Written by PAN Communications
Has your company recently moved out of the early adopter stage and into a bigger market? If so, you might be finding it challenging to step up and be noticed by your audience among your new competitors. A growing company needs to be ready to execute a strategic plan to get at the forefront and win prospects.
CMOs of emerging growth companies are challenged to rethink strategies, fusing creativity, technology and data to deliver remarkable experiences. So, what is the ideal strategy for your company now? Its no secret these days that brands must go beyond public relations to truly make an impact. To connect with your audience, you must have an integrated communications approach where paid, earned, social and organic efforts are all working together to drive a consistent message while effectively aligning resources that drive action and outcome.
57 percent of marketers are not integrating the execution, distribution or optimization of their content. – 2017 Content Fitness Report
Before diving deeper into an integrated strategy, make sure that you have identified your target audience and that your buyer personas are as accurate as possible. Data doesnt lie. Compile key insights within your target markets through surveys, interviews, social media channels and/or online research. For more information on crafting buyer personas check out our previous post in this series, 5 Steps to Capitalize on Your Buyer Personas & Audience Insights.
Now youre ready to uncover the following integrated communication elements for better growth and brand awareness.
Owned: Crafting Engaging Content Marketing
The benefit of content marketing is clear it helps raise your business online visibility. It also fuels your paid, shared and earned strategies as a key component of integrated solutions. Using creative approaches like gating, analyzing engagement and nurturing subscribers with tactical content can make a big impact.
If you dont know where to start, try blogging on your companys website. This will provide you with content to share on social and it will begin to drive thought leadership within your industry. Consider premium content pieces such as eBooks, which are engaging, educational and typically depict why a prospect would choose your product or service.
Its important to remember this content must be engaging. A good written asset should have a combination of text, visuals and other multi-media like videos, charts, infographics, podcasts or slideshares.
Earned: Using Owned Media to Leverage Earned
Earned media has changed over the years in that we are no longer talking about reaching out to a few friendly editors with an exciting company announcement or trend. Now when we discuss having PR we are talking about building relationships with media, bloggers and influencers that can amplify your efforts. When using influencers to advocate for your product or service and connecting with bloggers over social media, the opportunities are endless. Together this is a cost-effective way for emerging growth businesses to support lead-generation efforts and early customer-engagement strategies.
Shared: Maximizing your Owned & Earned with Shared Media
Social media opportunities go well beyond tweeting a few times per day on industry topics or posting daily on Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media is an excellent cost-effective gateway for brands to form an opinion and get to know their customers and potential brand ambassadors, as well as taking that jump as a thought leader within their industry. If you have a truly integrated program in place, your focus should be centered around listening, sharing your own interactive content, sharing your earned media, as well as engaging with your followers, customers, prospects, media and influencers.
Paid: Getting Past the Cost and Focusing on the Value
While implementing paid media may be daunting at this stage of the game, a winning team realizes the benefits of reaching potential customers across many different touchpoints in a multi-layered approach. Remember that consumers are trained to avoid ads so its essential to provide your audience with a value proposition while using engaging language and visuals. As a best practice, use content that has substance and addresses pain points your audience might be experiencing. Use targeted audience selection when working through segmentation. Above all else, keep testing. You must monitor, test, optimize and analyze results throughout any paid campaign.
As you begin to take on an integrated view, you will come to understand that owned, earned, shared and paid cohesively work together in a streamlined manner for results that are both meaningful and impactful. The difficulty remains in the million moving parts to this strategic approach. Integrated marketing and PR agencies know how to create, produce, promote and leverage a great story so that your brand moves past any infancy growth hurtles. Consider this strategy and approach while working to achieve your brand awareness goals.
Stay tuned for more from PAN Communications. This week, youll learn about:
Working with an integrated agency
The foundational and digital components of an integrated platform
How to market your next funding round