Diversifying your Comms in a Changing World

At the end of June, Beck & Caul’s Digital Marketing Specialist, Simon Howlett, was invited by PRINZ (Public Relations Institute of New Zealand) Southern Division to talk about the importance of diversifying media, a need made all the more prominent in a world where traditional channels paused.

On the day, we explored how pretty much any organisation can make a mark in the world of digital marketing and score some incredible, completely trackable, results! We rounded up some notes from three of our favourite questions asked on the day to share with you.

What digital strategies are still missing from most communication strategies?
Posting on Facebook, having a specific landing webpage & monthly e-newsletter – these actions have been part of most organisations campaign communication strategy in the last 10 years. I see two things missing from this

One, more than likely this campaign content was pretty bland, a little text, one or two stock photos, that sort of thing. There has not been a commitment to adding rich, extra content like video, gif or audio. Diversifying this type of content will help you reach wider audiences, who gather and take-in news in various ways.

It is often felt we can’t branch into this world unless we spend considerable budget on high-end production. However, an interesting effect of the lockdown is that now, more than ever, we are used to bad quality, homemade videos – people using portrait mode, having the camera too close to the face and the video itself being less than 30 seconds. It would be great to see this continue as it does add a personal touch to any organisations communication. Of course, within reason…there can be such a thing as TOO budget…
Two, even if you do have a video, for many campaigns as soon as it’s up online and is mentioned at least once on all channels, that is it. A long-term campaign strategy that makes sure the message and content is repeated, or has a life beyond its initial time-period, is vital to ROI.

Back when newspapers were the only communication tool for many, this made more sense. But now you can easily adopt a multi-channel approach to your campaigns, ensuring the full story is told across multiple platforms with the possibility of reaching different audiences each time. You can even specifically target new audiences across the internet with display ads always. Or use them as a brand reminder to loyal customers. This is also where video, gif’s and audio and other visual media can play a part – giving new life to the campaign weeks or months down the line.

 

If an organisation has a small marketing budget, which two channels should they focus on?

During lockdown we saw how important any businesses’ Facebook page was to reach key customers. For some smaller companies, they had not touched their FB page for months or years and then, suddenly, it became the only way to pass news on.

Even if you have a small amount of likes and followers, you should keep as active as possible to remain authentic in times when you need the platform as a tool. Utilising Facebook ads can expand follower numbers by building audience based on the personas of those who follow you, by pinpointing those who are local to you, and more. So looking after this little group can be invaluable!

The same can be done with Google Display Advertising – the ad banners you see on most websites, YouTube, and even Gmail. Running a paid ad campaign over a short period can reach a focused key audience multiple times and you can easily change the messaging if necessary – end dates, offers, opening times.

Important to note that both of these are visually focused. So having the ability to change colours, add text to images, or create visually stimulating images will be useful.

 

What should organisations do internally to better target digital audiences themselves?
Work together as a team, you may find the skills you need in house. Not all businesses have a developer, a graphic designer, and a marketing and social media strategist at hand. By working out the skills you have at hand, you will be able to approach your digital strategy fully informed.

If you don’t have a strategist in house, it is a good idea to work with an agency for the set up phase. Getting it right from the get go will ensure that you have the right tracking in place to hold your digital advertising accountable. It will also give you a good base of ads targeting the right audiences. Even if you can’t factor an agency into your budget long term, investing in a set up service with an agency will set you on course to seeing see positive results.

It is also a good idea to invest in some training for members of your team you want to own the digital activity going forward. There is a vast difference between blindly setting up online advertising and hoping for the best and a considered and strategic ad monitoring that will cultivate results.

Simon & Alistair

 

A big thanks to PRINZ and Alistair Gray from Waimakariri District Council for organising the day and opening up a very important conversation. It was also great to see an audience filled with so many students from Canterbury University, showing that the next generation of business leaders are already connected to just how important rounded strategy is.

If you feel like your organisation needs to diversify or jump start your digital marketing in a post-lockdown world, get in touch with the Beck & Caul team and let’s chat through what platforms are right for you.

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