For people to know your company exists, you need a marketing communication strategy. And marketing communication tools to implement those strategies.
If you’re not communicating right, the message gets lost. And if the message is lost, customers can’t see why they need your business to better their lives. Which means no more sales or interaction with them.
The top marketing communication tools are advertising, sales promotions, and social media. There are some definite “Do’s” and some painful “Don’ts” when using these tools.
You want to be seen and heard? Then you’ve got to keep reading.
1. Advertising: Every Business Needs It
The Big A.
Advertising is used for two things: bringing awareness and selling. Because you can’t sell if no one knows you exist. So we use ads to get our product, company, and brand in front of prospective customers.
Three things need to be in every ad, no matter what your company:
- A clear objective.
- Knowing who your customer is.
- A funding plan for the ad campaign.
To break it down further…
Easy to read objective: If you can’t say what your product/company/brand’s objective is in one sentence — it’s too complicated. And if it’s too complicated customers won’t get it. It needs to be clear the first time a customer sees the ad. Otherwise, they’ll move along.
The right customer: You need to know your customer. There is no way around this. If you’re starting a dating app for college graduates, targeting senior citizens will get you nowhere.
Instead, you research the average age of college graduates. You find out what their dating interests are. You see where they hangout after graduation both online and offline. You find out what dating struggles they have post-college. You learn their favorite beer and what degree they graduated with. Whether they interned or found an immediate job in their field…
The list is endless. But now, so are your advertising potential.
Continuous payments: Too many marketers pull their ads after the first run. They make the mistake of assuming the ad needs to get instant positive feedback or it’s a bust. In truth, you must run the ad multiple times while making small tweaks.
Tweaks to the initial message: Changing (“Hi!” to “Hello!”), changing the font or adjusting the coloring of the photo.
After each change, you can run the ad again.
Is the response rate higher now? Or is it worse? Higher or fewer clickthroughs? You record the results and tweak more or less based on the response.
So, you need to have a specified funding plan for the ad campaign expecting to run it multiple times.
2. Sales Promotions: Building Loyalty
Who doesn’t love a discount?
Discounts and promotions a popular marketing communication tools because people love getting a product for less.
You offer discounts and coupons to get new customers. You use memberships and loyalty clubs to increase customer retention. Because you want customers, who already know the value of your company, to keep buying.
There are three main types of discounts.
First, the discount that entices people to buy their first product from a company. You know, the “Receive 10% off your first purchase with COMPANY NAME!”
Then there’re deadline discounts. The deadline (“Only 4 hours left until this discount runs out!”) inspires action. For big holidays, like Black Friday, these discounts all over. In flyers, on websites, and in your inbox.
The third is membership discounts. It doesn’t need a deadline. The focus in on the tiers. Silver, gold, and platinum are good starting points. The customer gets more bonuses the higher their status. They’re thrilled by premium discounts not awarded to the average customer.
The point is to make these customers feel special.
Discounts are a universal communication tool to build trust and authority with new customers.
3. Social Media: Engagement is Key
As a marketing communication tool, social media is a vehicle to provide information about your brand and products.
Consumers use social media to investigate product and company quality. Customers are also looking for social proof; that is, other consumers who have interacted with your brand and/or bought a product already.
Because remember: don’t forget the “social” part in social media.
A brand’s social media profile filled with information is great. But when it’s filled with information and interaction? That’s the key.
Engagement is important. It doesn’t matter if you have 10k followers if only 2 people are responding to your content. Active, engaged followers are a sign they care about your company in some way. It’s easier to close sales with warm leads than cold leads, right?
Don’t start social media profiles and expect to get sales that way. If you do get sales, that’s great.
But the main objective when using social media for business is to build brand awareness. You’ll find people and show them you exist. And then, by interacting, show that you see them too.
Be genuine. It goes far in the digital world.
And that’s it!
You now have a better understanding of the top marketing communication tools available. You can use them all or focus on one a time. The key to successfully using these tools are budgeting, clear messaging, and authenticity.