Any modern marketing plan should consist of a cohesive strategy. Even in the digital era, using marketing communication tools effectively should include a combination of both traditional and innovative techniques. They should be used to communicate your brand to the masses in a way that is responsive to each demographic that may be interested in your brand or product. The array of techniques available allow you to target anything from the stay at home mum, to the astute business person. So what marketing communication tools do you have at your disposal and how do you manipulate these to increase the reach of your brand?
3 Marketing Communication Tools
Trade ShowsTrade shows are a great business to business marketing communication tool. They bring together companies from the same industry and give your brand the chance to stand out from the crowd. Firstly, trade shows provide you with an audience who is already interested in the services you offer. You will have a booth which is usually easily numbered so people know where to find your brand. Make the most of a trade show appearance by following a few simple steps:
Promote your presence in advance. Speak to clients before you arrive via phone, mail, email or social media. Let them know what they can expect from your stall and give them an incentive to prioritise a visit to yours on the day. You can entice them with previewing a brand new product or offering a special discount.
Make an announcement. Trade shows are great for getting a feel for industry issues and discussions. Let people know that you will be having a debate about a trending topic during a particular time of the day and encourage people to get involved. This is what it is all about after all – communication. The more people interact with you, the more trust they will develop in you and your brand.
Print free giveaways. Everybody loves a free gift! Take a few low cost items with you to the event with your branding on and give them away to people throughout the day. Items as simple as the promotional pen, will keep you in clients minds long after the day has passed.
Mailing campaigns can be used as both a traditional marketing communication tool and as a digital one. As cost-effective as an email mail-out can be, snail mail still has its benefits too. With careful thought, they can both be used to generate leads for your company.
Direct Mail. This method can be costly, so with a campaign of this sort you need to think carefully about what return on investment it could bring to your brand. If for example, you performing a business to business mailout; ensure you get the contact information for the most relevant person likely to respond to your call to action. Another nice touch is to include a promotional giveaway. There are an array of products which work great in a mailout, try promotional mints or a lightweight keyring. Think about what items are relevant to their business, which will offer the recipient the most longevity, and in turn increased brand exposure for you.
Email Campaigns. Services like Mailchimp are great for reducing the time you have to spend enacting a mailing campaign. They also allow you to track your results so you can amend your approach to improve your success next time. Think about what you want to achieve, is it brand awareness, a sale or both? Include incentives and plenty of calls to action.
Social media is currently the top of many peoples list when they consider marketing communication tools. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, have opened up the potential for a wealth of new clients to be found online. As with any marketing communication tool, it is how you communicate that will depend on your success or failure. Unlike the aforementioned tools, this is a method which requires a little more intuition. This is a much more social arena and your approach should reflect this.
Choose the most relevant social networks. Do not approach social media as something which you should have a finger in every pie. A sporadic approach to as many networks as possible is unlikely to bring in any results. Research which social networks your clients prefer to communicate on and focus on these for your strategy.
Produce engaging content. Your accounts need to be regularly updated and offer consistent updates tailored to your audience. Research what type of content does well on your chosen networks, is it links to blog posts, questions, offers, images or video? Think about how your audience communicates with brands online and use this to develop intuitive ways to reach them.
- Track relevant keywords. Use tools like Tweetdeck and Google Alerts to ensure that you do not miss out when someone mentions your industry. These applications allow you to track things such as twitter feeds for specific mentions. For example, at Steel City Marketing, we track what is being said about promotional gifts, so we are ready to engage when anyone mentions our sector.