Establishing your product messaging is a continually evolving process. If you’re doing it right, your product should see a variety of iterations and updates, sometimes quite a few over the course of a single year. With so much changing, it’s important to closely monitor your product messaging so that it keeps up with new features without deviating from the message of your overall as a whole.
We’ve compiled ten of our favorite blog posts that provide insights and tactics to achieve exactly this. So let’s get cracking.
First of all, how should we think about product marketing as distinct from other forms of marketing? Should it be distinct? Should a product marketer fall under a broader category or be the head of the department?
Product marketing is in a sense distinguishable from other forms of marketing in that it bridges many needs of a company. Product marketing needs one eye on the services or products you develop to become a leader in your market and the other on that market: the audience’s needs and interests.
This article we published outlines not only the values that a product marketer brings to your organizations but also the mindset he or she needs to do the job well.
I know this is a blog post about product messaging, but what your brand says is an important first step in that direction. What you produce (your product) is fundamentally entangled with who you are (your brand). Take the time to make sure the two are informed by each other.
While Nike’s “Just Do It” will forever be iconic, brand messaging is far more than just coming up with a catchy slogan. In-depth research and careful planning are required to determine just the right way to present your brand to the world.
The folks at Pardot have outlined the three core angles you should investigate when you begin your research into brand messaging:
- The Customer: We’re in the Age of the Customer, and that means looking closely at who they are and what they want
- The Insider: What does your brand look like from the inside out?
- The Competition: Make sure you stand out from the rest
In addition, the article provides an excellent template to build a framework for your brand message. Read more here.
Ok, brand messaging needs a framework, but can’t you just use that to inform your product messaging? Do you have to take the time to create a framework uniquely for your product messaging?
Yes. Because your product may outgrow its specific messaging and become inconsistent with your broader brand messaging over time.
My favorite line in this piece from LinkedIn is, “Your product will grow out of its messaging just like a child grows out of his clothes every year.” Your developers (whether software, designers, and everyone else who creates something) are hard at work, constantly improving your product. This means that features may quickly become obsolete.
You have to make sure that your messaging stays on track with what your product actually is.
It’s because of this pattern of rapid change that it’s even more critical is that your marketing and product marketing teams are aligned. Brand messaging and product messaging should not be disconnected. Inconsistent messaging leads to a poor customer experience, which in turn leads to poor results in the market.
The most efficient way to combat this is with documentation that helps you become fluid in your messaging updates.
If done right, all verbal and written communication about your brand and product is consistent because everyone is referencing or copying/pasting from this document. Viola!
Read more here.
4. Use This Simple (& Fun) Tool to Design Your Content Marketing Message Architecture, Content Marketing Institute
There’s more than one way to create the framework necessary to produce consistent product messaging. Look into the strategies described in this post from Content Marketing Institute. There, you’ll learn about a messaging architecture: what it is, why you should create one, and how to go about designing the “scaffolding” tailored to your company. They make it look like a team-building activity because, really, it should be. All major stakeholders should be involved in determining how your product messaging looks and sounds.
A messaging architecture is an efficient and clean way to ensure that your company messaging goes from this:
Discover the entire process of creating your own messaging hierarchy here.
Speaking of the customer—because everyone is these days—we’ve already written a great piece on how to gear your product message toward the right customer at the right time.
The important point to remember here is that product marketing is content marketing. This means that all of the guidelines and tips that you associate with content marketing should be applied to product marketing as well:
- Cross-team alignment
We gathered great insights like this one from product marketing leaders:
“A personalized web experience results in an average 19% increase in sales. [We’ve seen] personalized marketing emails receive 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates,” — James Mello, Marketing Manager and Lead Author at Product2Market.
These and other insights from product marketing leaders are elaborated in the piece. Read more here.
Testing content is a vital step in any B2B strategy. Putting in all the effort to create, develop, and execute a strategy, only to have a campaign flop is heartbreaking. The key to avoiding that is testing your ideas on a small subset of your audience first so that you can fix whatever needs adjustment before the campaign really gets underway.
Hubspot has provided five significant questions you should explore before you launch your product messaging campaign:
- Is there a need for what you’re proposing?
- Is our messaging focused on the right things?
- Does your product name resonate with people?
- How will the message differentiate us from our competitors?
- Will the message be perceived as consistent with what people have come to expect from your company?
It’s important, as we’ve mentioned above, to show how your product is useful and meaningful to customers.
Ask your customers how they are successful with your product. It might seem like you’re taking the spotlight off of your brand, but really, you’re making the sell about your audience: how they can use the product, how their lives will improve because of your product, and generally how your product and brand serve the customer.
Ask what elements real people are excited about in your new product launch. Those will be the aspects to feature in your next product messaging campaign.
Ask if the name you’ve chosen for your product is enticing, resonant, and engaging. If your customers feel blase about the name, it won’t get any attention.
Ask your customers what other products they’ve used to try to solve an issue. What was strong about them? What were they lacking? Use this feedback to set your product apart from your competitors as the solution that’s doing what none of the others are doing.
Ask if the new product will be too much of a deviation from what your customers expect from you.
Use these and other questions outlined in the post to help bring your product message to the next level.
Aaron Sorkin has a great quote about writers: “Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright.” One of the best ways to improve your product messaging is to take a page out of the book of successful product marketers.
This article from Forbes showcases some of the best in product messaging from brands like Nike, Red Bull, Beats, and Dove. The article provides insights into what was so successful for each product and how you might benefit from the key elements found in each.
Rember to keep certain values in mind to produce a successful product messaging campaign:
- Be memorable
- Resonate with customers
- Stand for certain values
- Link the product message to the brand
Keep these elements in mind as you look at each of the product ads in this post and think how you can apply them to your own product.
8. 3 Ways that Content Boosts Product Marketing, Kapost
Your content doesn’t just drive the results you want directly. You can also use your existing content to inform future content. Read through the three methods in this post to leverage content toward providing you with data-driven insights for your next great product marketing asset. See how content can help your product messaging…
- Increase touch points with customers
- Save time throughout your company
- Help tackle tough concepts in the market and ideation process
You might not have the time to do in-depth persona research, but that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out what they want. Gather data from the assets you’re currently creating to hone in on what resonates with audiences. Use content to streamline workflows and provide references for frequently asked questions from both internal and external sources. Putting the time and effort into a content operation will improve your entire messaging process.
Read more here.
So what should your messaging say? What kind of content should you produce for your product messaging campaign?
[A] great product marketer knows how to create a seamless transition between the first touch and closed-won opportunity.
This is the foundation of a well-crafted customer journey. And when customers are 5.2X more likely to purchase from companies with a great customer experience, a seamless transition from eBook download to demo to implementation is integral to not only a squishy customer experience “metric” but also to revenue.
This article outlines three significant approaches to make sure your content is geared toward product marketing:
- Work backward: Look to your customers to know what they’re excited about
- Articulate your product’s value: Talk about the ultimate goal of your product
- Enable your internal stakeholders: Be the bridge across all departments in your company
Find out more about each of these strategies here.
10. How Great Startups Build Brands With The Right Words, Kissmetrics
While this may seem like I’m pushing brand messaging again, I hope we’ve come to realize that product messaging and brand messaging should not be siloed. The tips that Kissmetrics provides in this article are just as valuable to product messaging because they are tips for creating great messaging generally.
Finding the right words is critical for sending the right message. Here, Kissmetrics describes the four E’s that should be part of any messaging framework:
- Evoke Questions
Keep in mind you might use any combination of these E’s depending on your companies market and maturity level. Read more about each of these elements and how they might fit for your product messaging here.
Building a successful product marketing campaign can be guided by the principles of both a brand messaging campaign and content marketing.
- Let your customers inform the messages you deliver
- Stay organized by building a framework to address updates in your product and changes in the market
- Learn from successful messaging campaigns and apply tactics to your own
Implement these basic ideas, and you’re well on your way to a successful product messaging campaign.