More than just marketing: External communication strategies
Growing a successful business is no easy feat.
To begin with, you need a great concept — a product or service that customers genuinely need. Then, you need a way of differentiating yourself from other people in your industry that sell similar items. Your “USP” will help you to define your audience, which will help you to form the foundation of your brand identity, marketing campaigns, and #ExternalCommunication strategy.
External communication strategies are the methods you use to capture the attention of the public. Unlike intensive marketing plans that focus on conveying value to clients and customers, external communications are all about initiating a conversation with the world that exists beyond your business. That means they include everything from social media marketing to presentations for shareholders and customer service.
In a world where brand relationships are more important than ever, it’s important to know how you can create a communication strategy that speaks to your audience.
Let’s explore a few ways that you can add volume to your external communications.
Launching the discussion: Types of external communication
External communication strategies come in many different flavours, from the presentations you create to demonstrate your value to partners and shareholders, to the marketing campaigns you use to connect with your customers. Here, we’re going to look at just some of the different platforms for #BrandCommunication that modern businesses use:
1. Your website/blog
Your website and blog are both great avenues for external communication. While your website can share useful information about your company through an About page, brand manifestos, and so on, your blog is a great way to educate people about your products and services or announce upcoming changes. With a comment section or contact page, you also give a voice to the other side of the conversation. Remember, communication goes both ways.
2. Live events and conferences
While there are plenty of ways to develop your brand presence and build relationships online, one of the best ways to establish valuable connections between your brand and your external network, is through face-to-face conversations. Events, conferences, and seminars are great ways to show your authority and reach out to a broader audience.
3. Your email list
Though older than social media marketing and live video content, email is still one of the most effective external communication methods around. 86% of business professionals prefer to use it when communicating for professional reasons and its marketing ROI is through the roof. With segmentation, you can group each of the people you’re communicating with into their own specific groups, from customers to shareholders, and potential partners.
4. Social media
Social media has emerged as one of the best forms of #Communication available. It not only allows you to get more mileage on your website content by sharing it with new and growing audience segments, but it also helps you to establish relationships with your audience. Remember, for social media to be an effective part of your external strategy, you shouldn’t just be talking at your followers, but communicating with them. Offer customer service through your social channels and respond to comments or questions.
5. Press releases
Finally, the humble press release is still a great component of an external communications strategy, particularly when you combine it with press panel options and Q&A sessions. Press releases are a great way to get your voice heard when you’re announcing important updates. Just make sure that you partner with the right media outlets.
How to improve your external communications
So now that you know some of the platforms you can use to share your #BrandMessage, it’s time to discuss how you can give your external communications more volume. Remember, when used correctly, your external communications strategies can have a huge impact on your brand growth. They help to generate the attention you need to grow your presence while developing long-term relationships for your company.
Here are a few tips to take your communications to the next level:
1. Know your audience
The basis of any good external communications strategy is knowing how to resonate with your target audience. Before you can decide how you want to deliver your content or messages, you need to know how to speak your audience’s language. Often, this will involve creating a buyer persona for everyone from your shareholders to your investors. The more you know about each segment, the easier it will be to create campaigns that are engaging and intuitive.
2. Choose the appropriate platforms
Once you know your audience, you’ll be able to start thinking about the platforms you can use to amplify your message. Most of the best external communication strategies take an omnichannel approach today, establishing connections through everything from social media to television advertisements, press releases, and in-person events. The right platform for your needs will depend on your brand, and who you’re trying to reach.
3. Give your messages real value
Finally, make sure that every message you send with your external communication strategy, is designed to deliver real value to your audience. Don’t just make noise for the sake of it. Create a campaign that highlights the most important elements of your brand, including your personality, your values, and your #BrandMessage.
Is it time to discover the value of external communications?
No matter what industry you’re in, or what kind of business you run, it’s important not to overlook the benefits of a good external communication strategy.
A good #CommunicationStrategy helps to build brand awareness, increase sales, and give you an avenue for long-term relationships with the people outside of your company. Of course, to get it right, you’ll need to know how you can translate your campaigns into the right language for a host of different audiences.
To find out more about external communications strategy, check out our guide, or reach out to Fabrik to hire your own external communications agency.
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the importance of communication.