Building Communication Strategy
Thinking of a basic model questions, as a starting point, What? Who? How? will draft main points to be used throughout any communication model. By the way marketing strategy of any product promotion does not differ a lot, as it is finally gets to the point of where and how you can reach your audience. Unlike marketing strategy, the communication strategy aims to get the information delivered, not to sell. Although, the final target may be specified and the model can be extended.
Further, it is important to distinguish the terms promotion and strategy. The strategy is the general long-term concept that we stick to throughout the product (service, etc.) lifetime (which can be adjusted, modified of course) in order to reach the audience (to tell our story) or eventually reaching a set goal, whereas the promotion means a short-term action that aims to reach the goal. So to put it simple, the strategy consists of a number of direct actions to tell about the product and a number of indirect actions/ promotion actions that are proactive.
For example, a website about the product/service should be treated as a mean of providing information, while a post of a social network that include the link to that website would mean an indirect mean of promotion.
No matter how boring it may seem for most, it is very important to state the exact aim that you are willing to reach, both in short-term and long-term. It is extremely important to state exact target (if possible) for any communication strategy. Thus, it will be possible to evaluate the results afterwards. Otherwise, it will be impossible to state whether the promotion was successful and efficient of not, meaning it is not even possible to say if some resources were simply a waste of investment.
Target audience should be described in detail for a further clear understanding of which promotion actions should be taken into consideration. Detailed description of the audience would mean a more efficient use of budget. At least following details should be specified:
- area of work
For example, when we promote posts it is possible to specify our audience, especially in social networks, so if for example we sell dresses for women, we would focus on women, then the age can also be specified. If we produce business casual wear, then it is probably a category of 25-55 years old that are most likely to be interested.
Eventually, it means that people who do not match the criteria don’t see the post, so our post is only shown to the audience that is most likely to make a purchase.
There are also dozens of options that we can specify to reach the right audience.
Means of actions to be taken into consideration:
- Articles on different blogs (increase of SEO – better change of appearance on google search)
- articles on thematic websites
- general blog page (could be on a website or blogs like medium.com, livejournal.com, tumblr.com, etc.)
- Video (publish on facebook, vimeo, youtube)
- Social network accounts (facebook, twitter, linkedin, instagram, etc.)
- Digital advertising (google, facebook, etc.)
- Email marketing
- news media/pr (online)
- magazines/newspapers (print)
- Research papers
- outdoor banners
- tv commercials
- radio commercials
Some of the content we may produce for our campaign can often be used for multiple means of promotion. For example Infographic can be used on a website, social networks, online sources, other media.
What to choose?
It is a question of understanding where you should be able to reach your audience at best. Then you should be finding out the number, i.e. the scale of potential audience and the cost you would carry to reach it.
After deciding which means to be used the general concept of strategy can be drawn.
Normally, writing a press release and spreading it to multiple media sources may get it published by many media online, which costs nothing. Although, you still have to prepare a press release and publish it. Still, the costs are significantly less than you would pay different sources to write an article. Those means, still doesn’t exclude each other.
Creating a blog page can be a powerful mean, more on issue here.
After the launch of the communication strategy it should be reevaluated periodically, for example once a month or even once a week depending on the mean of promotion and your capacity to manage the process. Taking into consideration specific details of promotion, the means can be compared. Thus, less efficient can be dropped or the budget of those can be reallocated to more efficient ones.
Every mean of promotion have specific indicators. For example, having a Facebook campaign it is worth to measure the post reach, page reach, actions (clicking the links, liking, sharing or commenting on posts).
Final destination in digital world in most cases will be the website, where user can either get the full information or make a purchase (if we sell a product).
If we speak about making the people to apply for a renovation, we may evaluate it further. Let’s say we have 100 people visiting our website, and only 1 that makes an enquiry, which means 1% conversion. Not bad.
If we gather information at every step and every mean of promotion we can make a conversion funnel, which will allow us to judge where do we have our potential clients loosing the interest.