Where traditional businesses may have once relied solely on offline communications strategies to reach their prospective clients, many businesses today rely heavily on online methods to reach a more digitally savvy audience.
While neither method is incorrect, businesses should not be limiting themselves to one or the other.
To develop an effective, well rounded communications strategy, it is worthwhile to spend the time incorporating both online and offline communication methods.
Here are some examples of online and offline communication methods that are effective in building the profile and reputation for your business.
Online communication strategies
Invest in social media
While many businesses recognise the importance and value of social media, many don’t take the time to strategically think about how best to use the different platforms to their advantage.
When it comes to social media, you need to act just like you would at a real life networking event; you need to listen, respond, provide interesting conversation, monitor what people like, provide content people like and most importantly be yourself and inject a personality.
Make the most of your business’ time on social media by creating a robust social media strategy.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What objectives do you want to achieve? What is the purpose for using social media?
- Which platform suits your business and target audience the most?
- What kind of content will you share?
- How will you engage with your followers?
- How will you measure success?
- Who will manage your social media accounts?
Take the time to think carefully about your audiences, messages and stories that you want to share before developing a strategy for particular social media platforms.
Blogs are an excellent platform to include in your business’ communication strategy. They are an effective way to communicate directly with your customers, bypass the media, share insights into your business, be known as an industry expert and create relationships with your clientele.
It is important to produce quality and interesting content in order to engage your readers. Start by researching your target audience and try to determine what their interests are.
Interesting blog content can involve:
- Write a series of ‘how to’ pieces
- Comment on industry news and trends
- Ask your audience a question
- Share your business’ story
- Share your success stories
Offline communication strategies
Attending networking opportunities is a strategy that should not be overlooked. It’s a great tool to build business contacts, find new clients, make connections in your industry and promote your business.
Networking is a great marketing tool for businesses with a tight budget, as they can give you direct access to a room full of influential people in your industry.
Here are some tips and tricks to make the most out of networking events you attend.
- Network with potential clients: Attending networking events your potential clients and customers would attend is a great start. Avoid attending events that aren’t related to your particular area of expertise.
- Network alone: To make the most out of each networking event you should attend the event alone. That way you will be encouraged to talk to new people instead of friends and colleagues.
- Network with confidence: Don’t wait for someone to approach you at a networking event – always try to make the first move. Introduce yourself to others and start discussions. Often it is easier to join a discussion with a larger group of people than approaching a discussion between two people.
Networking is all about listening. Take the time to listen to other people and ask them about their businesses. That way, you can determine if they have a need for your business or services.
Speak at events
Speaking at conferences and other related events are a great strategy for your business to include in its communications strategy. Speaking at events places you in front of an audience that is interested in what you have to say, and are those that could potentially become your new customers, clients or brand advocates.
Start by considering where your business’ expertise lies and create a speaking topic around this that would be interesting to a live audience.
It is important to take the time to decide who should present on your business behalf. Public speaking can be an intimidating task and many feel uncomfortable and nervous at the thought of it.
First things first – research your target audience
Developing a strategic, communications plan for your business is not an easy feat. Before planning it you need to take the time to research your target audience.
Figure out where your target audience is – whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or attending conferences. Without understanding this, you will find it difficult to achieve the goals you have set out for your business.
Once you have found where your target audience is, start pulling together a cohesive strategy for your business.
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Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.