Mathis Trailers’ Voice: Style Guide for Social

Mathis Trailers and Equipment Sales has been a marketing client of ours since November 2019. We’ve loved working with them to create campaigns, videos, Google Ads, social media content, and branding materials. Since we touch so many aspects of their business, we made sure to learn what they’re all about so it translates well on platforms like Facebook. To do this successfully, we use a style guide to make sure there’s consistency throughout everything we create for Mathis.

A style guide is imperative for any business. Not only does all of your content feel more professional and polished, but also, it helps form a more meaningful connection with your customers.

We’ve already written about the visuals, which often make the first impression on clients. (If you haven’t read that blog yet, read it now, then come back here to pick up where you left off!) Now comes an even more important part: the voice.

Language is powerful, and as we design prioritizing function over form, the “function” is driven by content.

Who is Your Audience?

Knowing who your audience is imperative. When discussing with Robert who his main customer is, he began to tell us about hobby farmers. He explained that while there are people who farm for a living and have large farms, his target customer farms for different reasons. This person owns a couple acres of farmland and wants to keep their land looking nice. This person wants to be self-sustainable, and farming, while hard work, is relaxing for them.

After talking with Robert, and looking into their social media analytics like engagement, we were able to put together a customer persona for their target audience. This persona, who we’ve dubbed “Hobby Farmer Henry” helps us get a closer look at Mathis’ customers. Using all their previous data, and after interviewing people who fit that demographic for the empathy map (which we’ll get into below), we were able to fill in information about this persona’s behaviors, needs/goals, and challenges.

A graphic shows a hobby farmer with demographics, behaviors, needs/goals, and challenges

What’s The Best Way to Write For Your Audience?

To create effective, engaging content, you need to know your audience. This means understanding the things they say, think, do, and feel so you can form meaningful connections with them through your marketing. Once you’re able to understand their needs, you can effectively discuss how your products or services can best solve their problems.

How do you find all of this information out? At Romega Digital, we use empathy maps.

A square with User in the center, surrounded by quadrants that read says, thinks, feels, and doesEmpathy mapping involves creating a visual representation of someone in your target audience. This is generally done by interviewing multiple people who fall within that audience. Traditionally, an empathy map has a customer persona in the middle with four quadrants (Says, Thinks, Does, and Feels) surrounding it.

The Says quadrant usually contains a direct quote a customer has said. In Mathis’ case it looks likes:

  • How easy is it?
  • Can I do it?
  • Can I operate it?
  • Will you show me?

The Thinks quadrant covers what is running through their mind, what’s important to them, and questions they may have. It’s possible for this quadrant and the Says quadrant to share similar content. What sets this quadrant apart from Says is the fact that these questions generally go unverbalized:

  • Do they have what I need?
  • Who do I want to give my business to?
  • Who is someone knowledgeable I can run things by?

The Does quadrant holds any action a customer would take. What do they do? Are there specific ways they do those things?
Looks for someone knowledgeable to discuss equipment

  • Visits the store a couple of times before making a large purchase
  • Drives further away from their home to purchase things because of personal relationships they’ve cultivated

The Feels quadrant holds anything related to their emotional state. Generally, adjectives or short sentences are used in this quadrant.
Satisfied and accomplished when working on their farm

  • Working on their farm allows them to relax and get away
  • Enjoys being outside and putting in the work

With all of this information, we’re able to construct an empathy map that will allow us to speak effectively to our audience and start building our brand voice around the audience we want to reach the most.

A tractor divided into four columns, with headings for says, thinks, does, and feels

Another piece of this puzzle is word choice. Thanks to a customer persona and empathy map, we know generally what to say. To sell that, we need to make sure that Mathis comes across in every caption, so this includes using phrases they use. For example, Mathis and their customers are often from the south, and use colloquial language. So, we incorporate that into their content. Using words and phrases like “y’all” and “give us a holler” are things we’ve heard from the Mathis family (it helps that many members of Team Romega are also from the South!)

How Do You Use This Information Effectively?

The last part you need to create effective content is the most important: Your Goals.

Knowing what you want to accomplish in the next quarter, year, and even further can inform even the smallest of posts.

For example, let’s say Mathis had one main goal: to sell one tractor each week for a year. To accomplish that, they’re running a promotion on “new tractor”, which for this exercise, will be a Branson 3400. With that in mind, we can create a mock social media post utilizing their empathy map from above (which is located conveniently in their style guide) as well as style guidelines for graphics.

The phrases we’ll pull for this example are:

  • Does: Looks for someone knowledgeable to discuss equipment
  • Says: Will you show me?
  • Feels: Working on their farm allows them to relax and get away

Here’s what we’ve come up with!

Get work done on your farm and enjoy it even more with the Branson 3400. It’s one of the toughest tractors on the market with the biggest carrying capacity out there. Through the end of this month, you can get one for yourself at 0% interest!

Our family has been in the farming business for years, and we can show you exactly how to keep this tractor running smoothly for a long, long time. Give us a call or just come talk to us!

A picture of a tractor with a 0% financing message

If you’re looking for a qualified graphic design and marketing team to help you unify your voice, we want to help! What message are you trying to send?