The 3 Essential Elements of an Effective Communication Strategy

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Marketers have created countless techniques for effective communication. When it comes down to it, the newest communication trends can only improve upon what established strategies have already accomplished. The most essential elements of an effective communication strategy vary depending on your project, but successful strategies almost always include information about the target audience, specific goals for the campaign, and a team of inspired members with the right traits.

Your Target Audience

You can’t reach your audience if you don’t know your audience. If you own a healthcare company that primarily serves elderly women, then you need to tailor your messages for that audience. If you have a software company that makes video games for college-aged men, then you need to create messages that motivate them.

Knowing what audience you want to target is just a small part of the process. You need to learn about what motivates them. This often involves reviewing:

  • Media coverage
  • Public opinion
  • Research done by universities and companies

The more you know about the people you want to influence, the better chance you have of crafting a communications strategy that motivates them. Even if you only do some basic research, it helps tremendously.

Specific and Measurable Goals

If you don’t set goals, you can’t decide whether your communication strategy works. Without that information, you don’t learn things that make your next project more successful. You have no reference for what “success” means!

You can set several types of goals. Perhaps you want to:

  • Raise awareness of your brand or mission
  • Motivate people to take action, such as buying products or learning more about a cause
  • Change attitudes among people in your target audience

The way you measure success depends on the kind of strategy you use. The most important thing is that you set them.

If you plan to use social media to raise brand awareness, maybe you want to reach 10,000 impressions within 30 days. You can measure success through the number of blog posts read, Facebook likes, or retweets. The list goes on. Pick a few measures so you know you’re heading in the right direction. Without a list of goals, you’re traveling without a map.

The Right Team

Image via Flickr by Aalto Creative Sustainability

You understand your target audience, and you have set goals for your campaign. Now, you need a team that can execute the communication strategy, adapt to changes, and reach those goals.

You probably want experienced members who have worked on other campaigns. You might also want to include someone who recently earned a degree. New graduates don’t always have a lot of real-world experience, but they often have new ideas that can make your strategy more effective.

Some key traits you should look for when assembling a team include:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Reliability
  • Willingness to experiment with new ideas
  • Ability to work in groups
  • Ability to use constructive criticism well

If a person has those traits, your team should stand strong. Without them, your project may lose direction and fail to address the target market with motivational messages.

Want to learn more about developing a successful communications strategy? Consider getting your communications degree online!