Meaningful messages are the ones that are going to resonate with your customers.
And so you need to not only pay attention to what your brand says but how you say it.
In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of effective messaging and how to make sure you’re speaking your target audience’s language.
What is marketing messaging, anyway?
Marketing messaging represents how a brand communicates to its customers and highlights the value of its products. “Messages” refer to not only the actual words and phrases used by a brand in advertising but also feelings and emotions associated with what they say.
In short, messaging covers both a brand’s literal language and the subtext of their ads. Your approach to messaging impacts pretty much every corner of your business, including:
- Social media posts
- Promotional copy
- Website copy
- Email campaigns
Keep in mind the distinction between your marketing messaging and your brand voice. The former refers to the big-picture message you want to convey to customers, while the latter represents the tone and attitude you adopt while doing so. Although they’re certainly intertwined, they’re far from the same.
7 effective marketing messaging examples (and why they work so well)
Perhaps the best way to make sense of marketing messaging is by looking at some real-world examples.
Below are seven time-tested types of messages, all of which are staples of marketing at large.
1. Affordability and value
Easily one of the most common marketing messages, conveying affordability works so well because it speaks to the near-universal problem of being strapped for cash.
2. Ease of use
Especially in the world of tech, consumers want powerful products but not at the expense of those products being complicated.
So much of effective marketing messaging involves reassuring customers.
Conveying comfort means giving your buyers a warm-and-fuzzy feeling while also confirming that you understand how they think.
For example, Secretlab highlights how their gaming chairs are “built for every size,” perhaps reassuring buyers who’ve been burned by uniform seats or are otherwise skeptical.
Meanwhile, this video following their “invest in comfort” call-to-action reinforces that sense of comfort for totally different types of customers.
4. Security and peace of mind
Promoting safety once again circles back to the concept of reassuring customers.
In the ever-so-competitive luxury car market, Volvo makes a point to stress security. Their most recent “A Million More Lives” campaign highlight the brand’s long-time commitment to vehicle safety and their ongoing efforts to keep the tradition alive with their latest models.
Marketing messaging doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Brands like Boden are booming right now with a seriously simple message: our products will help you stand out. Note the simple four-word statement (“Make your outfit pop”) and style-centric call-to-action on their homepage.
6. Longevity and practicality
No surprises here: people don’t want unreliable services or products that’ll fall apart.
Chicco does a great job of advertising the utility of their car seats but also the long-term emotional attachment associated with them.
7. Ethics and sustainability
Brands today are more likely to encounter consumers who put ethics and sustainability above all.
Companies like Avocado have mastered messaging which emphasizes both ethical choices and happier customers.
What do the best marketing messages have in common?
Brands are obviously spoiled for choice in terms of what they say and how they say it.
Companies might shift their messaging from campaign to campaign. Meanwhile, some brands might have more subtle messaging while others are totally in-your-face.
Below are some common threads between many of the examples above and effective marketing messaging in general.
They’re personal and human
Your messages should obviously feel like they’re written by humans and not be presented purely as sales messages.
They’re short and to-the-point
Most marketing messages can be boiled to a single sentence or slogan. Brief messages hold readers’ attention and are ideal for social media, email subject lines and so on.
They put emotions and benefits above features
Again, brands should strive to make a connection with their prospects ASAP. Emotions make it happen, while a laundry list of features and specifications don’t.
Note: communicating features is typically reserved for later in your marketing funnel after your leads have had the time to do their homework.
The best marketing messages create a sense of urgency or help people imagine products in their hands. Be specific in what you’re offering. Many brands make the mistake of trying to be “creative” but they just end up presenting a vague message.
Lastly, punchy messages (“Make your outfit pop” or “#DYEFORACAUSE”) are the ones people are going to remember. This again speaks to the importance of coming up with short-but-sweet messages that consumers can recall.
How do you decide on your marketing messaging?
Good question! There’s obviously a ton of variables that’ll influence your approach to messaging.
Whether your business is already established or you’re trying to get your brand off the ground, let’s look at some starting points to find a message that makes sense.
Brainstorm your customers’ wants, needs and pain points
How you ultimately position and talk about your product depends largely on your target audience.
Specifically, consider your customers’ problems. What’s keeping them up at night? Are they budget-conscious? Step into their shoes and imagine what they’d be looking for in a business.
This is a key distinction between your brand voice and marketing messaging. You’re totally responsible for your voice, but your messaging largely hinges on your customers’ needs (not necessarily vice-versa).
Look at your competition’s messaging
You obviously don’t want to copycat or present the exact same messaging as your competitors. You need to differentiate yourself.
Doing so means putting your competitors’ messages’ under the microscope. For example, what sort of language are they using? How are they appealing to their audience’s emotions? In short, what’s their angle?
Keep in mind that there might be some overlap between you and your competitors in terms of messaging. That said, there are tons of examples of brands with seemingly similar products with totally different messages.
Case in point, look at the direct-to-consumer mattress industry. There’s tons of competition, but many of the biggest brands emphasize different messages:
- Nectar Sleep (the “most comfortable mattress”)
- Avocado (organic and natural)
- Casper (“the best bed for better sleep”)
- Purple (“the best mattress tech advancement in 80 years”)
Reflect on your brand values
Another key component of your message is your brand mission and values. Consider how you can integrate those values into your message and how doing so highlights your USP (unique selling point/proposition). We see this a lot with sustainable businesses as they take an angle that immediately separates them from the competition.
The importance of talking out your marketing messaging
A quick side note! Marketing messaging typically isn’t just the brainchild of one person. Instead, deciding on a message represents democratic process that involves higher-ups and marketing departments alike.
Additionally, your messaging is something that should be understood from the top-down. It’s likewise something that you should be able to define for the sake of other employees. For example, documents such as your social media style guide should clearly define your marketing messaging for new team members to assist with onboarding.
“How do I know if my marketing messaging is working?”
When in doubt, look at your data.
For example, social media analytics can highlight your top-performing ads, posts and promotions to help you understand whether your messaging is landing. Based on these, you can optimize your messaging over time to ensure it’s relevant to your target audience.