Times are changing and they are changing fast. We cannot all carry on marketing our businesses in the same way and expect the same results. Covid-19 has made a real difference to how we communicate our messages. Those businesses that have continued to share social media posts, send email communications, engage in PR and direct mail campaigns will find it easiest to maintain and grow their client base.
One contributing factor for this change is loyalty. We live in a 24/7 world where we all want things at the click of a button and there is often very little loyalty if the same product/service is available faster & quicker elsewhere. Keeping your customer base updated and bringing them along with you on the journey will enhance loyalty and create brand ambassadors.
How we communicate is crucial going forward. Social media is getting busier, email inboxes are bursting at the seams and more traditional forms of marketing such as direct mail campaigns are proving popular. Be aware though, that there are obstacles especially in the B2B sector as a large amount of businesses are embracing home working so not always in the office to receive the post.
Our top tips for effective communication would be:
1: Be Clear
Now more than ever businesses need to be clear about what they are communicating. With many businesses now either working from home or changing their offering, it is important that all messages are communicated clearly by:
- Knowing your purpose – brand recognition, sales & share information etc.
- Knowing how you are going to communicate – social media, email etc.
- Being clear on what you want to achieve
2 Know Your Audience
With any marketing communication channel, it is vital that you understand your audience as this will help determine your tone of voice, length of communication and graphics required. By knowing your audience, you can easily segment and send targeted messages to different audiences at the same time.
People are busy, by being direct you can ensure that your marketing messages are received by the right person at the right time and written for the right audience. Remember, the best communication piece talks to your customer and about them – it is not about you.
Marketing communication is no longer about throwing out lots of content and hoping something sticks. Be clear on:
- Who are you sending the messages to?
- How they digest information
- Where do they get their information from to make buying decision – social media, Press etc.
- Do they prefer detailed content or short-form content?
3: Be Human & Authentic
Human and authentic communications will always get a better response. People buy from people and when social media posts, emails etc are written so you can visualise the speaker, buy-in is increased.
Over the past six months communication channels have really become more human as we are helping and supporting each-other and this is vital when sending marketing communications out.
Other things to consider:
- Don’t use jargon
- Write as if you are speaking to the reader
- Be helpful & supportive
- Can you personalise communications?
4: Communication Channels
It is essential businesses look at each channel in a joined-up manner. Integrated communications will have a better response to stand alone pieces. Customers will digest information better from a number of combined sources. Whilst the way communication is delivered varies per channel, the messaging needs to be-consistent. Have a clear plan of what you are going to use each channel for and regularly assess if it continues to be right for your business
5: Be Consistent
The best advice I can pass on is to be consistent. If you are going to create a communication plan for your business, make sure that you are sending out messages in a timely and consistent manner. Your customers want to hear from you and by being consistent, you stay front of mind. If you write a monthly newsletter, make it land in inboxes at the same time each month. Consider:
- Delivery times
- Time required to produce the content
- Content formats – text, images, videos
5: Monitoring the ROI
Over the next month, take time to actually monitor the return on investment with social media, email marketing, PR and direct Mail campaigns etc. You can do this relatively easily by monitoring the engagement that you get on social media, the open rates that you receive with email marketing and any results and inquiries from direct Mail & PR. By taking the time, you can actively see what is working and what isn’t.
It is important to monitor:
- How many communications are you sending out?
- How many responses / engagements are you getting?
- What is your current open rate percentages and clicks
- What sales are generated?
- How many enquiries are made?
Finally, now is the perfect time to enhance your marketing communications and try new ways to reach your audience. By being present and keeping in front of your clients, it will be easier to build and develop new audiences. Review your communications today and see how you can adapt and adjust as your business finds in new path.