How Using Message Maps Can Boost Your Content Creation

How Using Message Maps Can Boost Your Content Creation

Sales letters, retargeting ads and email campaigns — let’s face it, businesses generate a lot of content to drive customers toward a specific action. But, when so many threads of communication are unspooling, there’s a risk messages are getting tangled along the way. Make sure your content hits the right targets by using message maps as your guide.

A message map is a content creation tool that distills all the great things about your brand into bite-sized selling points. It’s used as a framework when crafting content to ensure your company’s core message always shines through.

What is a Message Map?

Ian Kelly, VP of Operations at wellness brand NuLeaf Naturals, describes message maps as the “lifeblood” of their product launch campaigns. “Message maps help in having a clear cut understanding of what a piece of content should revolve around,” he says.

Ian Kelly of NuLeaf Naturals explains the importance of message maps.

A message map clarifies your brand’s unique selling points based on target audience. It’s built on:

  • One core message
  • Three related themes
  • Three supporting examples for each theme

Your message map template might look something like this:

  • Core Message or Headline
  • Key Theme #1
  • Key Theme #2
  • Key Theme #3
  • Supporting information
  • Supporting information
  • Supporting information
  • Supporting information
  • Supporting information
  • Supporting information
  • Supporting information
  • Supporting information
  • Supporting information

Remember to Keep Your Message Map Brief

A message map should be concise enough so the main points are understood immediately. There’s no need for long explanations — if you can’t synthesize your essential message into a few words, your core message is too diluted.

Gintaras Steponkus, SEO Expert at Solid Guides, designs message maps using a principle of crisis communication. “You need to follow the 3-3-30 rule of Chandler for effective message mapping,” he explains. “Three points with three short sentences and content, not more than 30 words.”

Gintaras Steponkus explains the 3-3-30 rule for effective message mapping.

Need an example? Have a look at the real-life message map used by the marketing department of Northwest College.

5 Reasons Message Maps Are Important to Your Success

Your messaging influences how customers perceive your company, so make sure it’s consistent and repeated to best inspire a positive response. Each piece of copy should be focused on your core message, and all content should work together as a whole to create your brand.

Here’s how a message map keeps your ultimate goal in focus.

1. Reminds You Why You’re Creating Content

Content can be engaging and well-written, but if it strays too far from a company’s essential message, it’s not doing its job.

“Many times, writers, in their pursuit of being creative, tend to not stress on the main USP of a product,” says Kelly. “The message map is a great reminder to root every content to its core message.”

2. Ensures Content is Consistent

When you’ve got multiple people collaborating, whether in one department or across units, a cohesive message can be hard to deliver. A message map ensures content is consistent, which is especially critical when you have a team of content creators.

“Different writers end up focusing on slightly different aspects. This can weaken the campaign and reduce conversion levels,” Kelly says.

3. Sharpens Your Messaging

Carl Neumann, founder and CEO of Blu Dot Media, finds that a message map helps ensure their content is always on-point.

“We have to craft ideal messages that can start conversations with prospects, as well as the right follow-up messages to convert those conversations into business opportunities,” he explains. “This has empowered our marketing and sales teams to communicate much more effectively, by conveying the right benefits to the right target audience.”

4. Drives Your Content

Content becomes much easier to create with a message map leading the way. Whether a writer is putting together a sales script, article or product demo, the map provides the foundation of the content. The rest of the story should easily fall into place around these essential building blocks.

5. Puts Your Content to Work For You

When your content represents your brand, it’s easier for customers to understand why they should do business with you. This can translate into your ultimate goal: customer engagement and sales.

Blu Dot Media has seen first-hand how well-executed message maps can help a brand persuade customers to take action. “Since we started using message maps, the response rate of our lead generation campaigns has gone up by 31% on average. And, the conversion rate went up by 51%,” says Neumann.

How to Create a Message Map

You can create message maps for product launches, marketing campaigns and your overall brand.

1. Determine Your Audience

Start the process by defining your target audience. Depending on your business, you may have several audiences. You might find developing buyer personas helpful.

Neumann suggests being as detailed as possible in defining your target audience. “This is critical, because you can then put yourself in their shoes, and describe the benefits they can get from you,” he explains.

2. Identify Messages for Each Audience

Think about what’s important to your audience and why your company or product can solve their problems. Use this to inform your three key themes.

“If you have a wide variety of audience, segment them into separate groups and understand each of their pain points and goals,” suggests Kelly. “This intel will help you craft important talking points.”

3. Map Message to Audience

As you move further into the message map, use examples, case studies and stats to support your argument. Draw out different threads to highlight in your content depending on the audience you’re targeting.

If you’re trying to attract new customers or raise awareness, for example, you might start at the top of the message map with the core theme. As customers proceed further into the shopping journey, call out more detailed features to help them make their purchasing decision.

How to create a message map

Create Effective Content With Message Maps

Use a message map to ensure the content you create is driving your audience to take action. It takes time to develop a thorough message map, but once it’s in place, content creation is much more streamlined and effective. To learn more about how Crowd Content can deliver professional content for your business, contact us today.

ALSO – What Is Evergreen Content and Why Do You Need It?

Meghan McKenzie

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Meghan heads up Enterprise Sales with Crowd Content and comes with 10 years of sales and marketing experience. She loves selling awesome writing services that are proven to work, because she'd rather express herself through eating cheese and drinking wine and leave the writing to the pros.

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