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How to Create Your First Marketing Communication Strategy

Kyla Ball

An effective marketing communications strategy is crucial for the success of any company, of any size. But for a small business or start up with no marketing team members or expertise it can be a daunting prospect! In this blog we run through the 6 key steps involved in developing a strategy that will help elevate your brand and capture the attention of your customers.

Why do you need a communication strategy?

A solid marketing communication plan helps you effectively communicate your brand message, brand awareness, build strong relationships with your target audience, and ultimately drive business growth.

1. Set clear objectives

The first step in developing a successful strategic communications plan is to establish clear objectives. What do you hope to achieve through your marketing efforts? Your communication objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, you might aim to increase brand awareness of a new product by 20% within the next six months, or generate 500 signups through a particular campaign or initiative.

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2. Understand your target market

To effectively communicate with your target audience, you need to understand them in detail. Develop detailed buyer personas that encapsulate the demographics and preferences of your target audience. To do this effectively you can conduct market research, analyze customer data, and gather feedback to gain insights into their needs, desires, and pain points. This information will enable you to tailor your messages to resonate with your audience, potential customers and stakeholders on a deeper level.

At this stage it also pays to understand your competitors too. If you havent already done so as part of your business plan, carry out a simple SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) of your main competition and their marketing activities.

3. Perfect your key messages

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, it’s time to develop key messages that align with their interests and motivations. Your key messages should convey your brand’s unique value proposition and differentiate you from competitors. Keep them concise, compelling, and consistent across all communication channels. These messages will serve as the foundation for your content creation and marketing campaigns.

4. Choose the right communication channels

There are numerous communication and marketing channels available, from traditional mediums like print to digital marketing channels such as social media, email, websites, blog posts, videos, infographics and podcasts. They can range from the completely free (such as social media) to those which require investment such as sponsorships, billboards and smaller scale printed collateral. Determine which channels are most effective in reaching your target audience based on their preferences and behavior. Whilst it may be tempting to take a multichannel approach, your initial efforts should be focussed on the channels where your audience is most active – in order to maximize your impact. If you decide to create an integrated marketing communications strategy across a number of diverse channels, ensure that the ones you choose will give you the best return on investment by enabling you to reach your core target audience. Some formats may be unfamiliar to you and require some practice to perfect – such as press releases or informational articles. The good news is that there is plenty of guidance available online as well as AI-assisted tools to help you craft any type of written or visual content.

5. Develop engaging content

High quality content is the foundation of your marketing communications. Create a content marketing plan that aligns with your key messages and the preferences of your target audience. Ensure that your content is valuable, informative, and engaging, providing solutions to your audience’s pain points while maintaining a consistent brand voice and tone.

To optimise your content creation, make use of apps and platforms that help you save time and money by automating processes and maximising reach. SEO (search engine optimization) and list management tools are just two examples. Read our blog How to Optimize Your Productivity with AI Content Creation Tools for more guidance.

6. Apply a consistent brand identity throughout your marketing

Develop brand values and guidelines that encompass visual elements and formats such as logos, color palettes, and typography, as well as tone of voice, tagline and style guidelines. Apply these guidelines consistently across all your communication channels to reinforce your brand’s personality and USP (unique selling proposition) and to enhance recognition and trust among your target audience. You need to keep your brand and brand values in mind whenever it’s time for decision-making about any part of your communications

Recap of the six steps: Your template for success

These six steps are summarised in this handy ThingLink visual below.

Want to create interactive infographics like this? It’s easy! See this blog for details and a free Canva templates.

Finally…Don’t forget to monitor your strategy

Finally, regularly monitor and measure the effectiveness of your marketing communications efforts. Utilize tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics, and email marketing metrics to track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, engagement, conversion rates, and customer feedback. Use these insights to refine your strategy and marketing messages, optimize your tactics, and make data-driven decisions to achieve better results.

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