Communication is key for any brand. But in order to develop an effective dialogue with your audience, you need a communication strategy. From researching your audience to dealing with bad press, follow these tips to create an integrated marketing communications plan that really works.
1. Know who you’re talking to
Brand communications are only truly effective when the brand has a good understanding of its target audience. It’s only then that you can make good decisions about tone of voice, your presence on social media channels and how you’ll meet consumer needs. So, take time to develop personas to represent your ideal customers, the people you’re hoping to sell to. Get to know them, find out what makes them tick, and make sure they understand how your brand can solve their problems.
2. Show your personality
Part of the work that goes into creating a genuine and authentic brand is to develop a solid brand identity. When interacting on social media, or in real time with your customers, your communication mustn’t sound scripted, as if it’s taken from a template. People respond far better to a more ‘human’ style, reflecting a brand personality that’s more than skin deep. If you have a quirky brand identity, customers will love it if you can respond to them personally and make them laugh.
3. Make people relate
When planning your brand communications, consider how you’ll win people over. It’s important to engage with people’s emotions, getting them invested in your brand through storytelling. Instead of hiding behind a corporate image, show your human side and demonstrate how your product has an impact on real people.
4. Encourage two-way interactions
In this era of social media and collaborative marketing, it’s no longer enough for you to broadcast a one-way message, to be heard and digested by your audience. An effective brand communication strategy needs to enable you to open up a continuous dialogue with your customers. By all means, practise this on a daily basis using social media – but also think about exploring other, real-world ways to get closer to your customers. Pop-up events, product demonstrations and competitions are all ideas to consider.
5. Be transparent
A brand communication strategy needs to cover worst-case scenarios – real PR disasters that could be make-or-break for your brand. By adopting a policy of openness and transparency, you’re likely to minimise the likelihood of any nasty surprises, but you’ll also be well equipped to manage them if and when they occur. So, answer questions, open up your manufacturing process, tell people where you source your ingredients and how many grams of fat are in every portion. Being proactive about keeping people informed will stand you in good stead, and can even be turned into a marketing USP, showing that you’re a brand people can trust.
If you’d like personalised advice on developing your own brand communication strategy, why not get in touch? Read about the services I offer to discover how I can help you.