It’s a given that marketing communications—the media you use to communicate with target markets—is important for business success. But defining a marketing plan, sticking to it and making changes can be overwhelming, especially for small and mid-size business owners who often wear multiple hats to operate their companies.
But effective marketing communications need not be complex. The most effective plans are simple, targeted, and consistent. They can be easily adopted and evaluated.
In this regard, small and mid-sized businesses may have an advantage over giant corporations. They can more easily pivot and often better know their customers.
The Herdbook Ag Media has a few tips below to help you develop marketing communications that reach the right audience at the right time with the right message to grow your customer base and increase sales.
Know Thy Customer
Know your customer like the back of your hand. This will help you from the ground up in choosing media, developing a message, and even tailoring your product. Some businesses create profiles.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Today there are more options than ever for reaching customers and potential customers. Among them are social media, email, print advertising, etc.
Just because they are available, though, does not mean they need to be used. The same way that not everyone is your customer, not all media options are your media options. Because Instagram helped some fitness guru build a business doesn’t mean you need to be posting there as well.
Do your research, pick a few and stick to them. There is no need to be everywhere, it will only drain your time and energy from platforms that are more worth your time.
Get to the Point
Hit the point about your product and messaging from the onset. This is not the time to overthink or the time for a novel. Sure, you can describe your product, but make sure your customer knows right off what you are selling and how it can benefit them. If you are selling blue widgets, include an image of a blue widget. If you are selling an environmentally friendly, biological nutrient, get that point across ASAP. You can still be creative with less important features like packaging, but make sure your primary benefit comes across loud and clear.
Save the environment, enhance your yield, and make planting season less stressful with our easy-to-use packaging!
Make sure your marketing message includes these three things:
- Who you are (product, company name).
- Why they need your product (benefit).
- How they can get it. (where your product can be found or how to reach you). Though obvious, a simple call to action is often overlooked in many marketing communications.
Avoid using vague terms like great customer service. Spell it out. Describe it. For example, if your product has earned a five-star review, use it. If you guarantee someone will call back within 24 hours, spell it out.
Business owners often think they need to be everywhere all the time. Rather than more, be more consistent. If you have a budget for 15 posts, be sure to do them regularly and consistently. Try for twice a week for two months rather than five this week, five two months from now and five in another four months.
Make sure your message is integrated and planned across all platforms. While the message should vary by media and target audience, your plan should be one that addresses your business needs as a whole.
Give it Time
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will be your business. People buy from people they like and trust. This takes time to develop. In marketing they say someone needs to see your name seven times before they purchase.
The term “communications” is two-way. Though most businesses consider the outbound message, they often overlook fulfillment of the incoming message. In other words, have a plan for responding to inquiries, etc.
Keep the Love Going
Don’t abandon customers. Marketing communications is also about retaining current customers. Develop plans that reach out through emails, social media, newsletters, coupons, etc.
Get Help if You Need It
Business advisors are often the first to recommend farming out tasks you don’t enjoy, aren’t good at and can be done by others. This just might entail marketing communications and internal communications like social media, advertising, public relations, and content writing.
If you need to add some communications experts to your team, we’re glad you found us! At The Herdbook we specialize in agriculture, animal, agtech, food and rural lifestyle-based industries. Learn more about our services here or book a free discovery call!