Is It Time For A Message Audit?

With tax time fast approaching, many businesses bring in accountants to audit their books and ensure compliance so that their financials are in order. It’s probably something you don’t even think about because it’s part of your annual process. Not to mention you understand how important that is to your business.

But when was the last time you took a look at your messaging to ensure it truly and accurately reflected who you are and what you do? From your website and social channels to emails and marketing materials, you’d be surprised how fast content gets stale and no longer represents who you are. Or worse, your message is so generic you sound like everyone else out there.

Here are three tips on how to do a content audit to ensure your messaging is genuine, sounds like it came from an actual person, represents your brand and creates a real connection with your audience.

  1. Put Your Audience First: Your website is your calling card and the entry point for your audience. So, while you might know exactly what you do, a new site visitor might not. Take a look at your home page and see if your above the fold content addresses their needs vs. talking about what you do. In other words, does your language say something to the tune of

“COMPANY has been providing quality service for 30 years. We have a history of delivering top notch blah blah in an industry where blah blah.”

This message is all about you. A strong positioning statement should be reframed to say something like:

“We make your life easier by providing quality service you can count on. From blank and blank to blank and blank, our priority is delivering what you need when you need it.”

 

  1. Drop the Jargon: There’s a mistaken notion that in order to sound credible and show you have an expertise in your industry, you need to throw out every industry term in the book in your messaging. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only will few people understand what you actually do, it makes you look less credible because it will seem like you felt all you needed to do was put a bunch of lingo on the page. And yes, for SEO, some of these terms and phrases might attract via search, but with an actual human trying to read your content, they will instantly go elsewhere because you haven’t addressed any of their needs (see item #1).
  2. Live Your Truth: Chances are you have a mission and vision statement. You may even have content pillars that were created way back when and are supposed to act as a blueprint for the types of messaging you create. Go back and read those things. Then look at your website, blogs, newsletters, etc. Does your messaging reinforce your mission and vision? Are you staying in the lane of your content pillars and delivering what your audience wants or are you just trying to put out whatever you can, whenever you can? Even in this content-driven world, quality trumps quantity. Your audience would so much rather read something that speaks to them occasionally, than get something off brand on a regular basis.

 

Think about instituting a content audit on an annual basis to ensure the health of your business. And hey, it’s much more fun than spreadsheets and the IRS. Right? Better to have your audience knocking on your door, than the tax man.

Danielle Hughes is the Founder and Chief Personality Officer of More Than Words Marketing, a copywriting and branding consultancy. She helps organizations and individuals to develop their Personality Brand in order to stand out in a sea of sameness. Ready to create yours? Sign up for her newsletter and get your own About Me Mad Libs to give your bio a boost of personality.