If you want to get your business noticed and remembered by your target customers, you’ll need a communications strategy.
Without a strategy, customers and clients get conflicting messages about what your business does and how you can help solve their problems.
What is communications?
Communications can include any point at which your audience sees, reads or hears a message from your business.
It spans marketing, PR, social media and sales, so it’s important to keep these teams and agencies involved in your strategy and plan.
Why do I need a strategy?
Having a communications strategy and sharing it with your teams ensures you get a consistent, memorable message out to new leads, customers, the media and your employees.
There are some essential points to include when you develop your comms strategy and we’ll look at them here:
1. Set strategic objectives
What do you want to gain from communicating with your customers? Is it about brand awareness, generating new leads for a particular team in your company, or are you trying to target a new audience? Action: Think about how your communications strategy fits in with your overall business aims and write down your top 3-5 objectives.
2. Know your budgets
How much investment is your business willing to make in communicating with its customers? Firstly, when assigning a budget, think about the potential value of the results your strategy can achieve for the business. For example, I’ve seen media coverage generate multimillion pound leads for sales teams, whilst a mention from a key influencer had a spike in sales worth hundreds of thousands. Lastly never underestimate the value that getting your message seen by the right people will add to your revenue when you set your budgets.
3. Refine your target audiences
Try to be as specific as you can with who you want your messages to reach. Do you want to attract high net worths? Are you wanting investors or are you targeting parents? Try using LinkedIn and Facebook ads managers to do your research and get more specific about the other similar brands that your audience might already buy. You can also go as detailed as targeting earnings brackets, locations, job titles and interests. Action: from your research, create x 3 target buyer personalities so you can target each piece of communication to speak to one or all of them specifically.
4. Develop key messages
We usually keep key messages to a minimum, especially for working with the media, where attention spans are usually limited to the headline and first paragraph of stories. Action: Write down 3-5 key messages you want your readers, viewers and listeners to remember. So these aren’t sales messages, but the sound bites that set your product or service apart from the rest.
5. Create your plan
What specific tactics and actions do you and your teams need to take to fulfil your objectives? If you need more creative ideas and extra staff to implement, you might also brief a strategic PR and Comms agency (yes Wrapped does this!) on a project or retainer basis.
6. Assign resources
Are you working with a PR and communications agency? Do you have an in house social media manager? Who in the business is helping you to achieve your plan? If you need to assign additional resources to fulfil your strategy, now’s the time to do it.
If it can’t be measured, don’t do it! With any digital communication and social media campaign you can measure reach, follows, engagement, impressions and click through rates. For instance, broadcast and print media all publish readership figures, so there’s no excuse not to evaluate what’s bringing new leads in and what isn’t. Most importantly, make sure you maintain a close relationship with your sales and customer service teams and monitor Google Analytics to show where your leads are coming from.
Now you know the key elements of creating a successful communications strategy, you can use it to create a consistent voice for your brand across your external and internal communications activities.
What did you find most useful about this article? Are there other activities you’re including? Let us know in the comments below.
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Rachel Clark specialises in helping medium sized, growth focused property companies to create multi million pound turnovers through strategic communications. You can contact her on rachel @wrappedpr.co.uk for an initial discussion about your business.