Have you engaged with a brand that has one set of messages on their social media but quite a different set of messages on their website, in their advertising, on their customer support phone line or at point of sale in a retail store? One of the greatest messaging challenges for businesses is to align their messages across channels and media. There are, however, some strategies and tactics that will help you stay on message, no matter where you are presenting your products, services and brand.
Cohesive messaging affects customer loyalty, reinforces your brand, and helps internal teams stay focused. That means what you say on social media should align with your website, blog, emails, and ads to build a powerful identity your customers can trust. Imagine you’re standing in a room with twenty people all shouting something different at you. You’ll probably get confused, shut down, and tune out.
Here’s how to make sure your company speaks with one clear voice your customers can understand and feel engaged with.
Build Your Brand
If your company doesn’t already have a brand platform, style guide and messaging strategy in place, it’s time to structure these assets for business success. These assets guide your fonts, colors, logos, taglines, vocabulary and key messages to represent your business in a consistent manner across messaging platforms. Although these materials are internal tools, they help ensure that the messages going out to the market are consistent. When you’re using your branding documents effectively, consumers learn to recognize you in a crowded marketplace.
Your style guide is just as critical for your outgoing emails as it is for your social media content. Use that guide across all of the platforms you use to engage with your audience.
Stay on Point
Every message you send out needs to have a clear connection to who you are as a business. People are busy. They come to you to find out about your products, services, or industry. Sharing unrelated information solely to create content could leave your customers annoyed and less apt to click on you in the future.
A picture of a cute puppy will probably get attention. But it only belongs in your message if you’re an animal shelter, dog food retailer, obedience trainer or other pet specialist. It doesn’t do much good if you’re a national hardware chain. Stick with content that reinforces your brand.
Consumers will dismiss your content if they don’t think you know what you’re talking about. Not only that, but they’re likely to lose trust as well. Businesses that show they know about their industry will become a go-to source of information, attracting more clients. But how do you do this without boring your audience with high-level details they don’t care about?
A few simple checks can make it happen. Check that the info you’re sharing is accurate, check that your sources are reputable, and check that it’s in line with what you say elsewhere. Two articles from the same company that contradict each other don’t build trust in audiences.
When you’re communicating across multiple platforms, you want a funnel, not a maze. The most effective way to get a positive response from your customers is to make it easy for them. Let’s say you want your audience to refer their friends to your service. You should give them a direct link to your referral form.
Don’t make them click over to your Instagram page, scroll through your posts, and find the link that finally leads to the form. The purpose of having multiple channels is to reach a broader audience, not to make a small audience travel them all.
Keep a Schedule
The reason network television stations play a show on the same day, at the same time, on the same channel is to make sure viewers come back to their platform. If your audience knows you’ll post content every Friday, they’ll come back on Fridays to see what you have to say. They’ll look forward to tuning in to your message each week. But if you’re inconsistent, you’ll lose that audience.
It helps to tune your communication to your platform. There are good times and better times to use each one. You can plan your schedule around the audience statistics in each area.
The only way you’ll know if your efforts are working is if you measure the response. If you find that you’re not getting customer engagement from a certain channel, evaluate it. Does it make sense to have this channel in the first place? Do you want to retool your message so it hits right with the audience there?
It takes time and resources to craft your message. If you’re not getting the response you want, consider shifting your efforts somewhere else. Don’t spread your message too thin across channels that aren’t relevant. You might better spend your resources on just a few that make a bigger impact.
Juggling communications across platforms can be daunting, especially if you have a small staff. It makes sense to offload organizing your message to a marketing firm you trust. We’ll help you create, implement, and measure your overall messaging strategy. From logos and web design to writing copy and empowering customers, Green Vine Marketing has you and your business covered.