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5 Essential Elements of Key Message Copy Platforms

by | May 11, 2015 | B2B Copywriting, Content Marketing, Key Message Copy Platforms | 0 comments

When you need to come up with all new messaging for a product or service, where do you begin?

How do you organize your messaging material before embarking on content creation?

A great answer to both of those questions is the Key Message Copy Platform (KMCP).

A KMCP is single-document repository for all the key messages you intend to use to promote a product, service or company. I introduced the concept of the Key Message Copy Platform and its many benefits in my last article.

In this essay, we’ll begin discussing the types of key messages and other information you should put in your KMCP.

Here are the first five essential elements…

1. Description of the target market

The first thing to do when building new product messaging – and a Key Message Copy Platform – is to define your target market.

Identify the industries and company types you’re targeting. What niches are they in? What are their specialties? How big are they? And so on…

Then, define your target audience within those companies and industries. Identify not just their job titles, but also their interests, fears, desires and attitudes – especially their attitudes toward your product and its competitors.

Remember, this audience is made up not only of purchase decision makers. It also includes key influencers who will be supplying those decision makers with information and opinions. Influencers may include end users, their managers, technicians responsible for maintaining your solution, perhaps even legal or finance personnel depending on the type of product or service you offer.

While this section is for internal use only, it’s important to do write it first and to put it at the very top of your Key Message Copy Platform. Since all your key messages need to resonate with your target market, they need to be written with that target market in mind.

You must define your target market before you can write anything else in your KMCP.

2. Product positioning statement

Your product positioning statement defines how you want your product to be perceived in the marketplace.

Is it the Rolls Royce of its class, i.e., the power user’s top choice with all the high-end bells and whistles? Is it the economy option: simple, efficient and cost-effective? Or is it somewhere in between. This is where you define that.

Like your target market description, your product positioning statement is intended for internal use. It also tends to be a rather short section. But it’s very important, because it helps set the voice and tone (defined in the next section) that will be used in all the messaging statements you include later in the document.

3. Description of the messaging voice and tone

Another “internal use only” section, this is where you define the voice and tone of all the key marketing messages you will write for your product or service.

Voice and tone refer to how you would want your marketing copy to sound to your audience if it were read aloud to them. Put another way, voice and tone define the impression you would make if you were speaking your marketing copy directly to a prospect.

This description is usually quite short and typically uses phrases like, “confident and authoritative,” “friendly and conversational” or “clear, straight-forward and no-nonsense” – phrases that reflect both the desired positioning of the product AND the character of the target audience.

All marketing messages in the remainder of your Key Message Copy Platform – and in all your marketing content – should be written it the tone and voice described. So it’s important to complete this section early in the process, and place it early in the KMCP document.

4. Description of the product and how it works

Finally… an actual key message! And a very important one.

You need a clear, concise description of your product or service and how it works.

Note my emphasis on clear and concise. This section should not contain an exhaustive explanation of every feature. It should be a brief, benefit-oriented introduction to your product, which you can easily drop into any content piece you’re creating.

Here’s a good template for this section, courtesy of B2B copywriter Steve Slaunwhite, author of The Everything Guide to Writing Copy:

  • Benefit-oriented headline
  • Short paragraph describing the challenges the product addresses
  • Short paragraph that succinctly describes what the product is, the product’s core benefit and how the product provides that benefit
  • Show what using the product will mean to the prospect, highlighting additional benefits.

Note that you won’t use all this material in every instance. The third point is the core paragraph, which you will probably reuse most often.

A good product description can be difficult to craft, so you don’t want to duplicate this effort for every piece of content you create. You also want your product description to be consistent across all your literature. That’s why this section is so important.

Having a solid product description that you can drop into any content piece saves time, avoids confusion and builds confidence with your prospect.

5. Research facts and figures

Supporting your product claims with plenty of solid, third-party evidence is an essential best practice of good content marketing and of marketing in general. So keeping track of all the tidbits of news and research you collect for that purpose – and being able to lay your hands on them immediately – is essential.

This section serves as a repository for all the research facts and figures you’ve accumulated to support your product or service. It keeps them right at your writers’ fingertips, ready to be dropped into any content project.

Be sure to include source citations in the proper form, so they can easily be dropped into documents as footnotes or endnotes. This is a big time-saver when crafting white papers and special reports.

Add to this section any time you find new supporting evidence for your marketing claims.

Take Away Points

Among the essential elements of any product messaging effort – and of any Key Message Copy Platform – are the following five:

1. Description of the target market

2. Product positioning statement

3. Description of the messaging voice and tone

4. Description of the product or service and how it works

5. Research facts and figures.

I’ll have more essential elements for you in my next article.

Next Steps…

CopyEngineer is pleased to offer Key Message Copy Platforms as a new service. For more information, call CopyEngineer at (+39) 011 569 4951. Or drop me an email at info@copyengineer.com.

To find out more about any of my B2B copywriting services, visit my newly updated b2b copywriting services pages.

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