The marketing communication strategy is the strategy used by a company or an individual to reach its target market through different types of communication. It includes your message (what needs to be said), the media (where it needs to be said) and the target (to whom your message is addressed). You may be wondering what a digital marketing strategy that still works, even without a budget?

Easy: Connect with journalists to get press coverage, guest articles and backlinks.

Marketing communications or public relations are the “promotion” part of the “4Ps of marketing” that you may have learned during your university studies (product, location, price, promotion).

Since the “digital marketing strategy” is a pittance, most people shorten it to “Public Relations” and essentially use online channels and software to identify relevant journalists, present them with relevant articles and get coverage free media.

Usually the public relations strategy consists
to promote the product or offer to your customers.

How you do it will largely depend
of your experience, your industry and your budget. If your plan
marketing has a budget of a hundred thousand euros to spend you can reach
your target market with a promotional mix that includes TV ads or
Facebook.

However, if you’re like most entrepreneurs,
you want to promote your business without going bankrupt.

And there is no better way to do it than by managing
your own internal public relations campaign without retaining
services of a media relations or media
full service marketing.

Wait, do you mean “FREE” like in “free meal”?

Exactly! If you apply the methods described in this article to your own digital marketing strategy, you will learn how to build lasting relationships with journalists and influencers, get a free press, and gain more customers through a sustainable organic approach.

Any member of your team can easily play
the role of a director of marketing communications. You don’t even have
need to hire a marketing communications specialist!

What is a marketing communication strategy?

As I mentioned earlier, the strategy of
communication marketing defines the set of activities that you will do for
market your products. That includes everything from paid marketing to
media relations (PR).

Any integrated marketing communications strategy should be based on three guiding principles:

  • Brand alignment: Whichever marketing channel you choose, it must have the same brand perception as yours. For example, if you sell luxury watches, build relationships with journalists from FORBES magazine, not those who write in your local newspaper.
  • Customer alignment: Follow the oldest rule of marketing – “be where your customers are already”. Choose channels where your consumers are already active. If you’re targeting millennials, advertise on social media platforms like Instagram, not Facebook, and certainly not daytime television!
  • Budget alignment: Choose a marketing channel that suits your budget (obviously). If you do not have a budget, you will not be able to get a print ad in LE MONDE. But maybe you can get a free press mention on the world’s website by contacting journalists (as I’ll show you below).

A large business’s marketing plan can have multiple campaigns on multiple channels simultaneously. The combination of all these channels – PPC, social media, television advertising, print media, radio, etc. – is called the “marketing mix” of your digital marketing strategy.

Small businesses, however, usually stick
one or two marketing channels to reach their target customers.
Otherwise, you risk diluting your budget and your concentration.

Steps in creating an integrated strategy for
marketing communications

With the above principles in mind, you should
create an annual integrated marketing communications (CIM) strategy or
biannual. Here are the main steps to follow.

1. Understand your target audience

Before you can create a strategic communications plan,
you have to understand your target audience.

Any marketing communications plan should be formulated for a specific group of target customers. Your PCM should define the needs and characteristics of this target audience. You have to start by creating your marketing persona.

The easiest way to do this is to study your
existing customers through surveys, interviews and so on. Ask
:

  • What are the common needs of most of your customers?
  • Why do they buy your products or services?

This consumer insight is crucial to creating highly targeted marketing messages that your character can truly relate to.

2. Define your unique selling proposition (PVU)

Your PVU is the foundation of your communication plan
integrated marketing. The PVU must be reflected in each message that your brand
sends through all communication channels, whether it’s relationships
content, sales or marketing.

A clear PVU will ensure that your brand message is
clear, consistent and recognizable. It will also help you create
compelling media presentations.

Doing a SWOT analysis of your business from the perspective of your target audience will help you define your PVU. Ask:

  • Why would a consumer choose you rather than a competing business?
  • What sets you apart from your competitors?

Survey your existing customers at
about their intention to purchase. Understand the rationale for the process
of your typical consumer.

3. Determine your marketing communication mix

The marketing communication mix is ​​the combination of
channels you use to reach your potential customers.

Your marketing mix could include:

  • Online advertising on AdWords, Facebook, etc. ;
  • Offline advertising in the print media, on billboards or on television;
  • Direct marketing;
  • Personal sale;
  • The events ;
  • Sponsorship;
  • Content marketing;
  • An annual sales promotion.

Large companies would have dedicated teams within
of their marketing / sales division to take care of each of these activities.
However, a young business or a small business would have to choose only
two or three of these marketing strategies as part of its process of
communication. As I mentioned before, the most economical channel for
getting the maximum results is that of public relations.

4. Define the elements of the brand image

Branding is essential. He basically understands two things.

At the most basic level, branding is about having a consistent look across all of your online and offline marketing materials, such as:

  • On the website ;
  • Applications;
  • Social platforms;
  • Sales guarantees;
  • Direct marketing campaigns;
  • Advertising campaigns;
  • Business cards, etc.

However, at a deeper level, branding is
at the heart of your corporate identity. This is what you stand for
and what you want people to recognize you for. For example, the image
Apple brand is state-of-the-art but extremely
friendly. This identity should be part of any communication
marketing your organization sends, whether it’s public relations,
a new advertising plan for a sales promotion or a campaign
personal sales.

5. Define success indicators

Once you have decided on your promotional mix for your integrated marketing communications plan, you also need to plan the right set of success metrics for all communication channels.

For example, your public relations success can be measured by a range of results from brand awareness to sales. Here are some steps:

  • The number of mentions on different supports and blogs;
  • The number of website visits or registrations for each item;
  • The number of backlinks acquired; visits to the website from social media shares;
  • The number of potential customers or sales that can be attributed to public relations (which is easier to track in service companies like a graphic design or software services company).

You will need to define measures for each component of your communication mix.

These parameters will determine whether you are achieving the key objectives of your communication plans. So be sure to choose metrics that add value to your business, no matter which communications platform you measure.

For example, just because you measure social media doesn’t mean you use vanity measures like likes or retweets. Instead, opt for website visits, lessons learnedEtc. which indicate a higher level of engagement from your target audiences and potential consumers.

6. Execution

That’s it, that’s it!

Once your marketing communication plan is ready, you execute these marketing strategies, measure your success and modify your approach as necessary.

How to develop a marketing communications strategy for your start-up business?

If you are a small business or a young business, your marketing communications strategy will be very different from that of a large business. P&G and IBM around the world can be on multiple communication channels and platforms at the same time – online and offline advertising, public relations, social media, etc.

For you, however, what matters most is being efficient and profitable.

And one of the most effective marketing strategies is to get free press For Your Business.

It’s the process of approaching influencers, journalists and bloggers with stories about your business, brand and products.

Depending on the target and your own objectives, you can often make this outreach work a place of welcome in high-value publications, press reports and interviews, all essential elements for a strategy of successful marketing communication.

A story in a mainstream media is a great way to get known to a large number of potential customers. It can do wonders for brand awareness, generating visitors to your website, signups and backlinks – all goals that you might have expected from advertising or any other paid marketing channel.

A digital marketing plan to get the press has three steps

Of all marketing and communication approaches, there is nothing more precious than these press relations!

Over time, these relationships will allow you to gain valuable media coverage that will far exceed what you can achieve even with a huge advertising budget. After all, a story in a high-end store brings much more credibility than a self-advertising campaign – whether it’s a television ad or a direct mail campaign.

This is the best marketing investment you will make.

What type of digital marketing strategy do you use? Let me know in the comments below!