The importance of your marketing messages cannot be emphasized enough.
Because what you say to your customers (and how to say it) ultimately defines your brand.
However, companies need to make sure that their messages are flexible enough to move forward.
Customers change. Pivot industries. If you constantly know which messages are best for your audience, your marketing is more likely to land with customers over time.
And social media is arguably the best channel to do just that.
This guide explains how to use social listening for marketing messaging to make sure your campaigns catch on in 2021 and beyond.
Why brands should update their marketing news regularly
You are probably confident about what your customers want to hear from you.
That is, how you feel doesn’t tell the full story.
Below are some key reasons why evaluating and updating the effectiveness of your marketing messages should be your top priority.
Customer behavior and expectations are not static
Modern marketing is about so much more than just pushing products.
Consider how younger consumers are increasingly interested in companies promoting activism and social justice. While brands of the past may have been cautious about “choosing sides” or addressing seemingly controversial issues, it has become far more common to take a stand.
Here, too, customers are changing. So are their values, needs and wishes. Brands need to keep pace with these expectations.
Avoid being perceived as contactless
Launching the same campaigns and promotions with identical marketing messages is lazy at best.
However, this could also damage your brand’s reputation.
Look no further than how difficult it has been for some companies to turn during COVID-19. The pandemic was a great opportunity for brands to show their humanity. On the other hand, companies that ignored this were rightly criticized as deaf.
Another prime example is marketing during a recession. Messages that focus on affordability and empathy are likely to land, while messages that focus on luxury can be considered non-contact.
Discover new ways to optimize your marketing campaigns
Last but not least, updating your marketing messages will help you find out which campaigns are working and which are not.
And you won’t know until you look at your data.
While there are a variety of sources to choose from, social listening data is invaluable in fine-tuning your messages. Why? Because listening data are:
- Specific and biological (straight from the mouth of your customers and competitors)
- Current and current (as it comes straight from social media)
- Obtained from people outside of your customers (think of leads, prospects, competitors)
How To Use Social Listening To Improve Your Marketing Messages
Now let’s look at how social listening can reveal ways to optimize your messaging (and what that looks like with Sprout).
Start with a sentiment analysis to assess your current brand health
You need to start with some sort of baseline on how companies judge both you and your marketing messages.
A sentiment analysis can be carried out here. Using context from comments, questions, and conversations through social media, tools like Sprout can translate your mentions into messaging data.
For example, a sentiment analysis can reveal whether people are largely positive, negative, or indifferent about your brand, depending on how they talk about it.
Brands heading into 2021 may want to pay extra attention to customer sentiment before and during COVID-19 to see how (if any) the pandemic has played out.
Browse through the messages of your fans, followers and customers
Once you have a full understanding of the mood, it’s time to get down to specific conversations.
Social listening allows you to identify keywords and hashtags related to marketing as shown in your campaigns. For example, tools like Sprout can help you answer the following questions:
- What are people saying about certain products or promotions?
- Have people been talking about your biggest marketing spurts? Did you land?
- Which accounts (think influencers, employees, press reports) have excited your company most?
- Was most of the conversation about your products or was it about trends and news?
- What were your main social messages for the year?
To find these answers, you need to look at your analysis and relevant keyword terms used by your target audience. This is what this data looks like with our tool:
Based on these answers, you can uncover the common themes between your best campaigns. This includes content topics and of course marketing messages.
Analyze the conversations of your competitors and the entire industry
Competitive analysis is a great bit of finding out your news. You obviously don’t want to parrot your competitors.
This is where social listening comes in handy again. With the help of listening data you can, for example, identify trending topics based on conversations in your industry. This includes conversations between your competitors and their customers. Based on their wins (or struggles), you can take advantage of new messaging opportunities, or at least know what types of messages to avoid.
Beyond specific messages, you can also analyze who has the largest share of the vote among your competitors and determine who has marketing messaging at the top.
What other data can you use to improve marketing messaging?
Remember, social data is certainly not the be-all and end-all of improving your news. Below are some other sources for insight and inspiration.
See your marketing analytics beyond the social setting
From SEO to email marketing campaigns and beyond, your marketing analytics can help deepen what you already know about your marketing messages.
For example, let’s say your website generated most of its search traffic from queries related to the longest landing [product]”Or” safest [product]. “In that case, you can rightly double the messaging for security and longevity.
Or let’s say your highest-converting email campaigns came with huge discounts. This shows how important it is to emphasize affordability. Again, your analysis can point this out to you (see Sendinblues Dashboard for reference).
Look at your reviews and check the dates
Anywhere you can get real-world comments from customers is a plus for messaging optimization. Reviews are no exception. For example, take a look at how IT Cosmetics’ review aggregator breaks down the positive and negative aspects of a particular product.
Similar to your social mentions, review comments can highlight certain product features to reinforce in your marketing messages.
Gain firsthand insights from people in customer facing roles
As a side note, consider involving people outside of your marketing department to give your messages additional context.
For example, customer support staff are invaluable because, as you know, they are actually talking to customers. The same applies to salespeople who deal with frequent objections and questions.
How to use your data to create marketing messages and campaigns
Finally, let’s take a look at the “Next Steps” to take once you’ve gathered your data and are ready to optimize your messages.
Talk to the rest of your team about your data
Piggyback on the last point above: Marketing messaging is an important component of your business that needs to be discussed with several decision makers. Making major changes to your messages shouldn’t be the sole decision of one person. Meeting with others to sift through your data is key to deciding which campaigns to consider.
Update your customer personalities to reflect your new messages
Granted, you’ve already created your company’s social media personas. Update your personas accordingly when your messages change. In short, your personas from 2015 shouldn’t look like your personas from 2021.
Brainstorm and test new campaigns
Finally, it’s time to put your new messages to the test.
If you want some inspiration on what types of messages have traditionally resonated with consumers, be sure to check out our guide on how to develop your marketing messages.
Once you start rolling out these new campaigns, you can start tracking them via social media tests before scaling them elsewhere. This is where you can see if your new messaging is performing better in terms of engagement while keeping track of your data using tools like Sprout Social.
Are you using your social listening data to improve your marketing messages?
Social listening data is invaluable for marketers looking to solidify their marketing messages.
And there is no better time to do it than now! By catching up on trends and conversations regarding your business, you can improve your messaging more easily and never run the risk of being out of touch.
When talking about trends, be sure to read the Sprout Social Index to see exactly how brands today are using their social data.