While providing a good product or service is the foundation of any successful business, to beat the competition and maximize your chances of long-term commercial success, you’ll also need to establish your company as a recognizable brand.
As a discipline that incorporates marketing, sales, and public relations strategies, branding takes a holistic perspective of business objectives, and a good brand communication strategy can be applied across an organization.
Follow these five tips and you’ll be well on your way to having a powerful and implementable communications plan for your brand.
1. Establish Your Consumer Persona(s)
Any brand communication strategy should start by defining who your target audience is. A consumer persona, also known as a customer avatar, is an imagined typical consumer for your product or service – an ideal type who represents the main demographic you wish your communications to appeal to.
Once you’ve established a persona or avatar, you can carry out target market research to better understand the kind of branding that will appeal to consumers who fit this defined profile.
Your consumer persona or avatar should be the starting point from which you build your communication strategy.
If you decide your business should have a broad appeal and need to develop multiple personas, it’s important to create your communication strategy around this fact. Different personas will demand different brand messaging and such an approach necessitates parallel communication campaigns.
2. Define Your Communication Objectives
It’s no use developing a communications strategy if you don’t know what it is you want to communicate and why.
Usually, an organization will have multiple reasons for wanting to communicate with its clientele. Knowing what these are and how they intersect will help different departments within your company to align their efforts.
Businesses with multiple sales outlets, such as e-commerce and in-store shopping experiences, should ensure that objectives for these different aspects of the business complement each other.
Objectives can be categorized as primary, secondary, etc. Primary objectives should be goals that all staff can understand, work towards, and measure their success by. Secondary objectives may be more specific to individual departments but should still conform to your overarching business requirements.
3. Align Messaging Across Communication Channels
From advertisements to customer support scripts for your inbound call center services, the key to good brand messaging is to maintain a continuous narrative across multiple touchpoints.
For outbound communications, like mail-outs and other advertisements, brand messaging should tell a consistent story tailored to your target audience. The same story can then be reinforced by customer support staff such as call center agents who deal with inbound communications.
Contact center staff should have easy access to brand messaging materials. For example, they might use software that allows them to hide their call controller method from view while they access any necessary resources.
Reinforcing core messages through each possible mode of communication strengthens brand identity. Several technologies are available to help carry out this task. Bots and digital workers can be used to supplement your workforce, streamlining communication between your brand and customers.
4. Coordinate Your Communications Toolbox
Even small companies tend to use a wide variety of digital tools that often vary between departments. To get the most out of your internal communication strategy, it helps to ensure that the various tools being used are compatible with each other.
Relying on software suites from the likes of Google and Adobe can help to facilitate interdepartmental collaboration, but sometimes extra help is needed. There are plenty of tools today, such as the Google Calendar add-on Cloud Flow Director, that are specifically designed for integrating digital products from different developers.
Another way to coordinate your digital toolbox is to use project management software like one of these top 3 alternatives to Trello. Using these kinds of tools can give you an overview of complex projects and help you better understand the overall success of your brand communication strategy.
5. Embrace Different Types of Content
Communicating a brand identity is about more than traditional advertising and requires a multichannel, multimedia approach. In the digital sphere, blogs, email campaigns, videos, and social media posts can all be used to strengthen your brand.
A large proportion of your outbound communications will likely take the form of content marketing. Rather than relying on a single format for this, you should use a variety of different media to maximize the chances of reaching potential customers and appealing to the consumer persona around which you’ve built your strategy.
Social content is an integral part of how businesses today communicate with their customers and increasingly defines our everyday experience of a brand. Social media can be optimized for coherent brand messaging by making it the cornerstone of your digital communications strategy.
Victorio Duran III – RingCentral US. Victorio is the Associate SEO Director at RingCentral, a global leader in cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions. He has over 13 years of extensive involvement in web and digital operations with diverse experience as a web engineer, product manager, and digital marketing strategist.