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What is a communication strategy and why you need one
The foundation of all good relationships - both personal and professional - is solid communication. The more you communicate the right way with the right people, the stronger your relationships get.
The key to a good digital communication strategy is to know your outcomes, know your audience, know what they want and then delivering high-quality, meaningful content.
The best thing is that it’s not really difficult to employ a communications strategy if you follow what we’ve laid out here.
Reach and Frequency
Reach and frequency are foundational elements involved in the process of delivering media in a specific marketplace.
Reach is the number of people that will be exposed to a specific message that is delivered via a given medium at a specific time. The medium could be anything like radio, internet, newspapers direct mail, etc.
More specifically, it is the number of people exposed to a written, spoken, visual message through any medium at least one time. If can also be the percentage of total people exposed to the marketing message in a particular area.
Frequency is the number of times the recipient of your marketing materials is exposed to the same promotional message via the same promotional tool. The average frequency is determined by the total exposures divided by the reach.
When consumers’ interests in a product needs to be increased, the larger the frequency of delivery is required. More frequency — the right amount of frequency as illustrated in the graphic above — stokes the consumer’s desire for your products and services until they are ready to business with you.
Now that you understand that, here’s what a communication strategy is and why you need one.
To deliver a winning communication strategy, you must:
Identify the outcome you seek for your business. As a real estate agent, your goal is to not just generate leads, but also to create an audience, a solid list of hungry subscribers that can’t get enough you, what you do and what you say.
At the same time, you also want to help your business remain different in the eyes of your consumers so that they see you as the go-to real estate agent in your marketplace
To do this, you may seek to accomplish things like
Grow brand awareness
Increase lead volume
Improve shareholder value
Create authority in your marketplace
Whatever the outcome is, be sure you’re clear on what it is so your communication strategy will support it.
2. Understand what your audience wants. Consumers — your followers — have problems that they’re looking to solve: i.e., selling for top dollar, homes that haven’t sold, getting their home sold fast, finding the hottest deals. etc.
Whatever their needs, wants, desires are associated with solving those problems need to be addressed and handled by you in the content you use in your communication strategy.
For instance, you can send out a video showing them your marketing plan and how you drive up demand on a home better than any other agent.
Or, you can write a blog post on the five things they need to do to prepare their home to get maximum value when they sell.
Anything you can provide from a content standpoint that speaks to your audience member’s biggest issues and shows them you’re the expert in understanding how to address those issues puts you in a great position.
3. Learn how to communicate best with your target audience. Sending a simple survey and/or asking a few questions of your audience members will help you deliver your content and message using the channels they love best.
You can align your target audience with your outcomes by asking questions like:
What are their digital communication preferences?
Do they consume your content on a mobile device?
On which social platforms they spend most of their time?
What kind of content do they enjoy the most?
What is the best medium for them to consume your content: video, blog, podcast, etc?
Give people what they want in the way they want it and you’ll be able to engage them at a significantly higher level and convert them to sales opportunities with greater ease.
4. Ready. Set. Develop your communications strategy. Take everything we’ve talked about up to this point and create your communication strategy.
Let’s say you’re looking to create a communications strategy to help you get more qualified listing opportunities. Here’s how you would use the process we’ve identified above:
First, identify that your outcome is to get more qualified listing opportunities in your marketplace, including homes in a higher price range and in areas that are selling well.
Next, you may be in a situation where you’re not the go-to agent in your area and what you can do — and how you do it better than anyone else — may not be known that well within your market place.
Your target audience likes to find out about solutions to their listing issues via videos and blog post and they spend the majority of their time on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. They like entertaining, story-like communication and really want to connect with you on a personal level, even more than on a business level.
From there, you your digital communications strategy should build audience engagement around:
A video series that highlights families whom you’ve helped sell their homes for more money than the competition can
Video testimonials of sellers you’ve helped who want to sing your praises
Case studies of sellers you’ve worked with including their story of what their problems were, why they chose you to and how you helped them get the results they want
Posts on Facebook that talk about what they can do to get their homes sold for the most amount of money in their marketplace
Facebook live sessions where audience members can engage with you to ask questions and get to know you as a person and real estate agent
Now, there are many other ways to communicate digitally to support communication strategy we’ve discussed.
The best place to start is to nail down all of your ideas on a whiteboard or in brainstorming software. From there, prioritize what you’re going to do with a budget, delivery timelines and other criteria to help get crystal clear on what you’re going to do.
Although we didn’t really discuss it in detail, always be sure to track your efforts, your financial investments, your engagement, your content and your results. Doing all of this ensures that you can make changes, as necessary, where necessary, to get your communication strategy dialed in for even more effective lead generation and conversion.
As you work to develop the top notch digital tactics, keep your business outcomes front and center, focus on your target audience, understand your situation and then form your digital communications strategy.
By staying focused on these four foundational elements, you can ensure your strategy is on point and will deliver the outcomes you seek.