What is a Communication Strategy?
How to Create an Effective Communication Strategy and Master Strategic Communications
This post shows the key features of planning an effective communication strategy, we’ve also included helpful tips and innovative technology solutions.
What is a communication strategy?
A communication strategy is a plan for how you will communicate with your target audience through your external communication campaigns. This can include everything from what channels you will use (e.g., email, social media, print ads, etc.), to what messages you will communicate, to how often you will communicate. For this reason, it could also be described as a marketing communication strategy.
A successful communication strategy will be designed to achieve specific objectives. It should also be aligned with your overall marketing campaigns and objectives. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, then your communications efforts might include plans to launch a social media campaign or run a series of television ads. Alternatively, if you want to announce a new feature on an existing product, inviting current customers by email might be a more direct approach. You also should consider a time frame for your strategy. Do you have any business goals that you want meet by a certain point? Do you want to plan in an assessment or review stages for the strategy at any point? Will there be a test phase?
Crush your communication goals by following these simple steps in our interactive infographic!
Click here to view the accessible version of this interactive content
4 Components of an Effective Communication Strategy: Your template for success
1. Define Your Target Audience
Before you can develop an effective communication strategy / communication plan, you need to know who you are trying to reach. This might be key stakeholders, community groups or customers. Helpful Tip! Try to avoid the term ‘users’ ; it really isn’t an endearing term. This means identifying your target audience and segmenting them into smaller groups based on demographics factors like age, location, gender, interests, and income level. Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can start developing messaging that will resonate with them.
2. Identify Your Communication Objectives
As we mentioned earlier, your communication strategy should be designed to achieve specific objectives. So, what do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive website traffic? Generate leads? Convert sales? Once you have identified your objectives, you can start thinking about the best ways to achieve them and the metrics that evidence your effectiveness.
This is the stage at which you must also define your overall key messages. These are the important messages that lie at the heart of your communications output.
3. Choose Your Communication Channels
The next step is to choose the communication channels that you will use to reach your target audience. There are a number of different channels available, including traditional channels like television and radio, as well as digital media platforms and channels like email and social media. The key is to choose the channels that will reach your target audience where they are spending the most time. Helpful Tip! Remember face-to-face methods are increasingly seen as essential occasional features of your communication strategy, all digital is not always best.
4. Creating Engaging Content
Your communication strategy is also an exercise in public relations. A key part of all types of communication strategies is how you engage your audience. The nature and style of your communications needs to be on point and more importantly on brand. For this reason it’s vital that all team members as well as any partnership brands understand your communications strategy and how to apply it in their day to day communications with your audiences. How can they apply the key messages in their communications, campaigns, outreach and initiatives?
Helpful Tip! Why not make your images, videos or even virtual tours interactive when embedded?!
ThingLink allows you to create interactive images, videos and 360° pictures. With ThingLink insert informational hotspots – or tags – into your images or videos. The tags can contain text, videos (for example, from Youtube), pictures, and links to other online resources as well as different embeds from other services.
1. A shoppable Christmas Video!
2. An Interactive Infographic!
Below is a fantastic example of an interactive infographic created in ThingLink by Carmanah Technologies. Read here how they created this and other clear and effective interactive content for product marketing.
All these examples are interactive on Twitter too! If you like these, explore what more you can do with ThingLink.
An effective communication strategy is essential for any business that wants to connect with its target audience and achieve specific objectives. By taking the time to define your target audience and identify your objectives, you can choose the right channels and craft messaging that will resonate with your audience and help you achieve your goals. Don’t forget you can also replicate this for internal communication and employee engagement!
There is a huge range of interactive materials that you can start creating today with ThingLink! Read some of these blogs below for more inspiration:
- Interactive infographics
- Interactive maps
- Virtual tours
- Want to save time? Here’s our round up of the top 5 types of interactive content Expert communicators are creating now!