Every organisation has a story to tell, but some just don’t know how to do it.
It’s important to convey your story in the right way and at the right time as you go about meeting your business objectives and growing your brand.
That’s why it pays to have a strategic marketing and communications plan. This plan is a document that maps out how you are going to amplify your organisation’s story to your customers, clients, staff and stakeholders. It ensures consistency in your brand’s voice and messaging, while outlining what internal and external platforms you should be using and when. If you have separate marketing and PR/communications departments, having a clear strategy will also help ensure they work in tandem to achieve your company’s goals.
Shaping your story
At the top of your marketing and communications strategy, you need a list of key objectives. What is your organisation trying to achieve? Are you aiming to increase your brand awareness with a certain demographic? Or do you want to double your social media following? Do you want to gain a competitive edge against your opposition? Perhaps you are looking to substantially increase sales of a certain product, or you want to position your brand as an authoritative voice in a certain area. Perhaps it’s some or all these things. Whatever your objectives are, it’s important to spell them out and with as much detail as possible.
Next, draft a set of key messages. This will ensure that everyone in your organisation is effectively singing from the same song sheet in all of your communications and marketing materials, including social media posts, email marketing, press releases and media interviews.
When putting together a marketing and communications plan, it’s important to clearly define your target audience. In other words, who do you need to convey your message to? Typically, this is the demographic of your client or customer. If you are a toy shop, for example, your target audience will likely be parents of children aged 0-12 years. It’s likely your organisation will have multiple target audiences. Existing clients, potential customers, referral sources – be sure to include them all!
Marketing and communications tactics
Now it’s time to think about what marketing and communications tactics you can use to effectively convey your key messages to your target audience to achieve those key objectives.
Your tactics should include both owned and earned media. Owned media is material published on the platforms you own and control, such as your website and social media pages. Earned media, on the other hand, is material about your organisation featured on others’ platforms, such as stories in traditional media outlets, blogs on company websites, product reviews and even reposts on LinkedIn.
Your marketing and communications tactics may even include entering awards, speaking engagements, advertising, digital marketing campaigns and sponsorship opportunities.
As you map out each tactic, you need to consider what you want to say, the audience you are targeting and what platforms or channels you will utilise. You also need to think about how this tactic will meet your key objective and the best time to execute. And, importantly, will you have the time and energy to do it? Be realistic in what you can and can’t achieve.
Time for action
A final piece of advice – don’t let your comprehensive marketing and communications plan collect dust on the bookshelf or consign it to the bottom of your filing cabinet. Make sure you revisit the plan on a regular, even weekly basis, to ensure you keep telling your story to the right people at the right time.
Does your organisation need a communications and marketing strategy but not sure where to start? Get in touch with our team of seasoned storytellers who are experts in devising and executing these plans here.