Each week we meet with companies of various sizes from a range of industries that are seeking help with their communications.

There’s no way around it; creating a comprehensive communications strategy takes time and investment. I’ve worked in-house and agency-side on accounts for luxury and premium brands such as Burberry and Chandon Australia, and I can tell you honestly, if their communications look slick from the outside, it’s because they’ve made the investment.
But the question often put to me is: How can smaller players compete? And where should you invest your communications spend if you don’t have the personnel or budget to manage a huge volume?

In an increasingly saturated, often confused marketplace, here’s my view on where to invest your marketing budget to maximise results.

1. Have a Comms Strategy
Having an external agency come in and undertake a communications strategy that also includes a communications audit is nearly always my first recommendation. A little like blasting cobwebs with a high-pressure hose, it’s an illuminating clean-out that will anchor you back to your core brand messaging, key target market and points of difference.  Re-calibrating your strategy every 12 months or so will help to ensure your business stays on track in a fast-changing market.

2. Optimise your shop-front
Whether you have a physical shop-front or premises for your business or not, in 2017 your website is your most important one. Invest in a good website that not only looks pretty, but also encourages hits and achieves your objectives, whether it be sales or leads. There’s plenty of simple changes you can make that will make a difference (and I intend to cover these in an upcoming post soon!).

3. Get social in a calculated way
The tendency for businesses to try to be all things to all people on social media is a very real phenomenon and can result in some very confused messaging and a lot of dollars wasted. If you’re starting out or undergoing a period of growth, I recommend starting with the basics. Select a couple of social media platforms – those that are more likely to attract people in your target market – and feature high-quality content with a strategy behind it to boost engagement.

4. Small, regular advertising spends
If you’re making the investment in social media, small, regular advertising spends – particularly on platforms such as Facebook – are essential. For most brands, the days of outstanding organic reach on social media are long behind us.  Experiment with smaller advertising spends to test the waters and see what content yields better results.

5. It’s all about video – still
Content marketing is a complex beast, and while personalisation technology is all the rage right now, video content is here to stay and will increasingly be prioritised in social platforms’ algorithms. Create regular video content and ensure it has text, given that up to 85 per cent of videos are watched with the sound off.

6. Stick to your base
One of the biggest mistakes that many brands make is forgetting to nurture their core customer base. Having a mailing list of these customers is a non-negotiable; they are your best asset, so offering them incentives, sales and other special offers is essential. Write and create content with this customer in mind.

7. Know your audience
Finally, ensure you’re investing in analytics – and taking the time to analyse this data. Most platforms provide decent free analytics tools, so utilise these as a starting point and build up from there depending on your needs.

Need support with your communications? KIS is here to simplify the process. Contact [email protected] to find out more or request our list of package options.