Great article by @stephenlynch.
How to make your online communications stand out
With all the talk about websites, blogs, email newsletters, and social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc) it is easy to forget that these are just communication tools. If you don’t have a clear and focused marketing strategy, no tool is going to save you.
Assuming you have a quality product or service that is unique and remarkable (worth remarking about), here are some suggestions to help your online communications stand out:
What is the purpose?
Don’t do something just because your competitors are doing it. Get clear on your marketing intentions. What exactly do you want to achieve? What are your options? What are the right online platforms for you? Define what success looks like for you and how you will measure it.
Have a clear target audience in mind.
When you have a clear target market, your communications become more focused and effective. To paraphrase Seth Godin – a blog for everybody is a blog for nobody. Keep a clear picture in your mind of exactly who you are writing for at all times. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
Don’t just talk about yourself.
While your goal may be to build your brand and increase sales, it is a mistake to just write about your products and services. Always be adding value to your audience – which could include providing education, advice, case studies, industry news, or pointing people to other useful information. People will accept a certain amount of promotion from you – provided it is relevant to them – and you are adding value to their lives most of the time. A rule of thumb we try to follow is: 95% adding value, 5% promotion.
Let your readers see behind the corporate facade, and let them discover the real human beings who make up your organization. Be friendly and engaging.
Showing your personality does not mean writing about topics all across the board – following your personal whims. Doing this can alienate your audience. Get very clear on your strategic positioning (what your brand stands for), and give your target audience the information they want and expect to find from your brand. Be consistent.
Chief Operating Officer – Global Operations