you should read it if you haven’t because it’s a dumb word, but a smart idea. One of the biggest inefficiencies that companies experience is the lack of communication between their marketing and sales teams, which can make it difficult to convert leads and close sales. A strong messaging platform will help to ensure that your marketing and sales teams are on the same page. For example, your marketing team will have a better idea of who to target and send through to your sales team. Your sales team will then be able to stay on message in order to convert these leads. Without a strong messaging platform, your sales personnel may end up not being able to fulfill the promise that the marketing team made, making it impossible to close.
5. Promote brand loyalty within
Brand loyalty or brand ambassadorship is an elusive animal. Your team, Sales or not, are usually some of the most effective advertisers for your brand! Whether they’re sharing your content on social or talking about products and services to friends and family, brand ambassadorship can be a huge boon to a company. By communicating a strong brand message throughout the ranks, your employees are more likely to use your products and services–especially if you provide discounts or other incentives. This helps to foster brand loyalty and will often lead to them becoming brand ambassadors who promote your brand on your behalf.
Messaging Platforms Are Key
Clear messaging platforms both within your marketing strategy and inside your company’s organization will go a long way towards improving your sales. Make sure you review your brand pillars, brand purpose, elevator pitch, press release boilerplate, value proposition, and voice and tone every quarter with your teams. Reinforcing your values helps create a stronger company culture and a more consistent pitch, tone, and voice for your brand.
Don’t have a messaging platform? It just so happens that we create these all of the time! Reach out and see how we can help you perfect your brand’s messaging.