1. WHY are you going to communicate?
Before starting any types of communication, every time think over what is the goal, purpose of your communication and be aware of it.
In a nutshell there can be 4 types of goals of your communication:
Brand awareness building – Reaching new people, introducing your brand, purpose, mission and product(s) to them with all features and benefits.
Engagement and Lead generation – Providing some insights and knowledge for potential customers to engage them, giving them some taste, trial opportunity and some demo of your product to nudge them towards purchase.
Sales – Convincing potential customers to buy your product with special offers, call to action and testimonial proof messages supported by a strong promo communication.
Brand loyalty building – Making committed your customers for long-term with special offers, follow-up comms and VIP treatment, creating a returning customer pool (doing cross-sell, upsell) building a community together with them, involving them in your product development, engaging them so much to be your brand advocator, recommend you and your product and spread the word (referral program).
Remember: Choose and apply different channels, tools, types of content and brand messages according to the specific communication goal(s).
2. WHO is your target group?
- Who do you want to reach / engage / convince with your communication?
- What are your target customers’ problems (pain points) or desires?
- How can you solve those problems or fulfill those desires with your product(s)?
- What could be an added value to them?
- What are your key benefits to them?
- What is your target customers’ demographics, characteristics, behaviors, interests?
It is crucial to clarify who is your target group, because your offer(s) and your whole communication (channels, tools, messages, style etc.) must be adjusted accordingly. The more precisely you know, who will be targeted, the more efficient marketing or PR communication you will have.
3. WHAT is your product and belonging messages?
Be aware of what you want to talk about to your target group and what you want them remember on – namely your product(s) and the belonging key messages.
- Know what kind of features and benefits your product has which have an added value to your target group, and all in all what your product is about.
- Be aware of your distinguishing facts and benefits that your competitors cannot communicate, and emphasize them in your messages.
- Draft your certain key messages according to those facts and according to your actual business and communication goals.
And one more thing: Every time, everywhere be consistent in your brand communication (not only in your visual appearance, but also in your brand messages), which is the basis of a strong brand.
4. HOW do you want to communicate to reach your target groups?
IF you know the answers on the first three questions – ’why’, ’who’, ’what’ – THEN you can think about the question ’how’. Yes, without knowing exactly why you are going to communicate, who you want to reach, and what are your offer and key messages, I don’t recommend to plan the ‘how’ part.
‘How to communicate’ covers amongst others:
- Marketing and PR communication channels and tools
- Specific types of content
- Tone of voice
- Content delivery forms
- Timing of your brand communication
- The intensity of your brand communication
The more precisely you know, how you want to communicate, the more efficient and easier execution you will have.
+1 Every time as a last step think over WHAT’S IN IT for your audience!
Before releasing, sharing anything, check your planned communication once again and clarify ‘what is in it for them’. Clarify the added value of your product/service. Firstly generally, then in the certain context for your potential customers. Imagine yourself in your potential customers’ situation and answer these below questions:
- Are your messages clear and expressive enough to convey your benefiting solutions?
Yes? – Well done. No? – Fine-tune them.
- What is your target customers’ problems (pain points)? Can you indeed solve them with your product or the certain offer?
Yes? – How can you solve them?
- What is your target groups’ desires? Can you indeed help them reach / fulfill those ones?
Yes? How can you help them reach those desires?
The more clearly you communicate, the more convincing you are and therefore your overall brand communication will be more efficient.