I. Why bother writing a Communications plan?
A. What is a communications plan?
The communication plan is a short, medium, or long term communications schedule. It allows you to organize your communication initiatives.
From Advertising campaigns to social media publications it details the messages you need to promote, to which audiences, and on which channel.
The types of communication, number of tools and communication channels at the disposal of marketing & communication professionals keeps increasing, as has the level of competition across all channels.
Without project planning you won't be able to maximize the value of your content by impacting the key stakeholders you want to reach.
If you have multiple team members participating in your communications plan, consider creating a project communication plan to facilitate effective communication and ensure smooth project management.
It will not only improve your internal communication and increase visibility across the execution of your plan but also facilitate team meetings to gather feedback and implement adjustments.
B. Why is the communication plan important?
Marketing in general and communication methods in particular require dedication to obtain satisfying results, both in terms of visibility as well as creating and qualifying audiences.
Many companies and their communications managers use social networks to promote themselves and/or work on their brand image. But they do so without defining a proper line of communication and the communication plan that goes with it.
Effective Digital marketing relies on marketing efforts providing value to their audiences with production quality of content getting increasingly important. Whatever your digital marketing strategy is, your communications team must coordinate their social media strategy to generate traffic and opportunities.
II. Establish a communication strategy
A. The basics of a communication strategy
Your plan should include the core guidelines for your communication:
-Your Targeted Audiences & appropriate Channels fueled by Personas, Jobs To Be Done and Buyer’s Journeys
-SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based) Goals to measure your plan’s effectiveness over time.
1. Specify your Targeted Audiences
If I had to synthetize what effective Sales, Marketing, Communications -even Recruiting- is all about in one sentence…
That sentence would be Marketing is all about delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.
Defining your targets is the first step to successfully delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.
A lot of people make the mistake of targeting too broadly. For example, my target is “women aged 30 to 45”.
Nowadays that’s not relevant. The power of Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other digital leaders comes from the data they get from their users and how that data can be leveraged by digital marketers.
An effective communication plan relies on its ability to connect efficiently with the right target.
The easiest way to do that is using buyer personas, digging deep into the specifics of your target audience so that you can deliver relevant content to them.
This marketing tool allows you to refine your strategies and actions by identifying all the needs and issues of your target. You can reach your target and be effective by focusing on the key messages that matter to them the most.
2. Fix your communication objectives
No matter what actions you want to set up, you need to set communication goals. You will know what you want in terms of results and whether your strategy has been effective or not. And therefore improves it.
For each objective, you must define the MEASURABLE key performance indicators to follow. Take stock every month, this will allow you to realize the progress you have made and identify areas that need improvement.
If you do not measure your progress you will give up or even worse won’t improve your performance over time.
Remember to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based) goals that will guide you throughout your communications plan.
B. The creative strategy
The creative strategy allows you to have a common thread in your publications and to make your communication more smooth.
1. The copy strategy
The copy strategy is a key component to a good communication plan. It allows you to ensure that all your communication fits with your branding. It takes into account 4 elements: