Businesses invest a huge amount of capital on manufacturing, shipping, and research & development but often overlook marketing.
Marketing is at its most powerful when it is integrated. Consolidating your strategy with a cohesive, tailored message can produce stellar, demonstrable results.
To help you understand what’s needed for successful marketing, here’s some tips:
Know your audience
Know who you’re trying to target, whether it’s a new audience or existing customers.
Develop your brand
Develop your branding and stick to it, adding consistency to your content and enabling people to develop brand recognition.
Have a defined strategy
Trying to get more engagement? Work out a way and try it. Trying to get more visits to your website? Start including more links with call to actions and after a month see whether it’s working.
Stick to your plan
If your plan is to post three times a week, make sure you stick to it. Not sticking to a plan will make your analytics a lot harder to analyse.
Give your audience what they want
Do you know from previous experience that your audience reacted well to a certain type of content? Duplicate it. Try and create this content as much as possible as this will be your trophy content.
Listen to the analytics
After a month of trialling your new strategy and plan, look at your analytics, see what worked best and keep creating it. Analytics is the best way to see what’s working, saving time and money.
Once you know what’s working, stick to your plan and keep pushing out content. With time and consistency your following will build up and will pay dividends to your marketing analytics.
Get help if you need it
Not having any success? It could be time to consult with an agency which can help develop your strategy and run campaigns for you, leaving you to do what you do best, run your business.
At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated, measurable PR and digital marketing strategy. We can help you boost your business. Email email@example.com or call us on 01483 537 890.
Customers don’t think of brands in terms of digital marketing, advertising, PR or social media, so it makes sense that you shouldn’t either. Successfully integrating these communication disciplines makes sure your brand messaging is consistent and effective.
Integrated comms is not easy though. It’s especially hard for smaller organisations where there’s less resource or expertise. At first glance it may seem that it requires four times the effort or budget to get results, but that’s not the case. Here’s how you can make your 2018 business comms strategy more effective:
Find out from the senior management what the business objectives are for the year. Then plan how your marketing strategy can help achieve these goals. For instance, if the business wants to grow by 20%, understand if this is likely to happen by upselling, acquisition, market diversification or launching a new product etc. Visualise what business communication activities are most likely to support this desired goal in the year ahead.
Aligning the marketing strategy with business objectives may sound obvious, but its surprising how often the previous year’s marketing strategy gets repeated. Aligning goals brings clarity and focus to the marketing strategy.
Profile the customer
Build a profile of your ideal customer. Speak with your customer service and sales staff to find out what your customers goals and challenges are and how your product/service solves them. If you’re unsure what challenges your customers face, then create a survey and ask them. Include in the profile demographic information so that you know what media and whose opinions your customers value. Use the customer challenges as topics or themes for your business communications plan for the year ahead.
Build an integrated content map
Customers transition through three phases before buying: awareness, consideration and decision making. Using the customer challenges you have identified, envisage what content you can produce for each phase. For the awareness phase try to come up with ideas for content that are eye-catching, short and informative. For instance, an infographic, tips articles, a short advert or quote. The goal here is to reach your customer and impressive on them that your product/service is a possible solution to their problem.
For the consideration and decision making phases you are looking to convert leads. This is where you can use elements of the marketing mix (price,product, promotion, placement) to communicate what is special and unique about your product/service. This type of content is typically longer to consume, more detailed and authoritative than the first phase, its vital that you provide evidence of the benefits that other customers have found from your brand. Content formats include case studies, white papers, and survey findings, with special offers, discounts to help turn prospects into customers.
Overlay the 2018 calendar to spot seasonal opportunities and finalise your plan to product content that can be repurposed in terms of length and style for PR, digital, social, and advertising formats. If it can’t be used across the four disciplines, seriously consider the value of the exercise.
Use Automation to improve efficiency
The best integrated marketing strategies utilise automation tools to make sure they are regularly communicating with their stakeholders, not just when they publish fresh content.
Automation isn’t expensive or overly complex. Platforms like mailchimp offer basic automation for free. Consider setting up a series of emails which regularly talk to customers who have opted into your comms over a three-month period. Plot the emails and the content they deliver to mirror the buying lifecycle. Older content could be quickly repurposed and added to email workstreams. Integrating email automation with opt-in leads captured from e-advertising on Facebook or from Gleam competitions can be a highly effective and constant stream of new business.
Automation doesn’t just apply to digital marketing. Set up Google trend and publication alerts to be kept informed on developments in your market. Understanding what and when journalists publish in your sector help you fine tune your PR outputs so that your business communications remain aligned and integrated.
At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated communications strategy. We can help you boost your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01483 537 890.
Ever wondered what life is like at brookscomm? Our latest PR and Digital Marketing intern Calum Ridgewell reveals all…
My time at brookscomm
As I’m a politics undergraduate, I am frequently asked “So, do you want to be an MP then?”. Whilst I absolutely love studying politics, a career in that field is not my calling!
However, it has influenced my preferred career path. Politics weaves its way into many disciplines, the world of Marketing and PR being one of them. After learning how imperative aspects such as branding, marketing and public relations are to political parties, I became intrigued in the workings, and found myself researching Marketing and PR career options.
Having established a keen interest in Marketing and PR, I decided the next step was to secure some real-life exposure, and the best way to do this was through a summer internship. My research led me to brookscomm, an integrated PR and digital marketing agency. After exploring what brookscomm has to offer and their work in action I quickly realised that this company was a leader in Surrey in the field of Marketing and PR, and this was where I wanted to kick-start my career.
After a great phone call with the Head of Operations Jo McKenzie, I was invited in to the brookscomm offices, to discuss my aims and what I could gain from the role. I was given a fantastic overview of the busy workings of brookscomm by Head of Marketing Michael Bull and Senior Marketing and PR Account Executive Nirvana Wright, and I walked away full of excitement to start my summer internship!
First Day at brookscomm
From the first day, I was made to feel incredibly welcome by all the team, and the friendly, productive atmosphere of the brookscomm office was a pleasure to work in. Even after the first few hours of being at brookscomm I felt like I had learned a lot, which was a great sign!
I thoroughly enjoyed all daily activities, finding each task rewarding and insightful. Nirvana taught me a great deal about social media management and creative content creation, and after being given some top tips I found myself creating engaging blogs, tweets and Facebook posts for clients! Additionally, Nirvana showed me the ropes on sourcing and pitching to journalists using a media database.
Putting into practise PR, Digital Marketing & Social Media
Senior PR Account Manager Alison Scarrott talked me through composing and sending effective press releases to journalists, which was very interesting and an area of PR I was keen on learning more about and Ali certainly taught me a lot!
Michael, a marketing expert, gave me a fantastic insight into digital marketing, learning about SEO, Facebook targeting ads and how to use e-mail marketing tools. Michael was more than happy to answer my (many) questions, and the exposure I gained has given me a solid grounding in digital marketing.
My other daily activities included searching for press coverage of clients, sourcing new business leads and opportunities through LinkedIn, as well as working around the areas of Marketing and PR Alison, Nirvana and Michael had taught me.
I enjoyed all the tasks I was set by the team and was made to feel I was genuinely contributing towards the business, which is very rewarding!
brookscomm Culture and Ethos
brookscomm is a fantastic place to gain valuable experience in Marketing and PR, and I am very grateful to the team for giving me the chance to broaden my skillset, learn valuable aspects of the Marketing and PR discipline and develop a stronger work ethic. The organisation of brookscomm was flawless, and the effort and care they dedicate to their clients was truly inspiring.
Following the internship, I feel I am ready for the Marketing and PR industry after graduation, brookscomm has given me a firm foundation and deeper understanding of the discipline. One day in the future when I am a successful Marketing and PR Director (can’t fault my ambition!), I will look back at my time at brookscomm as a key stepping stone.
We absolutely loved having Calum as our intern!
At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated, measurable PR and Digital marketing strategy. We can help you boost your business. Email email@example.com or call us on 01483 537 890.
Crisis management has been centre stage recently with the incident of a passenger being forcibly removed by aviation security officers from a United Airlines flight, with the incident filmed on mobiles.
Handling a communications crisis in an age where news travels in seconds is complicated.
The need for truth
Authenticity is key. A brand needs to be clear about its stance, goals and messaging, but what else should be considered when looking to put together a crisis management strategy?
Treat your customers well, as Stephen Waddington notes in response to the United Airlines fiasco. Do everything you can to avoid a crisis. Put your customers first. Be honest, authentic and appropriate.
Plan and have a clear strategy for dealing with a crisis. Model different scenarios, know who will respond and how. Know who won’t respond. Clarity and guidance are key.
There is a need to react and adapt instantly as events evolve. Have intelligence on your stakeholders. Know which are likely to respond with positive comment and monitor these who could be negative.
When dealing with any communications crisis, what sets you apart is how you plan and react to the situation, your crisis management skills and subsequent communication strategy.
A company or spokesperson should be available to comment, communicate often, be transparent, and honest. Mistakes occur but ensuring they are dealt with promptly and efficiently makes the difference.
At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of success in crisis management. We can help you in a crisis or boost your business so call us on 01483 537 890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The world of communications is continuously evolving. With the internet and social media, anybody and everybody can voice their opinion, establish themselves as content creators and distribute articles. Buzzfeed has been criticised for reporting unsubstantiated and unverified reports, raising doubts about the ethics of the publication.
Everyone is a content creator
With platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, anyone can write and share stories riddled with uncorroborated facts and hearsay. By the very nature of social media fake news can easily become viral, potentially having severe consequences. Fake news articles can be written and presented in such a way that it is hard to distinguish fact from fiction.
Distrust of the media
Fake news causes problems when news outlets distribute it without verifying the original source. Understandably, publications don’t want to be perceived as not distributing relevant information in a timely fashion. This can cause a distrust of the media.
Fake news has been around for as long as communication between people. The growth of newspapers and television gave power to the media and the ability to share information. However, with this came a realisation that there was a responsibility to corroborate stories if you wanted to be taken seriously as a reputable news outlet. This did not guarantee an unbiased report, but it did provide an element of discipline and time spent checking information. The change brought by the growth of social media is the instant mass sharing of an enormous amount of information, true or false.
Traditional news outlets have difficult decisions to make – do they share a story, or do they take time to corroborate it, thus potentially missing the opportunity?
News travels globally without validation. Fake news shares our screens with verified stories. So, how do you ensure what you are reading and sharing is real? How do you maintain a good reputation in a world where people can easily share untruths about your business?
How to avoid Fake News in your business:
Reputation is ‘hard won and easily lost’. Create your business narrative and be authentic. The more you share your real story with genuine updates, the more you will mitigate any negative effect on your reputation from fake news about you.
Concentrate on quality. Be timely but check your sources and share information after consideration.
When reading news, keep an open mind and look for different sources yourself. Think, how reputable is this source? Is this a source I’ve looked at previously? How reliable is it?
Remember – there has always and will always be fake news – it’s up to us to research, to be authentic and to enable factual communication.
At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of success. We can help boost your business, call us on 01483 537 890 or email email@example.com