I’ve written about the foundations of marketing and how to think of the individual pieces from the perspective of your ideal client. In this article, I’m going to address creating messages. The foundations form the base of your marketing communication, here are eight components of a solid marketing message that build upon those efforts.
You can use these eight constructs as parts of a whole or individually in other areas such as titles, short messages (think Twitter), or in conversation. When you begin communicating your business messages from your clients’ view , your marketing will become easier and more effective.
The Hook. The hook is how you grab the attention of your audience and make them want to consume the rest of your message. The hook understands the need to make an impact in a few moments to keep your reader from moving on. You can couch it as a question, “Did you know.” If you use this format, make sure the anwer isn’t “yes or no.” Make it more engaging. You can also use a revelation, something that isn’t common knowlege or something that could be bad if it isn’t changed.
The Promise. Engage your readers’ imagination. What will life be like after they have used your product successfully? What have you learned that you can show them that produces results? Here is where you bring in “what’s in it for me.” In this video I’m going to show you…(immediacy) how to do…(value)…an outcome.
The Circumstance. Begin to link where your reader is today with the promise (read more here). Begin to quailfy if the message is for them… if you work with a team, if you suffer every time tax season arrives, etc. Build upon the promise here and start to hint at how the promise will help them remove themselves from the circumstance or move to a circumstance they prefer.
Your Authority. Why should I listen to you? This has risen in importance in the digital world. There are so many “digital this” and “digital that” gurus that were yoga instructors last week that authority is more important than ever. Talk about results, not degrees or certifications or associations. I have an MBA from Duke, but far more people are interested in the results I delivered as a strategy consultant to the White House. Remember, this is from your clients’ point of view, what do they consider authority? I have cured 5,000 people from cross-eyed astigmatism is more interesting than I am board certified by a group that sounds important but nobody has ever heard of.
The Reason. Why should I pay attention? What are you going to tell me? What am I going to learn that I can use? What value is there for me? Here is where you begin the meal. “The reason we’re here today…” Use justification. I’ve cured 60% of my patients from obesity isn’t interesting, that could be luck. I’ve cured 94% of my patients from obesity is a compelling reason for me to listen. Remember to include immediacy, what is the value now? “Welcome to my free 87 part weight loss series” is a cue to flee.
Personal Perspective. What attracted you? Why are you enthusiastic about it? Remember that rational thinking is great, but emotion buys. Talk about your “use case.” How have you benefited by drinking your own Kool-Aid? What is the advantage you’ve found? How has it helped me personally? Connect with your audience.
Ownership Experience. This should be the bulk of your message. What is life like when you have the service? Get into the details and the results. What real world results will be a part of owning the product? Don’t fill in all the blanks, but whet the appetite and leave room for imagination. Talk about how the benefits begin rapidly. If you’ve been delivering value in all your communication, this is also where your ideal clients will begin to wonder “if this is what the free stuff is like, the paid stuff must be awesome…” Light the fire, make them excited to see what the paid experience is like.
Pivot to Pitch. While not technically a part of marketing messages, it is the critical transition from story telling to call to action. Make the transition seamless and a natural flow. For those that need more information… To learn more about these great benefits…
Call to Action. What do you want your prospects to do? Don’t make them guess or they’ll vote with their feet and leave. You’ve gone through the effort of creating a great service that delivers a wonderful set of values, don’t forget or be too bashful to ask for an action. It may be signing up to get something free or it may be a sale depending upon where the message is, but don’t leave this out! Without a call to action, you have an interesting narrative. With a call to action, you have a marketing and sales flow that leads to revenue.