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Making Message Maps for Your Content Strategy

If you are trying to learn how to do this thing called content strategy, then here’s something you’re going to want to toss in your toolbox. A message map can be a part of your content marketing strategy. Evolve in your marketing with a message map that identifies three main messages you want to portray with your content for clients. Learn how to make the most of the Rule of Three…and 27/9/3…in keeping your message maps trim.

What is a Message Map

A message map provides an organizational overview of the messages of your company. These are all of the marketing messages you relay across all products. In action, a message map is used to portray messages in a marketing campaign. Therefore, you will most likely have more than one message map for a single content strategy. This depends on how extensive you are working with a client in terms of marketing goals. Yet, you only need to generate one message map per marketing campaign.

The Assistant Director of Communications and Public Relations at Texas A&M University, Rusty Cawley, discusses the application of message maps. According to Cawley, you want to start with three main messages for your marketing campaign. Cawley also stipulates a 27/9/3 rule. This rule states you want to keep these message maps short, sweet, and to the point.

The 27 refers to the length of a sound bite, if you were to record yourself speaking a message from these MMs out loud. The 9 refers to the seconds it should take you to deliver the marketing message. These rules are both useful if you are creating message maps for making videos, such as for YouTube, or radio ads. Again, the 3 refers to how many messages you need to start. Then you will have three supporting messages per main message. When you break down the marketing points in these succinct points, you can stay focused when doing a whole host of things, such as:

  • Creating social media posts about the product for the specific campaign
  • Using banner ads and other PPC advertising
  • Generating articles, blog posts, and video content that is focused on the campaign at hand

When you have your nine messages for each point, you actually have 12 total pieces of content ready to use. Fashion your messages to stick to the 27/9/3 script and you won’t have very much editing to do when it comes to fitting the messages into various formats, such as YouTube video descriptions, Amazon descriptions, or Twitter posts. A tweak and twerk here and there will help you twist these messages into the meta data formats and other preferences of the Google algorithm.

How to Use Message Maps for Content Strategy

Your message map starts with a single question. This answers what your customer needs or wants to know the most about your marketing campaign. What is your main message? For example, let’s say that your purpose for a marketing campaign is:

  • Why Should My Customers Want to Buy ### New Tech Product?

Here you will set up your three main messages:

  1. Major benefit of the product for the customer, i.e., saves time or money
  2. Highlighted service the company provides with the product, i.e., customer service, high value, returns guaranteed, etc.
  3. Top feature of the product that you want to share with the customer as you advertise

Remember the 27/9/3 and keep the marketing message points clean and to the point.

Microsoft Message Maps

By the way, if you do your own digging into more about these message maps. There’s a search result that might have you all in a tizzy. Microsoft has its own proprietary message map facility called the Microsoft Foundation Class Library. The Message Maps at Microsoft are “mapping from messages to member-functions may be defined so that when a message is to be handled by a window, the appropriate member function is called automatically.” Now I’ll be completely straight with you. I have no idea what that means so I can’t explain it in any simpler terminology. That being said, if you are interested, then Message Maps by Microsoft might work for you.

More Marketing Goodies

Want to gain more steam with your content strategy? Check out these tips about listening to your customers’ pain points when managing your content marketing strategy from the pros here at WriterAccess.


“Welcome. I’m the Whispering Wordsmith of the Woods, An Old Man Willow type cunning the lit forest, Disrupting textbookish writers with grammar snaps and cracks.” As a professional web content writer for small-to-medium businesses, Miranda B understands how to effectively balance technical jargon and personal brand messaging. Her content is sticky, evergreen when expected to be, and always creative. Keep ’em coming back for more, that’s Miranda’s motto!

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By WriterAccess

Freelancer Miranda B

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