3 steps to create a Message Strategy

A positive user experience (UX) combines reliable technology, clear and inviting design, and exciting and easily readable content.
A good user experience (UX) combines reliable technology, clear and inviting design, and meaningful content.

Step 1: What the company stands for

The clearer the message, the stronger the branding effect
Every single page that a visitor views on a website must convey the company’s core message. Whether it is the ‘About Us’ page or the shop’s checkout process — the experience we provide via design, imagery, tonality and content must feed into a core message. The core message is a clear and specific statement of what a company stands for.

Example: Developing a core message for a web agency

Liip’s core message and topics are responsible, tech and experts.
My web agency’s core message and core topics – this is how we position ourselves and this is the message each piece of content has to deliver.

Step 2: What users want

To avoid getting stuck in a company’s internal viewpoint, we listen carefully to the needs of our users. We interview users to understand their needs and wants. We ask what potential visitors are specifically looking for on a company’s website, what they find exciting, and what bores them. It also helps to give them a navigation task and watch how they click through the existing website. Potential tasks include ‘buy product X’, ‘find the opening hours’, ‘register for a course’, or ‘find out if you like this company’. We use the insights gained from this to define our user groups. We work closely with our behavioural psychologists and UX designers because identifying users’ needs is equally vital to the design process. Once a user’s need is clear, we summarize it in a single quote. The example of my web agency’s user groups illustrates the process.

Example: Developing user groups for a web agency

What visitors expect from our communications. For the sake of simplicity, we have not included HR in this example.
Each user group has a specific need when coming to our website. We summarize this need with a statement. Image Sources: Director, CEO Start-Up, Product Owner, Journalist

STEP 3: Bringing core message and user needs together

We have defined what the company stands for — in other words, we have the internal viewpoint. We have identified what our users need from the website content — in other words, we also have the external viewpoint. Now we have to bring these internal and external viewpoints together. This results in specific topic areas. Specific formats also usually emerge. Think of it as ‘nailing the sweet spot’ — that perfect point where supply and demand coincide. In this step, we work closely with our UX designers and, of course, the users. We discuss the feasibility of topic areas and potential formats to ensure accuracy.

Example: Developing topics for a web agency

The company’s internal viewpoint (green circle) and target groups’ external viewpoint (portraits) come together in specific topics and formats (yellow circle).
The company’s internal viewpoint (green circle) and target groups’ external viewpoint (portraits) come together in specific topics and formats (yellow circle). Image Sources: Director, CEO Start-Up, Product Owner, Journalist

Lessons learned

To establish the basis of a content strategy, you need to know your company’s core message and core topics. You must then position yourself so that you cover what your user group wants from you.

Checklist

STEP 1: Define the core message

Find out what your company stands for — and formulate it in a way that a 12-year-old child would understand.

STEP 2: Define target groups

Find out who visits your website and what they want from it.

STEP 3: Find the ‘sweet spot’

Combine steps 1 and 2 to define which topics perfectly cover your target group’s questions and needs, and also make a convincing argument for your company to this target group.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Caroline Pieracci

Caroline Pieracci

10 Followers

My words make the internet a better place. And I build teams that do the same.