What is it and why is it important?
Often when we’re asked for a communications strategy, the client does not have the broader strategy inputs. Before embarking on a communications and content strategy, you should know:
Within this strategic context, your communications strategy then has the following elements:
This is often completed at a high level as part of the brand, marketing and employer brand planning process, and at a more detailed, audience segment level when communications planning.
The key to successful communication strategies is understanding your objectives, who you are talking to and what will motivate them to do or say what you want to achieve those objectives.
Then it’s making sure whatever you promise in your communications, you can and do deliver against. This is where aligning people across the business, brands, communications and experiences is critical to building trust and long-term valuable relationships.
A large part of setting communication strategies up for success is establishing long- and short-term KPIS to measure performance against objectives and provide a mechanism to evolve tactics first, then review strategies, whilst also revisiting the objectives you set in the first place to understand if they were realistic given all the variables. Did you invest enough? Was the creative and media/touch-points effective?
How we go about it
Within your communications strategy, you will have defined the role of content – videos, photographs, blog posts, articles, webinars, research and whitepapers – that your organisation publishes and distributes through owned, earned or paid channels, predominantly in the digital arena. As such, content strategy and SEO strategy work hand-in-hand.
Content can work to position your brand, drive awareness and interest in your offer, organically raise the search position of your website, drive traffic to the website for more information, drive leads for sales or job applications, drive engagement and build community.
Many organisations now develop content in-house and primarily need external help in developing the content strategy and prioritising activities into a plan. This is where we focus our services.
When we are developing brand or employer brand positioning strategies for smaller businesses where owned and earned content plays a large role in their overall brand and marketing strategy, we develop content pillars as part of the positioning model.
For example, with Sumo Salad, the three key proof points underpinning their “fuelling greatness” positioning were taste-great food, feel-great fun experiences and new ways to achieve greatness. These became the three content pillars: showing great food; fun in-store experiences; and ideas to improve your physical, social, mental, financial wellbeing that help you achieve greatness in your life.
How we go about it
The same questions need to be asked of content strategy as they do of communications strategy if its standalone, but assuming you’ve developed the communications strategy already.
Communications and content planning
As part of the strategy process, we will help you prioritise the key activities for each period, depending on your level of investment and available resource. The priorities per period will become the plan.
This is an iterative process throughout strategy development to ensure that objectives are realistic and marketing strategies are phased.
For example, you may want to build awareness and drive sales all within a year, so instead of trying to do both at the same time, we might look at building awareness for a few weeks and then driving sales. Or you might have one employee segment who is aware of your employer brand so when they see your recruitment ads, they immediately apply. But you really want to attract a new employee segment to your organisation. You would then focus resources on building awareness and salience amongst the new audience.
These inputs will lead to creative ideation and development. It is good practice to involve creative through the process as ideas will help guide the strategy. Whilst there would be one creative brief and platform for your communications and/or content strategy, we develop creative platforms for each proposition as it helps to nail the message.
For example, if you have 3 services and 6 products, each of those would have a creative platform from which you develop the key creative, from which you tailor the messaging to the audience and point in the journey/funnel.
The management of communications and content will need to be integrated into your strategy and plans. Here are a few key considerations:
Please contact us to discuss further what we can do for you.