Is Messaging for the Sake of the Giver or the Receiver?
We start this post with the provocative question: Are you communicating for your own benefit or that of the recipients of your message?
The answer to that question may seem obvious, depending on your perspective. But is it really?
If your objective is to broadcast a message, it follows that it is your prerogative to determine the content and approach. After all, you are the one trying to get something across, so how could your audience determine that message?
However, if your communication is marketing-related, it behooves you to “have your ears to the ground” and “survey the playing field” for the types of messaging that truly resound with your target audience. From that perspective, your audience would profoundly influence the message given.
Furthermore, suppose your audience plays a leading role in your messaging. What is the point of delivering it at all, since in that case, one would assume that your audience is already informed about what you are communicating?
But hold on, maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves. In seeking to deliver genuinely effective messages, you need to go back much further than that.
Assertive communication has several essential aspects, and before you can effectively and influentially communicate, you need to establish a few things.
This single, short article will certainly not be exhaustive in addressing such a mammoth subject, but allow us to put forth a few trigger ideas to help you formulating and fine-tuning fantastic messages.
Phase One: Determine your Target
As the saying goes, “If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it.” All too often, we communicate based on our own perspectives and fail to consider that this may not represent our audience. You need to know who you are talking to, why you are talking to them, and what they want to hear.
Phase Two: Determine Your Objectives
What is it that you want to accomplish? Are you trying to get a message across regarding, let’s say, a social, economic, or political issue? Are you trying to sell something? Are you trying to raise your profile or create a professional portfolio? Communication is a vehicle. It is not the journey itself (unless, of course, your product is content-based in itself, like a book, a course, a news outlet, etc.)
Phase Three: Research
Once you know your target and objective, it is wise to inform yourself more about them. What resounds with your target audience? What are their fears, their dreams, their issues? What do they like, and what do they hate? How have others effectively achieved objectives similar to yours? In what ways have others failed? Are you seeking to follow trends or break trends/create new trends?
Phase Four: Determine Your Approach.
You have gotten past the most significant elements of your target audience and the objective of communication, so now you should determine how to best link the two. Furthermore, you now have valuable data through research. From here, you are much more strongly positioned to effectively communicate your objective to your target audience. And your approach to this is largely dependent upon those two initial elements. Do you want a shocking approach? Well, that might work well with a young audience and not so well with older professionals. Are you marketing luxury products and services? If so, a sophisticated style might work better than either an overly laid-back or too in-your-face approach.
Phase Five: Develop Your Message
Now you are equipped to formulate your actual message. Here are some tidbit tips for that:
4.1 Be familiar. Look for commonality with your audience with references they feel at home and secure with.
4.2 Be unique. Contrast that comfortable feeling with newness and uniqueness. Bait them with less familiar themes and concepts. You don’t want to give them a sense of having “heard it all before.”
4.3 Impact emotions. The old adage of “make ‘em mad, sad, or glad” still rings true. Evoke a response through connecting with emotions.
4.4 Be provocative. Challenge the audience a bit. Don’t be afraid to shock them sometimes and “ upset the applecart.”
Phase Six: Deliver the Message
Beyond what is being said, another important factor is where it is said. There are various communication channels available today, and this behooves us to look into what channels are appropriate for our audience and objective. Is it Facebook? Is it YouTube? Is it mainstream media? Online or Offline?
Despite how great, well-formulated, and targeted your message is, you may share the all too familiar frustration of inability to truly connect with your target audience because it simply gets lost in all of the online static and chatter. PepPartner provides you with smart and efficient tools to actually organically reach your audience and target messages effectively. Our gamification tool creates authentic word-of-mouth endorsement and engagement with you and your message.