A product’s success is influenced by a number of factors.
How people perceive your product is one amongst them and you cannot let them make up their ideas on the basis of vague ideas.
Why? It dictates the people’s purchase decisions.
The development process is carried on behind the scenes. Only you know how amazing your product is — its unique features, seamless experience, and the general improvements in life it can bring. The users will not know. Neither do they care, nor do they make efforts to understand. Even if they do, you can’t guarantee that they will do it right.
It is you who can do justice to the creation through impactful product messaging.
But how do you devise an effective product message?
Well, keep reading to know the answers yourself. We have discussed 6 key tips you can follow.
What is product messaging?
Product messaging is basically describing your product to the world. But there’s much more to it than mere description.
Is it just a plain explanation of what your product does and how it helps users? Well, these both are crucial elements of messaging. But rendering all of these with a ‘persuading element’ is essentially product messaging.
Product messaging is where you bring your product to the eyes of the market and users. It needs to set a clear image of your product in users’ minds. Messaging is, to be precise, ‘how you want your users to comprehend your product’ rather than ‘what your product is.’
The right product messaging is one that sets the tone for the rest of your marketing activities — advertising campaigns, Press releases, social media posts, etc. On a weighing scale of product success, you need to balance both the ends— developing a good product and communicating its greatness.
Positioning vs messaging
The product marketing discipline owns numerous responsibilities that are spread across the timelines of pre and post-product launch. Here’s a visualization of all the responsibilities in the image below.
As you can see, positioning and messaging are in the pre-launch phase. Both are taken as a single activity and usually go hand in hand. But these aren’t the same.
Practically, positioning isn’t restricted to the narrative aspect. It’s influential in development spheres as well. Anyhow, positioning primarily defines where your product fits in the market— whom it is for, which problem it solves, and how it differentiates from the competition.
Positioning aims at making the team understand different customer personas. And therefore, it establishes a better way to communicate product value to each persona.
But, messaging elucidates your product offering to the outside world. It expresses the selling elements of the product to convince the audience into buying.
Positioning acts as a guide for crafting the product messaging. Positioning is for the internal teams. Messaging is for the target audience. Positioning is written first, based on which you frame the messaging.
So messaging is positioning put to action.
6 tips to create impactful product messaging
1. Be aware of buyer personas
Messaging’s ultimate goal is to communicate your product effectively to the target audience. It begins with knowing their needs and problems in depth.
The trick doesn’t exist in the need/problem part. Defining the target audience is where the complexity is. You might assume it as your end-users and focus your messaging on them.
But are your users the decision-makers?
At times, buyer and user personas aren’t the same. Messaging targeted at users will not be influential or persuasive enough for the buyers. It’s because the buyers’ intentions and motivations differ from those of your users’.
Also, one message doesn’t fit all. Tailoring your message to cover diverse groups will not be efficient. What each group looks for in your product differs.
Find if your buyer and user personas are the same. If not, shape your messaging targeting the decision-makers. You must have clarity regarding this information for your messaging to be on-point.
2. Understand core value
Users don’t look for products. They look for ways to improve their lives with the aid of your products. So, your prime offering is not the product but the value it delivers to the target users.
Begin with understanding the core product value. Refer to product vision, mission, and positioning statements to figure out the goal of your product. Learn what your product tries to establish in the long term. And interpret how it can make users’ life easy and better.
Once these all make sense to you, start working on your product messaging. If you commence without this knowledge, messaging will not fulfill its purpose.
Incorporate the core value into your product messaging. You can use case studies to demonstrate how the product value looks in real life.
This way, your users can relate to your product more easily. They’ll realize the potential of your product and how it can empower them. A storyline here might help establish an emotional connection with your users.
3. Include benefits that persuade
Satiating users’ basic needs isn’t just enough. Buying decisions often come with layers of doubts and reluctance. You have to eliminate all of them, one by one. Including your product benefits can be of great help here.
Core value certainly creates an impact on the user’s mind. However, users look for more than one factor to get convinced. Prompting them to make purchase decisions needs the right mix of core value and added benefits.
Benefits don’t directly mean functionalities and features. But, they are the derivatives of product features. Instead of talking about just the product features, you can highlight the benefits they bring.
You have to find out the underlying user motivation that makes them want the product solution. It can be anything like business security, saving time, etc. Address this as a part of your product messaging.
You can also take a user’s pain point and speak about how the product can solve it. More persuasive factors can remove the user’s hesitance and doubts.
Square is a mobile payment platform for small businesses. It conveys the benefits of using the product in many parts of the copy.
- Reach your diners anywhere
- Save time with auto-billing
4. Differentiation is the key
Not all products are made the same. But users might not get it if your messaging doesn’t express it clearly.
The product message should not just convey how your product does things. It should highlight how your product does things differently.
When your messaging and your competitors’ feel similar, target users make purchase decisions considering surface-level factors like lower price.
To establish the differentiation, you might have to check your competitors’ messaging quite often. This task comes with the problem of getting influenced. Be conscious of not replicating your competitor’s product message.
Bellroy manufactures wallets. The differentiation factor is that they make slimmer wallets that fit in the pockets. See how they cleverly used visualization and the accurate copy to convey it.
5. Stick to clarity and conciseness
Messaging is where users get to know your product for the first time. If they don’t get a clear picture, would they buy it?
Your product messaging should speak the language of its target audience. Avoid using jargon and complicated words here.
Also, you cannot expect your users to spend more time reading long paragraphs. Well, they don’t have any need or compulsion to do so. It is upon you to grab their attention and convey your points within their attention span. Being concise with your messaging is how you can achieve it.
You don’t want your target audience to spend time on buying decisions. Making your messaging simple is how you can enable quicker decisions.
Look at this simple messaging from Slack. ‘Where work happens’- Clear yet compelling. The Slack team scored in the next line where they leave the definition of work to the readers.
And then they clearly communicate that Slack is for collaboration- ‘Slack brings all the pieces and people you need together so you can actually get things done.’
6. Test & update your messaging regularly
Say you frame the product message giving the customer’s point of view the chief concern. Even then, you cannot guarantee that it will strike the right chord with the target audience.
Validate your messaging by testing it with your target audience. You can conduct A/B tests and user interviews. It can reveal how users view your product. Compare this with your messaging to check if they align.
One common nature of business, market, and users— is being dynamic. With time, your business grows, and you will bring changes to your product. And your product messaging? It definitely needs an update. Evaluate your messaging regularly and see if they match your current offerings.
Mailchimp was initially offering email services, and their messaging looked like this.
Later on, they grew and spread their services to include websites, online stores, and different channel marketing. They revamped their messaging to accommodate this change.
Great product messaging examples
Apple aces the benefit-driven messaging. They don’t exclude features in messaging. But instead, they craft it such that the benefits have more emphasis. Look at how the upcoming copy pairs the features with their benefits.
Hey is an email marketing platform. They used a compelling copy- in an email format. The messaging addresses the user’s pain point-cluttered email. And then brings up their product as a solution. The messaging is not concise, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem. The copy is simple, has an uninterrupted flow, and of all it’s persuasive.
Here’s a part of the copy.
Check out the entire messaging here: https://www.hey.com/
Product messaging framework
Product messaging is significant for your business. You can’t take any chances here.
But coming up with the right product message is a complicated task. There are too many things you need to consider. So, it’s easy to forget a few. In the creation process, the user perspective might blur and personal opinions can overpower your messaging.
To keep you aware and aligned, you can make use of product messaging frameworks. The frameworks help you craft the product message in a structured and organized way. This can prevent chaos and confusion.
Product messaging templates exist as well. They can ease the process a little more.
A lot of thought process, planning, and hard work goes into creating your product. That’s not all. There are investments in terms of time and money as well. And all these will bear benefits only when the users decide to opt for your service.
Your product messaging is where they get the idea of your product. The first opinion of your product forms right here. It is the foundation that pushes them down your market funnel. So, crafting the product message needs attention, care, and caution. Before starting, have a product messaging strategy in place.
Product messaging is the foundation for the rest of pre and post-launch marketing activities. Keep asking regularly, ‘Are you doing it right?’
After all, you need a solid, strong foundation, not a flawed one.