What is the difference between a successful company and another unsuccessful company? The first has a plan! Preparing your message well before publishing it is an inevitable guarantee of success. As a communication manager, developing a communication plan for your SME allows you to reflect on the marketing strategy to adopt to make each advertising investment a success. Not sure how to do it? Here are the steps you’ll need to think about …
First, you need to define your goals for your business. Set realistic communication goals that will form the basis of your communication plan. Discuss with your team the problems, challenges of your business. This will give you a good list of marketing goals to reach. Is the work of your brand image important? Do you want to retain your customers? Acquire new customers? Attention, make sure that each objective is measurable and coherent as well as concrete and operational. At this level, you can also think about your return on investment (ROI) objectives.
Your strengths and weaknesses
Add to this list a table of your strengths and weaknesses. You can then better define a promotional message that will highlight you. You have to do a real internal analysis (remember this good old SWOT). Take the opportunity to do a little research on the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Is the market competitive? What are your market shares? This will give you a better picture of the situation in which your business finds itself.
Determine who will be addressing your message
Once this introspection is over, you can take an important step: define who you are talking to: your target audience, THE right person. “I am targeting everyone!” Is not a good answer. If you try to define a message aimed at a very large audience, you will not have good results. Why ? Because even if your product or service is for everyone, you will not speak the same way to a business CEO as to a young entrepreneur or student, for example. If your message is aimed at more than one category of people, you will need to define a target message for each of them to be successful. Think carefully about the target market and do a real market analysis.
What do you mean ?
Once you know who you’re talking to, you need to think about what you want to say. Answer a question such as “What do you want your audience to take away from your message?” “. You will therefore have the basis of your message. It is important to define this part well, as it will be used for the following steps.
How will you promote your message?
Now that you know what you want to say and who you want to say it to, it’s time to define the “how.” By knowing who your message is addressed to, you can build a list of communication tools that your prospects use. Are they more on YouTube or are they viewing more business reviews? By determining this information, you can promote your message in the right places instead of investing in advertising material that your potential customers do not see.
Develop the message
Here you are, at the funniest part of the plan: developing your message. It is important that your message has added value for your potential customer. Do not demonstrate what you are doing, but rather what you can do for it. You have to convince and seduce them.
Set up your marketing budget
Then define the costs that will be related to the realization of your communication plan. What will your financial needs be? What material resources will you need? What budget? Setting up a budget will allow you to avoid surprises during the plan. What are the budgets reserved for the different communication actions (internal communication, external communication, press relations, digital marketing, advertising agency, sponsorship, reputation, content marketing, emailing, influencers, natural referencing, etc.). Take a global view!
You then have to deploy your marketing actions!
Evaluate your results
Don’t forget this step! Once your communication strategy is in place, constantly evaluate the results of your advertisements. Rework your message if necessary. Review your dissemination strategy. This way, your message will stay current and effective longer.
This is how you can effectively realize a communication plan for your business.