3 reasons to quit stalling and build a B2B messaging platform.
When you’ve got some exciting news in your life, it’s human nature to share the news right away, with whomever you want, by whatever channels you want.
Call your parents, text your sister, put it up on social media and say whatever words come to mind. It’s all good.
B2B brand messaging is different. Yes, you want to communicate all the good stuff, and it’s human nature to create those communications right away and get them out as fast as possible.
Problem is, without a B2B messaging platform, you’re always creating messages scattershot, scrambling to connect this campaign with that white paper with this video and those ads you ran last year. You might feel nimble and responsive, but your communications will ultimately be slower and less impactful.
What’s a messaging platform?
A messaging platform is a document that unambiguously lays out the value proposition of your organization (or brand, sub-brand, solution, etc.) and the pillars that support it, along with short- and long-form verbiage that can be used by any writer as the basis for any form of communication.
Your messaging platform is a natural outgrowth of your brand platform, so you start with your overall “why” — your value proposition. Then your product management and/or product marketing teams establish the pillars that support that value proposition, and your writers fill in the language.
But don’t build those pillars from product features! Each pillar’s purpose is to clarify your overall value in ways that are meaningful to your audience. Your pillars should each have this basic structure of whys, whats and hows:
- Top of the pillar: A “why” that assumes an understanding of your audience’s urgent need or strong aspiration. A super-simplified example might be: You want to have the safest workplace in your industry.
- Middle of the pillar: One or more “whats” that describe what you do that helps your customers achieve their whys. Following the example above: We ensure that your workers understand the steps that make your workplace safer.
- Bottom of the pillar: One or more “hows.” Here’s where you put the features of your offerings that make your “whats” possible. Our game-inspired training engages workers better, so they remember the steps they need to take every day.
In your pillars, each “what” will likely have multiple “hows,” which add up to support the unique value described in the “whats.” It’s a lot of detail, but it’s information you already have. Your messaging platform just organizes and clarifies it so everyone in your organization can leverage it.
With a robust messaging platform in place, you can be more agile and make more impact with every communication. Here’s why:
A central framework helps you create content more efficiently.
It takes a little time to build a messaging platform. But once it’s ready, you’ll more than make up for that time by creating new content more efficiently.
Need a new mid-funnel eBook addressing a particular business need your audience has? One pillar of your messaging platform has a complete framework for describing how your offerings address that need. It has all the research, all the explanations, even the exact phrasings and verbiage that have already appeared in other communications. Everything your writers need is in one place, so all they have to do is write.
Whatever they’re writing, they can write it faster — and move on to the next piece that reinforces your message again.
Your platform makes every content creator more productive — and more consistent.
Most businesses have disparate teams with different points of view and different ways of communicating. That’s fine — as long as their messaging is consistent.
But if corporate speaks one language, sales speaks another and marketing isn’t aligned with either? Your message gets diluted, and your audience gets distracted.
A messaging platform helps get buy-in from all your teams and divisions to focus clearly on the same message. It makes it easier for everyone to see what everyone else is saying and creates an environment where every team’s messaging reinforces every other team’s messaging.
Plus, while some organizations have a small, tight-knit team of content creators, many companies rely on a combination of in-house writers along with multiple agencies and contractors. A messaging platform helps them all be more productive, reducing rewrites and false starts by keeping their communications aligned from square one.
Your audience hears consistent messages from you.
Your audience is bombarded with marketing messages. Some research indicates that — taking into account everything from search to social media to email — the average person is exposed to as many as 10,000 messages a day.
Sure, people screen out most of them without even noticing. But even super-focused professionals who screen out 99% of messaging directed at them still end up paying attention to 100 messages a day. Every day.
Targeting those professionals with unfocused, inconsistent messaging risks losing their attention (if you even capture it at all). If your messaging today lands with a slightly different focus tomorrow, will your audience do the hard work of matching one with the other and making sense of them? Or will they sort of vaguely remember one or the other — if anything at all?
A messaging platform keeps your messaging focused consistently across channels and from one week to the next. It also keeps your sales and marketing teams singing from the same hymnal. Your audience doesn’t have to do mental gymnastics to figure out what you can offer them, because everything they see from you reinforces the same story, with the same voice.
Don’t take B2B decision-makers’ attention for granted. Help them focus on your story by keeping it consistent and you’re more likely to capture the engagement you need.
Want help getting started with your first messaging platform?
You’ll want to work with people who have built messaging platforms for leaders in healthcare, IT, manufacturing and other B2B verticals.
Let’s talk about your organization’s story, and how a dynamic messaging platform can give you the consistency, efficiency and productivity to keep your audience focused on that story. Your messaging will be more nimble and make a greater impact.