Like any part of a good business, marketing and communications work best when you have a detailed plan that encompasses, strategy, target audience, objectives, messages, channels, and engagement.
Early on in the year is the perfect time to look ahead and think about your detailed plan for the next 12 months, breaking down each broad business objective, fitting a marketing goal within it, determining a timeline, and deciding what success looks like.
So firms will break up their over-arching messages into micro-messages over the year, perhaps focusing on one per quarter. A single message may be delivered across multiple channels, including webcasts, newsletters, client events, articles, and social media.
It's vitally important that everyone across the business is aware of the plan, and has a good understanding of what you are trying to achieve. If, for example, your marketing goal is to increase engagement through your website; you may want to equip your sales team with scripts that highlight the downloadable resources that you have.
If your goal is to build broader public awareness of your brand, you may want to design a social media campaign around a popular hashtag (for example, note the diverse array of brands that produce social media content every 4th of May to celebrate "Star Wars Day"). In addition to this, you could also encourage your business' spokespeople to be more out front with mainstream media outlets.
Be sure to set measurable targets for your marketing and communications campaign, whether it is website visits, click-throughs from your newsletter, downloads of key documents, LinkedIn engagement or media mentions.
Campaigns tend to work better if you have previously surveyed the competitive landscape and determined your unique selling proposition. That in turn will shape your messaging and your choice of delivery channels.
While marketing and communications these days is a science, don’t neglect the art. Investing in the creation of lively and engaging content that helps start conversations is a key component of all successful strategies.
Finally, review as you go. Not every aspect of the campaign will succeed. Monitor digital and other engagement and do more of what works.
Design your internal communications plan alongside your external one so that all stakeholders have buy-in and understand what the strategy is.
For very small businesses without an in-house marketing and communications professional, much of this can be achieved through downloadable templates that show you step-by-step how to formulate a plan.
A key part of almost any marketing plan should involve video. If you think that we, at Ember, can help you to get your business' message heard, feel free to contact us by phone or email.