Marketing communications is essential to the success of any company. Knowing how to design and execute a marketing campaign is an important skill. There are a lot of factors that must be considered to design great marketing materials that get noticed in today’s increasingly competitive market.
Spending money on marketing is necessary, but when done well, it will pay off many times over. In fact, when a company is just coming together, it’s important to make sure that the logo, slogan and other basic marketing are designed by a professional so that a good first impression is made.
Here are some of the aspects of marketing communications that are most important regardless of the size of the company.
The importance of strategic storytelling
The key to any marketing campaign is strategic storytelling. Your marketing needs to tell a story that potential and current customers can form a connection with very quickly. Customers need to relate to your marketing and feel that it speaks to them. The story has to lead a potential customer to the conclusion that your product or service can make their life easier or more enjoyable.
Part of your story may include highlighting the company values that customers are likely to find favorable. For example, being environmentally friendly and contributing to admirable charitable causes shows that you give back to the world and are trying to make it a better place. Being charitable pays off in major ways when it comes to adding spark and connection to your story and improving your overall public image.
One of the most important methods of advertising in modern times is social media. The cost of advertising on social media is far less than traditional print advertising ever was.
Through social media, an advertiser can reach countless potential customers. Even better, social media advertising programs can help ensure that your advertising reaches the type of customers you are trying to reach. This means that you do not waste your advertising money casting a net that is too wide and reaching people who are unlikely to purchase a service or product from your company.
It pays to advertise on all forms of social media that are popular. Here are some tips for making the most of your social media posts.
Offer consistent updates and posts
No one is going to pay attention to your social media accounts unless you regularly update them. Posting even something basic every day is a good idea. It could be a link to a blog post, product, or just a short blurb with important or interesting information related to your products or services.
This means that you need to create content and material and schedule it well in advance. There are programs that allow you to schedule your social media posts for an entire month or more to automatically post at specific times. This allows you to stagger your releases across different outlets. So, you might post in the morning on X but in the afternoon on Facebook.
Make sure that content is relevant and not just a sales pitch
If your content is always just ads, then that can lead to people blocking them or having a poor opinion of your company. The sales pitch needs to be hidden most of the time to entice people to click on your ads or visit your external website. The same goes for following your page. Gaining followers is important, so try to make it a good experience for them or they will go away.
Good marketing teams are skilled at creating campaigns that are attractive and not just a hardcore sales pitch that turns away customers.
Of course, there are times when you do want ads to be very sales oriented – for example, offering customers a decent discount or telling them about a special and what it can offer them. You need to show that you can make their life easier and more pleasant if you want them to be loyal customers.
Consider using influencers to gain customers and followers
Influencers are people who have a following of fans who look to them for information or inspiration. For example, a person who travels a lot may document their adventures. Let’s say that you have a hiking boot company. You may consider reaching out to the influencer with a free pair or two of boots or possibly a commission if their content leads to purchases.
Influencer-driven advertising works well because, at most, you are just paying for their services with some free products. In this way, you don’t spend a lot before realizing any gains. If an influencer is unsuccessful, then at most you just spend some free products on them.
It is important that you make a fantastic first impression on potential customers and continue to live up to their expectations afterwards. Keeping up to date on what public sentiment is on a variety of topics is important if you are trying to appeal and not offend anyone whenever possible.
Being culturally aware is also important. In the modern age, you are going to have customers from all walks of life. It is generally important to be inclusive yet neutral. Taking a strong stance on some issues can isolate you from a significant number of potential customers and may even eventually cause others to question your methods in how you are trying to placate them and get them to part with their hard-earned money.
Selective use of print media can be effective, but it’s necessary to be careful. Specific magazines that offer online and print editions may be an option if they appeal to your target audience. Local newspapers and magazines may be a good idea for advertising if you are really trying to appeal to local or regional customers or have many brick-and-mortar locations.
Be realistic about how many people you can reach in print media, and always ask about special rates if you agree to purchase a guaranteed amount of advertising over a time period. Publications are often willing to negotiate rates and packages for regular advertisers.
Almost all companies have a blog area on their websites. This area provides interesting and relevant articles that appeal to their chosen customer base. These articles often link externally to other articles but never competitors. For example, in a blog post, you might have a link to a company that is owned by your corporation or a media partner. Links to your products and services are a good idea, as are links to other blog posts that may be of interest to readers who are interested in the specific topic.
Content companies or freelance writers are often hired for blog posts, but it is entirely possible to use someone at your company if they have good writing skills and know how to appeal to your audience. Regular blog updates are important. A weekly post is a good idea to keep people engaged with your website and products.
Google Ads and pay-per-click advertising
There is a lot to be said in favor of pay-per-click advertising. For starters, you only pay if someone actually goes to your website and browses the content. You can set a budget so that you do not overspend on your advertising. Setting a modest budget initially is a good idea until you see if pay-per-click is actually working for your business.
Google Ads is a popular choice for pay-per-click advertising, but there are other options. Algorithms show ads to people who are viewing sites or searching for terms that mean that they are likely to find your product or service appealing.
The importance of good data
Research your customer base as much as possible
If you want to succeed in modern business, then you need to know as much as possible about your target demographic. Of course, you first need to understand and define who your target demographics are. For example, are you trying to appeal to adults under 40? What is the average income of someone who might be interested in your product or service?
There may be some data out there that is public, or there may be information from your competitors that you can use to help you get a better idea of who your customers are and what they want. Conducting surveys via email, text message or sites such as Survey Junkie can help you gain your own data that you can use to make sure that your marketing efforts are being made the most of.
Data mining is often used by data analysts as part of a marketing plan. Data analysts can process massive amounts of data and look for trends that would be next to impossible to see otherwise. Making predictions based on intelligent data collection and mining can save a company a lot of money over the years. This is because it can prevent the company from spending money developing products and services that have a poor chance of success.
Keep good tabs on your competitors
Always follow your competitors and see what they are up to in terms of products, services and marketing. You can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t by paying attention to their success and failures. It is critical that you keep your products and services to a high standard. If your competition raises the bar, then you might have to change your strategy significantly to maintain your market share.
Damage control when there is negative media attention
If your company finds itself in the middle of a situation that could lead to the public having a poor opinion of your products, then you need to utilize your marketing team to mitigate the situation and reduce the damage. There are plenty of companies that survive negative media attention, but there are some that take a lot longer to recover, if they ever do at all. Changing your image can take time, but it is worth it.
Sometimes a company can be associated with an act or cause even if they have not really taken a stance. For example, one corporate manager acting poorly at a large company does not mean that everyone who works for them is similar.
Check in with your customers
It is important to keep up with your customers. Asking for their opinions and getting feedback is critical to keeping them happy and coming back for more. Comment surveys after the purchase of products or services can be helpful.
Focus groups are useful for brainstorming with your customers and getting a deeper insight into what they think about current products and what they would like to see in the future. Sometimes ideas for great marketing campaigns and new products can come directly from your customers.
Why you should consider a career in marketing
There are a lot of businesses out there and many more are launching every day. There is not a single business that would not benefit from great marketing. While larger companies may hire their own full-time marketing team to take care of practically all of the marketing they need, small to mid-sized companies may employ external marketing firms to take care of their requirements. The business world is very competitive, especially when you consider that the market is worldwide for a lot of products and services.
Good marketing staff are paid well. Starting salaries are competitive (see here), but you can definitely earn a lot more once you gain years of experience and get a reputation for excellence. The average salary for a marketing communications manager in the US is around $120,000.
Flexibility in where you work
There is room for marketers in any industry or niche market. This means that if you are interested in working in a specific industry or you have previous experience in an industry, then there is a good chance that you can find some work in that field. Marketing agencies work for a variety of clients, but some may try to stay within a smaller range of industries. Regardless, this means that there is always something new and exciting going on. Throughout your career, you may choose to work in various companies. This can be great if you are the type of person who loves to learn new things or who gets bored more easily than others.
You can get your communications degree without quitting your current job
It is a lot easier to fit a college degree into your schedule thanks to online degree programs. You should consider enrolling in SBU Communications Master’s Online. St. Bonaventure University’s online program allows you to get your degree in just 22 months. You will gain the skills needed to be a great strategic storyteller and bring business to the customers they need for success. All of the coursework is 100% online and designed to fit your schedule. Your strategic thinking and business skills will be sought after by a lot of firms.
There is always something to discover and learn
If you love a good mystery, then data collection, analysis and marketing may be for you. There is a lot of research involved before marketing campaigns can be designed. During this research, you can learn a lot about different things. There will be times when you discover trends and information that surprise or shock you.
If you work at a marketing agency, then you will be working on projects that vary a lot, so you are likely to learn about industries and services that you knew little or nothing about before. The more you learn, the better you will get at marketing and recognizing important trends that lead to fantastic marketing campaigns.
Great marketing can make or break a business. Keeping marketing fresh and relevant to changing marketing conditions and customer opinions is important. A good marketing team or agency can make a huge difference regardless of whether you are starting a company, launching a new product or service, or trying to update your brand for the modern world.
Now is a great time to pursue a career in marketing communications. When you graduate, you will have a plethora of career options and flexibility. Communications marketers work in all industries, so you can choose to specialize if you want to at some point in your career. Some marketing professionals decide to start their own agencies or work freelance after they gain experience and have many successful campaigns.