Your guide to comms strategy planning for the year ahead
Have you given any thought to your comms strategy planning for the next 12 months? Having a clear communications strategy is vital to the success of your business – it defines your messaging and ensures you stay on track with all internal and external activity.
Here are our top tips on how to nail your comms strategy planning and ensure you’re prepared for the year ahead…
Identify your objective
Start your comms strategy planning by identifying a clear objective. What is the goal of your business this year? Where do you want to be in 12 months’ time? And what should your comms strategy achieve? Knowing your objectives from the offset will allow you to keep focussed on this in all the communications your company does and set clear, achievable KPIs.
Define your audience
Key to any comms strategy planning – know your audience. This will help when it comes to choosing your tone, style, channels and even your messaging.
If you’re targeting young people you should consider what language they use and where they get their news – you may find Snapchat or Instagram work well with this age group. Alternatively, if you’re targeting MDs of SMEs, then think about news outlets or business publications they will be regular readers of.
Agree your key messages
Consider your key messages when you are comms strategy planning, they will create the foundations of all the content you create. What do you want to communicate? What is your USP? And why should a customer care?
Knowing these throughout your planning helps keep your message consistent and relevant to your objectives.
Consider your resources & tools
In the planning stages of your comms strategy you need to think about what resources and tools you have at your disposal.
Ensure your plan is within your limits and don’t take on more than you can handle. You’re just setting yourself up for a fall if you don’t have the resource in place.
Working with an agency can help!
Here are some of our top tools: If you want to boost your SEO, consider blogs and do some research using Google’s Keyword Planner, a free app where all you need is a Google account. This gives you a list of the keywords and phrases that people are searching related to your offering, you can identify what is popular and what has little competition, in order to shape your content.
Check out Canva, a free tool and app which allows you to create some great designs with templates ready and waiting, and you can even add in your own pictures to edit. This is an extremely useful tool to make graphics that are great for social media for no cost at all.
Another great tool is Biteable, a website which allows you to create some great videos and again, provides some really useful templates so a lot of the work is done for you.
Create a plan
Now it’s time to plot this in to a clear plan. In this you should include: key dates, big events and identified opportunities.
This plan helps you shape your year and also allows for you to keep track of what activity you do. Remember to evaluate your plan as the year progresses. If you’re not getting everything done, re-consider the plan and what you have set out. Or if one channel is bringing in amazing results while the others are lagging behind, consider putting more resource behind the one that’s working best.
Decide how you’ll evaluate and act
Come up with a way in which you will evaluate the plan. That could be regular surveys or focus groups with your target audiences and use Google Analytics to monitor success of online content and social media insights to determine the performance of your social content.
And don’t forget to act on these findings!
Comms strategy planning is a vital part of preparing for the year ahead and sets you off on the best footing. Take your time with it and ensure it reflects your business and what you hope to get from it, and you will find it a huge help in the success of your business.
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