What are the best ways to communicate with your target audiences?
There are many communication tools available to businesses, including website, blogging,Twitter, LinkedIn, newsletters, video, national press and broadcast media comment; trade, industry and boardroom press articles; events and round-tables, speaking opportunities, directories, industry awards and directory listings.
All of these can be utilised to influence how the market perceives your firm, but which audiences do they each target most effectively?
A good way to answer this question is to first identify your key audiences. For example, you may wish to influence potential private clients as well as new client corporates. You may also wish to influence your own industry, e.g. law, technology, financial services, etc. You may also wish to attract the best people to work for you, in order to keep your company competitive and offering the best possible products and services. Finally, an audience which many businesses forget to target is the media itself, as this is an important aggregator of your content across many communication platforms.
Journalists will often use Twitter to take the temperature of a firm, to see how engaged you are on a topical issue they may be writing about and where you stand on that issue. They will also be aware of comments on the newswires, such as the Press Association or Reuters, etc. Journalists may also engage briefly with your website, to see what blog content you have. Other than that, they will be influenced by what awards you have won and how your business is regarded by your industry press and any relevant directories.
Similarly, potential new staff will look at all these things, as well as your colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles and any video content you may have on your website or YouTube.
Corporates will be influenced by your industry trade press, as well as theirs and the boardroom press; but they may also read your newsletter or attend events organised by you or where you will be speaking, if these are well targeted and presented.
There is a good deal of overlap between each of your audiences and the communication channels they will respond to. To help illustrate this, we have created this Venn diagram, which plots the audiences referred to above against the key communications channels available to you: