Updated: Mar 16, 2021
How are you communicating with customers? Your internal stakeholders? Investors? If there's room for improvement (and there almost always is), think about this: are you communicating with your audience in mind?
On this episode of the Mind Meld vlog we chat with Change and Transformation Strategist, Melissa Breker. We picked her brain on the best way to improve your communications strategy, and create the content that attracts and retains customers.
Read the following excerpt to get her tips on the biggest issue businesses face, or watch the full video to reap the benefits of this insightful interview.
JN: Let’s get specific: what are some common problems with how companies communicate externally with their customers?
MB: One of the biggest problems that we see in terms of how we’re communicating, is that it’s all about us. Me, me, me, versus thinking about who you’re actually connecting with, what they care about, and what problem you solve.
When it comes to connecting with outside users, creating content or any kind of communication, what's happening is we're using our own perspective.
We're thinking too much about ourselves versus what people really want. Which is? They want to get in, have a great digital experience, and they want to leave. I hate to say this, but they don’t actually necessarily care about you. They have a task to complete.
My challenge would be for you to have a look at your website and circle every time you see ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’.
JN: I think a really good example of this, is the flurry of corporate newsletters and updates we saw in the wake of Covid-19. One of the funniest tweets I saw was from a marketer, saying “gee, I just didn’t know how much all these companies cared about me! They really do!!”
He was being facetious. It’s just like you were saying -- how much do these customers actually care about what you’re offering on your website or in your communications?
To me, they don’t necessarily want to hear messages of sympathy and understand a hundred times a week from a hundred different companies. They want to know how you’re going to solve their problem fast and cost-effectively. Or even take out ‘cost’ -- just effectively.
MB: Yep. Or, productively.
I think we see this translate through social media too. We use channels for the wrong things.
As you know, each channel attracts a certain kind of audience. You’ve seen the memes. Instagram is for ‘the lifestyle you wish you had!’ and Facebook ‘is for the oldies’.
But somehow in trying to distill a message out, people use the wrong channels. They’re not strategic in how they are sharing the information, so that it’s an expected match.
MB: Taking the time to understand why a client has come to you in the first place and what problem you’re trying to solve, is a great place to start.
If you come from a user perspective at the very beginning, then you can quite easily determine if your communication is meeting their needs.
Often when we think about how we’re connecting with people, we can look at different frameworks. For example, a content journey perspective.
When we’re buying something, we go through specific stages. We typically identify a need, do some research, then there’s a decision, and then a post-use thinking of ‘how is this working for me?’ We want to get customers to a place of advocacy, where they become a brand advocate for you.
It’s not a linear process. But customers still go through these phases and channels. The more questions they ask, the more specific the questions will get.
From an audience perspective, we can use the result of this journey to anticipate what questions people have. What kind of topics are they expecting us to cover to answer their questions, and how can we help them?
Or perhaps, you’ve just got too many podcasts on your list to get to it. We get it. Option B?
Get in touch with a PR tech agency so we can do the hard lifting for you, and change how you communicate.