To help you figure out whether your current communications activity is hitting the mark, we’ve devised a quick self-audit with some questions that you can ask yourself.
Have you defined your target audience sufficiently?
By making sure that you are clear about who your target customer actually is you can begin to make some assumptions (better to carry out research but assumptions can be a starting point) about the value you can offer them. Consider what they need and want to know, and where they look for information about your products or services. This allows you to identify and prioritise key messages relating to your value offering and ensure that they are communicated in the places where your target customer is likely to be looking.
Have you segmented them appropriately?
You may find that not all of your offerings are suitable for every single potential customer. By communicating every benefit you offer regardless of whether or not it is relevant to that customer means you are likely to disengage them. Segmenting your audience means that you can tailor your value proposition and target that customer segment with messages that are relevant to them every time. This makes your communications more effective within that audience segment.
Do you understand the drivers and key interests of each segment and have you defined a clear value proposition for each?
Once you have segmented your audience and identified what their wants and needs are, you can define a value proposition than aligns with that. It may be that you are offering the same product to your entire customer base, and that’s fine, but it might be that different segments have a different priority in terms of features and benefits that they seek from the product and highlighting those priorities first will encourage them to seek more information.
Do you use a comprehensive mix of owned, won and paid media relevant to your target audience?
Whilst budgetary constraints make it tempting to stick with communicating via your owned media (i.e. social media profiles, blogs and newsletters), it is important not only to cultivate your own audience via those mediums but to reach out beyond your existing audience and build awareness and interest with audiences currently in a different space. You can win communications space by adding value. Typically you will create content that adds value to a specific audience via a specific media outlet. This can be a serious investment of time as you create something unique for that specific audience. Paid media, again, allows you to reach outside your current audience. This may be a better option if you have more of a constraint on your time than you do on your budget.
Is your content educating and adding value to your audience?
Think about why you are reading this… because you wanted to learn something that you didn’t already know.
Hopefully you will go away from reading this blog with some fresh ideas about how to optimise your communications strategy, and if you decide that your time is better invested elsewhere you might choose to get in touch with us.
Either way, we hope that you’ll remember the advice, and where you got it from which contributes to your awareness of our brand.
This is an example of educational content that adds value to our audience.
Do you create planned and reactive content?
Time investment into creating content shouldn’t be underestimated. If you are trying to do this yourself, you’ll already know it can be hard to keep up that frequent creation of good quality content alongside your day job. Ideally you want to create a structured comms programme that runs along by itself, although you should be on hand to respond to comments, questions and direct contact after you have posted if your content is on social media. You will also want to be available to pick up and comment on relevant industry news, and other day-to-day opportunities that crop up. Bringing a less structured and more human element to your communications increases interaction as at the end of the day, people connect with people.
Do you use a mix of methods e.g. blogs, animations, videos, podcasts, webinars – appropriate to the message you want to get across?
Variety is the spice of life as they say, and different parts of your audience will likely have a preference for the communications and content that they engage with. There genuinely is no “one size fits all” so don’t be afraid to experiment with your communications vehicles. Just make sure that the method you are selecting is appropriate to your objective and the message you want to get across.
Blogs – great for being found via search engines and rich text content will increase the trust search engines place in your website, helping to rank it higher.
Animations – great for communicating a range of statistics or for telling a story that would otherwise be outside of your budget to produce as a short film. Also, a great option during lock-down where filming can be difficult.
Videos – great for showing how a product works and giving a visual representation of something that may be complex to explain.
Podcasts – great for opinion-based content from multiple participants that can be digested on the go. Hearing a variety of views on a topic can bring a great dynamic to your content.
Webinars – great for in-depth educational content that allows you to really engage with your target customers on a more human level.
Do you wish somebody would take all this responsibility off your hands and free you up to do what you do best?
There’s a lot to consider when designing and implementing your communications strategy and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you want to ensure you have an audience that is a.) growing and b.) engaged without having to commit hours and hours every week to developing this yourself then why not get in touch with us?
Our newly introduced packages offer comprehensive ongoing communications support and is ideal for SMEs or MSEs that want to maximise their brand exposure through cost effective methods with a set budget.
It offers the reassurance of continual and consistent brand growth, the benefit of strategic knowledge without the high salary commitment and frees up your time in the business to do what you do best!
We offer a free 30-minute consultation to find out more about your business and objectives and you can decide if you think you would like to work with us.
For more information about customer insight and segmentation check out our blog: Customer insight – who are you really listening to?