Business communication is a vital part of any company’s plans for the future. A clear strategy can put you in complete control of your message and ensure that your business is always putting its best foot forward. However, this is not as easy as it sounds as you have to remember that communications go beyond just social media. But how can you do this well and keep your communication on track?
Here are 6 steps to develop a strong business communication strategy:
- Create a suitable mission statement
- Look at your target audience(s)
- Use the right language
- Consider the goals to work towards
- Look at the key events and months in the year
- Review your progress and make changes if needed
Create a suitable mission statement
Your business mission statement is where you concisely explain what the company is all about and what it provides. It should clearly explain the reason the business exists in a single sentence that anyone can quickly understand.
Having a strong mission statement will allow everyone that works in the company to have the same goals, as this phrase lets them see what is most important to the business and why they do the things that they do. In terms of communication, it is the foundation for your strategy, as it lets everyone see the image that you want to present to the world.
If you don’t yet have a mission statement, then this is the perfect time to choose one. Take a look at the phrases used by the world’s biggest companies to inspire you for your own, as they have usually spent a lot of time and money crafting and honing a message that gets their ideas across effectively.
According to Shopify, Ikea, Amazon, and Tesla are among the brands that have the most powerful mission statements. In the best cases, this phrase can become synonymous with the company even when it really applies to the entire industry, helping them to stand out as a market leader.
When your company has an existing mission statement, this is a good moment to consider whether it is still relevant or needs to be updated. If it is still suitable, you should be able to fit it into your communication strategy fairly easily. Otherwise, this could be a sign that it is time to create a new phrase that is right for the new approach you have in mind.
Look at your target audience(s)
Always consider your target audience in your communication strategy. For a start, you may need to look at both internal and external communication methods. Then there is the issue of the different people you deal with, such as customers, suppliers and do so on.
Each type of audience may require a unique approach, which should be included in your overall strategy. You might need to create a separate section for each one, or at least make it clear that there are a variety of audiences.
They may each need to be approached using a different method of communication or with a different tone of voice. This is something that it can be easy for team members to overlook if it isn’t clearly stated, especially if they speak to a lot of people each day.
Ideally, you will quickly identify the various types of audience that you have in order to communicate effectively to them. This may require you to consider whether you need to add in new categories such as VIP or a loyalty status that staff can see at a glance.
Use the right language
The language that you use in your communication strategy will set the tone for the way your team communicates with people, making it vital that you get this aspect right. This is what lets them see what kind of personality the business has, and it will greatly influence how they view you.
Are you going for a strictly professional tone, or does your industry give you leeway to introduce a friendlier or more playful approach? If in doubt, take a look at what your closest competitors do. They might have one type of language for social media and another on their corporate site, for example.
Having a good grasp of the right type of business English is a key first step here, as that gives you the basis for getting the message right, avoiding any errors, and leading a business phone conversation.
If you are going to communicate in other languages, a strategy for this needs to be in place too. Rather than simply translating your content word for word from English, you will want to fully localize it so that it makes sense and is attractive for people in the country you are targeting.
Consider the goals to work towards
There are different types of goals that your communication strategy could work towards. These include:
- Establishing the brand at the front of the market
- Attracting new customers
- Taking advantage of new marketing tools
Try to use figures to create tangible, trackable goals. Some examples include:
- Number of people searching for you on Google
- Number of new customers that sign up
- Ratings in your customer satisfaction surveys
That’s not to say that every aspect of your communication can be quantified so easily. There are also plenty of intangible goals such as improving your online reputation.
Look at the key events and months in the year
Certain industries need to start each year with certain dates in mind. Whether it is a huge conference where you can speak directly to consumers or a busy period when you need to ramp up your social media efforts, you need to have this built into your strategy.
What this means is that you need to look at the upcoming calendar for each year and decide which dates or months need to be specifically mentioned in your communication year. If it is a recurring event, such as a summer holiday sale or Christmas, you could mention it in general terms. However, if it is something that changes each year then you may need to update the guide annually.
This focus on certain times of year doesn’t take away from the need to have a solid communication strategy at all other times. It simply means that you recognize the occasions when something extra is needed.
Review your progress and make changes if needed
Once you are happy with your strategy, it is time to put it into action and then review your progress. By looking at what you wanted to achieve and what the results have been, it should be fairly easy to see whether the communication strategy has been effective.
Could it have been done better? The answer is that it almost certainly could have been. Most of the biggest and most successful companies regularly refine their communication strategy and make it a better fit for the current market while taking into account new technology and techniques.
By carrying out these steps well, you will have a solid business communication strategy in place. This is one of the most important components of your future success, so it is well worth taking the time to consider all of your options and to get it right.
Business communication strategy FAQs
What is a business communication strategy?
A business communication strategy is a plan for conveying your message about a brand, product, or service to a specific audience. Establishing a strategy can help any business tailor its communications to reach maximum effectiveness and add value.
Why do I need a business communication strategy?
A business communication strategy will enable you to be more informed about your company’s reputation, respond swiftly and effectively to comments, reviews, or press, and plan ahead.
How can I develop a strong business communication strategy?
Here are 6 steps to develop a strong business communication strategy: create a suitable mission statement, look at your target audience(s), use the right language, consider the goals to work towards, look at the key events and months in the year, and review your progress and make changes if needed.