Defining Your Core Message.
Just as every structure needs a foundation from which to build upon so to does your digital marketing strategy in the form of a concise core message that defines who you are and what you’re about.
Your core online message must be specific, free of uncertainty. There cannot be any “I think we’re this.” Or “We’ll figure it out as we go along.” No, your core message must be 100%, absolute. Otherwise if you don’t know what you’re about neither will your online audience, creating all of the vagueness of a West Point graduate with a liberal arts degree.
Once defined your website will have a true north, helping you present a consistent, synchronized message that regardless of platform – Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, shouting at random people walking past the office window – always reinforces your core values.
This also helps your staff. A defined message keeps everyone on the same page, as it were, in working towards the same goal and/or purpose.
Hone Your Online Message
To help blueprint your online core message ask yourself:
- Who is your target audience? The narrower the better. Focus on one rather than some. Identifying your exact audience makes it easier to streamline your message to their exact needs.
- What’s your unique selling point? What can you offer that others can’t. Again, be specific. If your website’s purpose is to galvanize support for say saving whales your selling point must be more than because I like whales. There are many other organizations and websites promoting this same cause. Determine what is it that ONLY you can offer that these other save the whale campaigns can’t. Is it funding? Is it government backing? Is it access to those high-speed rubber boats Greenpeace is famous for? Find your difference and then use it to set up a benefit for your audience.
- What’s your call to action? What is it you hope to achieve with your website? Do you want visitors to provide funding? Attend a rally in Washington DC? Write their congressman? Don’t assume your audience will know what to do. Your call to action should serve as a bridge between needs and results.
To help with answering these questions study other websites, including, if applicable, your competitors. Look at both good and bad websites. Make notes what you like and dislike, heeding close attention to all facets. Is it the cause or product that appeals to you? Or is it the content itself? Or maybe the images? Or even the color choices?
The more notes the better. For just as it takes 40 gallons of sap of produce one gallon of maple syrup, it takes a lot of input to create an effective, to-the-point core message.
Take time with this. Don’t rush it. Make sure you’ve got it right. For there’s an old Tao saying that says, “Once a statue is finished, it’s too late to change the arms.”