Have you identified your target audience and built detailed buyers personas yet? Great! Now it’s time to figure out what to say and when. Developing your messaging so that it resonates with your audience is a must. After all, an audience of tweens and an audience of CEOs are worlds apart. Not only do they speak different languages, they have different problems, wants, needs, and budgets. They also have different decision-making processes.

In addition to addressing the various nuances of your particular audience, your marketing messages must align with the various stages of the customer’s journey. Though there’s much to consider, matching marketing messages to your audience isn’t overly complicated.

Where to Start

  1. Start with one persona, two problems, and three overarching messages that you want to communicate that appeal to that persona. For example, a busy CEO may be
  2. short on time and technically challenged. Thus, he’d likely be more impressed by ease-of-use than bells and whistles. Thus, a primary marketing message centered on simplicity would be appealing. A secondary marketing message such as “we make your job easier” could also appeal as would “seamless setup.”

Once you have a set of overarching marketing messages, consider the various stages of the customer journey that the persona will go through. These stages typically include:

  • Discovery/awareness – The customer realizes he or she has a need for something.
  • Consideration  – The customer begins exploring options and eventually narrows the choices down to a few top contenders.
  • Decision – The customer chooses a solution.

Fine-Tuning Your Customer Journey
Your customer journey may look slightly different than this. Fine-tune the customer journey accordingly and then think about each stage from your persona’s point of view. What type of message does your persona need to hear when she’s just discovered that she has a need? How is this message different than the messages you’ll want to share when she’s done her research and is considering a competing solution? What about when she’s just on the edge of making a decision — what type of messaging or incentive can prompt her to decide in your favor?

As you work your way through each phase of the customer journey, you’ll see that you’ll need a different approach depending on where the customer is in their journey. A CEO who has just realized that she needs an online collaboration tool for her team will have different questions and concerns than one who has already watched several videos and read numerous whitepapers. Though you’ll have different marketing messages and calls to actions at these different stages, your overarching marketing messages (in this case, of simplicity, making the job easier, and seamless setup) would still apply.

Tying it All Together
Let’s say that you have a solution targeted to the CEO persona we discussed earlier and that each persona will go through several stages including discovery, consideration, and decision. How might you introduce and position your solution at each of those stages while remaining true to your marketing messages? Here are a few ideas:

  • Discovery – Blog posts such as lists, how-tos, and tips. You could also post checklists, infographics, and other educational materials on your social media sites. Position yourself as an authority in the area by sharing useful and relevant information. Use one of your overarching marketing messages to reinforce that you understand their concerns. At this point, calls to action should be focused on educating the prospect and building trust such as enticing prospects to subscribe to your newsletter or download a whitepaper.
  • Consideration – At this point, more in-depth information is needed such as webinars, podcasts, whitepapers, special reports, videos, case studies. Again, the content you present should adhere to your marketing messages and show that you understand the problems your prospect is facing. You have already begun building credibility; now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of your solution.
  • Decision – The prospect now has a better understanding of the problem and potential solutions and has likely narrowed down the choices to just a few. Comparisons, purchasing guides, product literature, video demonstrations, hands-on demonstrations, presentations, webinars, and in-depth articles that highlight the benefits of your solution are all appropriate. Special promotions, discounts, and other incentives can also give your solution an edge over your competition.

When using social media to market your business, you need to know who are you interacting and where they are in the process. If you can answer those questions, you’ll be better able to match your marketing messages.