Business leaders can understandably feel totally flummoxed by constant changes that are impacting the way we do business, socialise and work online. Despite the rise of tech and the ability to hold events or speaking engagements virtually, the same tried and tested communication fundamentals still apply. Now there are just many more options available to get your message to market!
The best communicators are flexible, sincere, and not afraid to share their journey honestly – good, bad, or otherwise. Authenticity is key though that word can get overused, it still has currency in 2022. Another thing you should understand (if you don’t already) is that selling is no longer the name of the game. ‘Engagement’ is what you’re going for…. Genuine interaction with clients and customers builds loyalty.
Where you decide to share your message comes down to what you’re trying to achieve – stay flexible, there is a myriad of options to choose from in this rapidly changing landscape but the right one depends on the audience first and foremost.
The key is to know where your clients or customers are and to tailor your message accordingly… and here’s where you can really get creative!
In the past decade, we’ve seen an explosion in communication channels, platforms, and forums – there are new music and podcast streaming services, magazine apps, Insta, WhatsApp, and TikTok– the list is endless. But don’t be tempted to engage with them all at one time. Choose wisely, think innovatively, and allocate your budget and resources where you’re likely to get the most engagement. The ROI if you like.
While marketers have traditionally relied on one clever image or tagline, now is the time to explore ways to grow your brand’s imagery and message as you reach different niches via different forums. The trick though is to keep it consistent, but different – and that’s where professional advice can really make the difference between a campaign that works, and one that has real cut-through.
Sometimes I like to think of it as “Don’t skywrite to a fish – it can’t read. Tailoring the message to the audience and the platform is key. Audio-only simply doesn’t work on YouTube … you know what I mean?
With all of that in mind, here are my top 5 considerations for your next campaign.
- Define your audience: Ask yourself, who are you really trying to reach? There can only be one true key audience. This should be the most important factor when choosing a medium, and therefore should also be the most heavily researched. Customer personas or avatars for your target audience should be created and analysed, meaning you and your team should know everything from the first social site your audience visits to the hashtags they use. For example, if your target is comprised of tech-savvy early adopters working two jobs while in university, the mainstream newspaper may never reach them.
- Crunch the numbers first: Creating a budget is obvious, but it’s definitely worth being honest about. Acknowledge that just because your marketing budget is small, your chance to get significant results does not have to be. Instead of blowing your budget on a single TV spot or once-off event sponsorship at a national conference, aim for continuous placements in the niche publications your audience visits or a run of targeted Facebook ads. Doing this will do wonders for your long-term results. Also, the advent of Zoom, YouTube channels, and hybrid networking events provide perfect, cost-effective ways to be heard.
- Precision of the message: What exactly do you want to say to your target audience? Is it a message that will stand the test of time? If you don’t already have one, then create a mission, purpose, and goals for your company or personal brand’s message, and then decide where that message, along with its mission, purpose, and goals, will best fit. Be specific, and concise, and try to not get caught sharing too many trendy buzzwords like “pivot” or “throw shade” that may date your message or distract audiences from your point of difference.
- Choose the right medium for your message: When trying to figure out which medium or platform is right for you, it’s not about what forums you like to read, watch, and hear – it’s about the customer. To get personal, I had never been the star of a video in my life until I recorded my first episode of ‘How to be heard in business to generate real influence’ in 2015. I didn’t choose for that to be my medium because it’s not about me choosing. It’s about going into all of the mediums where my audience lives and then letting the market choose which one I am best at.
On a final note, if you outsource, and the brief is right, trust that your creative team or content developers have worked hard to craft an engaging, authentic message that reflects what you offer and why it matters today. Just remember that the ‘hustle’ is important – never let your message hide from the audience. Get OUT there – blog, speak, comment, engage … the more you communicate, the more easily and simply you will secure new business opportunities… Keep it genuine. The days of the hard sell are over. The conversation is what counts.