In part one of this blog series, we got to grips with personas and how important it is to know them intimately. So, hopefully you have done this step and are no longer playing “Guess Who”, but are more at the solving-the-Cluedo-murder-successfully stage. So whether you have got Reverend Green, Colonel Mustard, or Miss Scarlett’s buyer journey mapped, or indeed all three, you are now ready to establish what you want to communicate, and the desired outcome.
Align and Kicking
In order to communicate effectively, it is necessary to know our core objectives, and to meet them. Therefore, it is essential to establish the following things:
1) Where We Are Currently
As a starter, you should define what it is your company does, its main purpose, and where it carries out its business. Also, by auditing the effectiveness of your company’s communications, you can be clear on what has worked and what hasn’t. To achieve this, you can perform the following, which can help you.
a) A SWOT Analysis
By listing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and considering what they mean regarding your priorities when it comes to communication, you can have a clearer idea about what it takes to turn threats into opportunities. Also how more effective communication can be achieved by playing on our strengths to their full.
b) PEST Analysis
Using this method, you can have a better idea about the Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors influencing the way you operate currently as well as in the future. For political, you could include things such as GDPR.
c) Competitor Analysis
Benchmarking ourselves against how our competitors are doing can be a beneficial way of assessing the current climate. By identifying our competition and objectively ranking them by strengths and weaknesses, we can see how effectively we are communicating and operating within our sector.
2) Statement of Purpose
Knowing why we have a content and communication strategy and what we want the outcome of it to be works to reinforce the reasons behind it for those using it. An example could be:
"Our strategy proves our communications can be more effective in helping us achieve our goals, show when we are successful, remind people and help them understand our roles, react and influence awareness, and maintain communication with stakeholders.”
3) Communications Objectives Company Wide
Knowing your vision and mission, it is easier to assess that your communications and content strategy is properly aligned, and that you have clearly defined how it can help you deliver them. Knowing what is key to communicating your goals, you can map out the communication principles that will help you achieve this. In this way, the strategy’s validity is reinforced by its alignment with your strategic objectives.
So, How Can We Put All of This into Effect?
Now we know our audience, and we have detailed what we want our brand to communicate to them, let’s define it even further. Your research should have placed you in good stead to come up with the meat and bones of your strategy. So to reinforce it, we can sum it up under the following five points:
Define Aims and Objectives: Why Do you communicate? What Should It Bring You?
To avoid uncoordinated communication just for the sake of it, it should be clear how your communication strategy reinforces larger company goals. If your goal is to increase top of the funnel acquisition, your communication should reflect this.
Know Your Audience, Communicate to Them
Who are the buyer personas for your services and products? Identifying them and mapping their journey is an important early stage in your strategy.
Define What You Will Communicate and How
Taking a tactical approach in aligning with our goals is the definition that drives an effective communication strategy. When outlining a brand strategy and planning communications, showing how strategies support goals, and tactics support strategies are a valued best practice.
Messaging, and Effective Communication
Establish what we should communicate and how to convey who we are, what we do, and how we achieve it in a form that is clear, precise, and easy to consume.
Identify the Metrics Necessary to Know When We Are Successful
In order to measure how your content strategy has played a role in achieving your company goals, it is necessary to use metrics to determine its success. Using outcome metrics, you can capture the necessary data to gauge this.
As always, I am interested in how you measure the effectiveness of your content strategy. How far have you progressed in doing the necessary legwork? Is there a key performance indicator that you have identified that is able to drive the way your company brands itself? Let me know in the comments section below.