Adding Message Maps to a Content Strategy

drawing of a maze with a customer at one end and money at the other concept of a sales funnel

drawing of a maze with a customer at one end and money at the other concept of a sales funnelWhy mapping messages can strengthen customer engagement, win you trust, and fortify your overall content strategy.

Recently I’ve built into my own strategy toolkit this little content artifact that I would probably not fly without ever again. I’ve dubbed it a “message map” because that’s precisely what it is.

When you have a complex user flow or experience, a sales and conversion funnel, multiple writers or content owners with their fingers in the content till, this ad hoc doc offers a quick synopsis of key messages and where in the site they are located.

Content or “messages” that are ripe for including as part of a message map include:

  • Calls to action
    Promotional soundbites, slogans, taglines
    Reusable copy snippets that establish clear tone and voice
    Reusable keywords and phrases

Whatever you do just say no to putting this in a spreadsheet. It’s a map, so it can look more like a mind map or brainstorming map:

I’ve actually gone pretty lo-tech and scribbled my message maps onto Visio user flow printouts and site maps. Honestly, you could just as easily do it on a cocktail napkin and still get a nice little message flow to tack on your wall.

Red pen, colored pencil, felt tip marker is all I need. I’ve found that these types of docs give me a nice one pager high level view of what themes, if you will, are being developed and installed into the site. It’s not an absolute–but it’s just enough of a tool to get my main messages and soundbites sketched into the “satellite view,” –the wider lens– so to speak.

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