Creating Targeted Content: Part 2 – Writing Key Messages

Writing Content

We’re delving into content to discover how to stand out online, connect to your key audience, and make the biggest impact.

In Part 1 of Creating Targeted Content, we discussed the importance of crafting a strong, vision-led mission statement that forms the foundation of your company’s brand and communications strategy. Your mission statement should state what your company does, along with a compelling why it does what it does.

Once you’ve nailed down your mission statement, you’re ready to develop your key messages. A business’ key messages are the primary way to communicate its brand. One reason that great brands (think Nike, Google, Amazon) are great, is because they constantly communicate their mission (what they do and why they do it) through consistent key messages.

First a quick note about what key messages are NOT: They are not taglines or statements that are supposed to be memorized. Instead, key messages are more like guidelines that help everyone, internally and externally, get on the same wavelength on how to communicate about the organization.

A general guideline is to have between 3-5 key messages, which are broad enough to encompass all of what your organization does. Of course, they must align with, and reinforce, how you deliver on your mission.

A great way to think about your key messages is to identify key factors and values that customers consider the most before buying a product or service. For example, customers care that they are purchasing from an experienced source, and want what they are purchasing to be reliable, and high-quality. You can then build your key messages around these customer values.

A perfect example of this approach to writing key messages is demonstrated by Valspar. The paint company labels their key messages by keywords, which represent important customer values, and creates a message around each one. Gail Kent from The Buzz Factoree shares Valspar’s key messages:

Reliability Customers and consumers around the world can trust Valspar to be there when they need us most.
Performance We offer high-quality products and services because quality and high performance always matter.
Expertise Valspar shares a wealth of technical knowledge, account leadership and service, ensuring projects reach their full potential.
Innovation Valspar is committed to helping customers meet their most pressing challenges.
Integrity Valspar employees always strive to do the right thing.

When you compare these key messages against Valspar’s mission statement, which is “to be the best coatings company in the world as judged by our customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers and the communities in which we operate,” you can see how their key messages reinforce their mission.

Crafting your key messages with this straight-forward and organized approach will help you prioritize the values that matter most to your customers and your organization.

Our next post on Creating Targeted Content will delve into creating customer personas to help you customize your content to better connect directly with the people who will most likely convert into loyal customers.


Erica Solomon is a writer with over 10 years experience writing copy and editing. An avid marketing researcher, she stays up on the latest trends in everything digital.