Effective communication is a vital brand-building requirement. You can have high-quality products or services but fail to compete favorably in your industry because of poor communication of your unique selling proposition (USP) and offers.
However, with a roadmap of a sort, it becomes easy to handle all brand communication activities with precision.
This article discusses brand communication, its benefits to your business, and how to leverage it effectively for your business success.
What is a brand communication?
Brand communication refers to how a brand communicates its identity, values, and personality to its target audience and customers. It encompasses the different tactics a brand uses to interact with and engage its target audience and stakeholders, such as advertising, social media, content marketing, email marketing, and direct communication between its employees and customers.
Brand communication aims to build a solid brand image that resonates with the audience and keeps the brand offerings fresh in their minds. Each time a brand communicates with its audience through any communication channel, it exercises the power of effective communication to influence the audience’s perception of the brand.
When done well, brand communication offers many benefits to a brand, from enhanced brand recognition to increased trust and credibility, competitive advantage, and many more.
Importance and benefits of brand communication
Effective brand communication has many benefits for your business:
1. Enhances brand recognition
A solid and recognizable brand image is one of the most defined benefits of effective brand communication.
You can achieve a consistent image across all platforms with consistent and well-executed brand communication, encompassing your brand logos and other visual elements you use to communicate your brand’s core values and identity.
This means having uniform messaging, tone, and visuals in all marketing materials, regardless of who creates the content.
A consistent image is vital to increasing recognition and building trust among your target audience.
2. Helps you stand out from competitors
Effective brand communication is also vital to helping you stand out from your competitors. You can set your brand apart from your competitors by efficiently and consistently communicating your brand’s USP, core values, and personality. You can have the best product in the market but fail to outsell your competitors because of your inability to communicate the product’s benefits to your target audience.
3. Enhances brand reputation
Another significant benefit of persuasive brand communication is that it enhances brand reputation and plays a vital role in crisis management.
It does this by helping you communicate your brand values, promises, and personality in a way that resonates with the target audience, enabling them to perceive your brand as reliable and trustworthy.
More importantly, brand communication is vital to helping you manage crises or public relations (PR) challenges. Your tone of voice and responses to issues threatening your public perception must be consistent and appropriate, helping prevent miscommunication and potential damage to your brand’s reputation.
4. Helps you achieve business and marketing goals
Brand communication enables you to achieve business and marketing goals by helping you build a solid relationship with your target audience, turning them into customers and brand loyalists.
It helps you focus your marketing efforts on the most effective platforms and effectively communicate the value of your offers.
Types of brand communication
Here are the essential types of brand communication you can leverage to build a solid brand identity:
Advertising is a powerful aspect of brand communication. Businesses can use various advertising means, such as traditional advertising (print media, TV ads, radio, word of mouth, etc.) and digital advertising (social media ads, display ads, search engine marketing, etc.), to communicate their values and build their identity.
2. Public relations
Public relations (PR) is another effective type of brand communication. It involves using press releases, media coverage, crisis management, etc., to manage a brand’s public perception. Effective PR helps create and repair a broken brand reputation, helping a brand build and re-earn the trust of its audience.
3. Content marketing
Content marketing is a cost-effective way brands communicate with their audience. It involves creating and distributing relevant content expressing a brand’s core values, and its mission. With content marketing tools like blog posts, images, infographics, videos, and podcasts, you can attract and engage your target audience, effectively instilling your brand’s identity.
4. Social media
Brands can use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn to attract and engage their target audience. With these platforms, you can share your brand’s values, engage with its followers, and even run targeted ad campaigns to reach your audience.
5. Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways brands communicate with their audience. You can nurture leads and communicate with customers by periodically delivering well-crafted and personalized emails.
6. Branded content
Creating and distributing branded content is another effective way to communicate with your target audience and customers. This involves product placements in movies or TV shows, sponsorships, and partnerships. Branded content helps you integrate your brand naturally into activities that share similar values, indirectly showing your customers how your products are used.
7. Employee branding
Your employees are your first brand ambassadors. They’re instrumental to your effective brand communication, as they are the people your customers communicate with regularly.
There are many other aspects of brand communication, such as word-of-mouth communication, corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, event marketing, and product packaging. Choosing the right ways to communicate with your audience is essential for your brand’s growth and overall success.
Brand communication strategy
A brand communication strategy or plan is the framework or roadmap you’ve put in place to communicate your brand identity, values, and offerings to your customers and target audience.
It enables your team to leverage your brand communication elements to effectively and appropriately disseminate information and interact with your customers and target audience.
A detailed brand communication strategy produces a consistent and coherent brand image that doesn’t only sound the same but also appears the same in all marketing channels.
How to build a solid brand communication strategy
Here are the crucial steps you must take to build a solid brand communication plan that generates the needed results:
1. Understand your brand
The first step to creating solid communications tactics is to understand your brand. Without a good knowledge of your mission, vision, and USP, you won’t know what to say to your audience or how to say it.
Conduct extensive research to understand what your brand does differently from your competitors. Also, identify what your competitors are doing differently that is worth copying.
Adopt and optimize them and create better implementation strategies, then create a solid plan to communicate these changes to your target audience.
2. Define your target audience
Research your target audience to understand the best way to communicate with them.
Start by creating buyer personas that capture your ideal customer’s demographics, behaviors, preferences, and needs.
Identify the communication preferences of your target audience and how best to interact with them.
- What is their preferred communication channel?
- At what time are they most likely to be online?
- What kind of content do they resonate with?
Answering these questions in detail will help you understand better how to communicate your USP, values, and offers to your target audience.
3. Determine your communication channels
Once you’ve identified your target audience and their preferred communication channels, outline them in their order of relevance to your target audience. This includes digital and physical channels, such as blogs, social media, emails, video-hosting sites, podcasts, billboards, TV and radio systems, sales brochures, in-store experiences, and events.
By outlining your different touchpoints with your target audience and arranging them in their order of priority, you can reach and engage with them better.
4. Set clear communication goals
Achieving anything with your communications tactics is more challenging if you don’t set goals. Clear communication goals help you understand what you want from your communication efforts, how to go about them, and how to measure your success.
Determine if you want to increase brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, or conversion, and by how much. You can also set goals to achieve all these things without losing focus.
At this point, establish success metrics you’d use to assess the success of your efforts, both in your digital and physical communication strategies.
5. Craft your messaging, develop your content
It’s time to develop a brand messaging strategy that enhances your communications. Start by creating a brand core message, clearly stating your unique selling points. Ensure your core message addresses the pain points of your target audience and resonates with them emotionally.
Once your core message is created, start developing content for your communications channels, ensuring each piece captures the idea behind your core message.
The process of creating various brand content for multiple channels forms your marketing communication strategy.
You can handle this process internally or outsource it to a content marketing agency.
If you outsource, ensure to hand over your communication strategy design or framework to the agency to enable them to understand your audience’s needs and create content that resonates with them.
6. Measure results and optimize
Finally, measure the results of your marketing communication strategy to ensure you’re doing it right.
This is where most brand communicators make mistakes. They fail to measure their efforts, thereby missing opportunities to rebuild or optimize a strategy for maximum output.
Measuring your results helps you identify critical areas for improvement and optimize already successful areas to yield better results. Use the success metrics established above to assess how you’re achieving your communication goals.
Tips on creating a brand communication plan
Here are vital tips to help you create a strategic brand and marketing communication plan for your business:
1. Set clear goals
Ensure you set clear and measurable goals for your brand’s communication efforts. This helps you easily assess your activities and identify which ones yield results and which ones you need to optimize.
Make your goals SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
That means if your goal is to generate leads, you must state how many leads you want to gain and ensure they are achievable, given the resources at your disposal.
2. Prioritize key communications channels
You can leverage many communication channels (customer touchpoints) for your business growth. However, only a handful of them have the volume of audience you want.
Some might have the volume, but the percentage that meets your ideal customer criteria might be low.
Ensure to prioritize only the channels with a greater percentage of your ideal audience.
If you’re targeting teenagers, TikTok is likely a much more relevant channel to your business than LinkedIn, Twitter, or radio stations (kids rarely listen to radio these days).
3. Involve your employees
Employees play a vital role in brand communication.
Ensure to train your employees, especially those in customer-facing departments, on how best to address customer issues.
Involve your employees in the communication strategy design process to enable them to imbibe the brand’s values and personality and showcase them in customer interactions.
4. Adopt user-generated content
User-generated content is vital for building trust and increasing engagement on your social channels. Consumers want to buy from brands their friends and family buy from. Therefore, sharing user-generated content is one way to gain your audience’s trust, as they’ll see how satisfied others are with your products or services.
5. Develop valuable and helpful content
Content is king in marketing.
Successful brand communicators know this, and they’re leveraging it to build trust, attract quality leads, and convert those leads into customers.
Ensure that you share content that’s valuable to your target audience.
Answer their most troubling questions and provide guides to help them address their pain points.
Customers will trust you more when you share valuable and helpful content, as it helps them believe you’re an industry expert and are convinced you care for them.
6. Don’t be overly promotional
While the end goal of the entire sales and marketing communication strategy is to drive business results, don’t make it obvious to your audience by sounding overly promotional.
They want to know you care for them and are ready to help them solve their problems. What’s the best way to approach them? In a friendly and caring manner, using valuable and helpful content.
Example of a 360-brand communication plan
Here’s a brand communication strategy example highlighting a fashion brand’s goals, content strategy, communication channels, engagement strategy, etc.
This is an excellent brand communication guide template to help your communication strategy design and help you build a likable brand image.
Create a likable brand image with effective brand communication
A thoughtful and persuasive brand communication strategy is vital to helping you achieve your business goals. It helps you effectively communicate your brand’s values and USP and easily handle PR challenges.
Leveraging a brand communication plan encompassing advertising, PR, social media, email marketing, branded content, employee branding, and more that resonates with your audience is essential for overall business success.
Hopefully, this article has given you insights on creating a brand communication strategy to help you build a solid emotional connection with your audience and achieve your business goals effortlessly.