21st November 2022

5 Steps To Write a Communication Plan

A communication plan is a key component of any communications strategy as it shows the full scope of your campaign in one simple chart. The communication plan acts as your guide throughout the entirety of your advertising campaign rollout and executions.

Before creating a communcation plan, you will need a creative advertising campaign concept. To learn how to write a creative brief and get to your next big creative advertising campaign check out our blog Getting to Magic.

What is a communication plan?

Importance Of Communication Plans

A communication plan outlines what messages will go where and why during the duration of your campaign. With your communication plan in hand, you can get a full understanding of the different touchpoints the end user will see during the campaign and how these will move them through the marketing funnel. 

A communication plan, often laid out as a chart, can have the following columns: 

  • Goal – what is it you are trying to achieve from your marketing activity? 
  • Barrier – what is currently stopping people from getting there? 
  • Communications Task – what can you say that will help someone get past that barrier? 
  • Role – What part of the funnel does this communication come in? Is it during awareness, consideration or conversion? 
  • Tactic – where will you say this message that will be most effective? 

How do you build a communication plan?

Writing a communication plan is as easy as 5 simple steps:

       1. Set specific marketing goals

When setting goals, it is important to ensure the goals are specific to your campaign. If the goal is too generic, it will not be possible to pin down a barrier and therefore not possible to create a communications task. An example of a goal that is too generic is the goal of more awareness. As the barrier would simply be, to make people more aware. However, that does not solve the problem. 

An example of a good goal, using Heineken 0 as an example, would be to appeal to alcohol drinkers looking for more balance. The resulting barrier would be the social stigma around not drinking at parties. With this in hand, you could easily fill out the rest of the chart. 

Having a specific goal that is tailored to the purpose of your marketing campaign strategy is critical in order to fill in the chart accurately. 

      2. Understand consumer barriers

When setting barriers in a communications plan it is important to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Understanding why they currently don’t think, feel or do something in relation to your brand is a key element to unlocking what communication could change that. 

For instance, a bad example of a barrier is, “they aren’t aware of us.” As this is a barrier the company has to overcome, not the consumer. Consumers aren’t thinking to themselves, “I wish I knew of that company!” 

Instead, a good example of a barrier, using Aldi as an example, is a consumer perceiving their groceries as low quality. This naturally leads you to communication around quality which could sway someone to think differently. 

Communication Connection Plan Template

     3. Set your communications task

Changing people's minds is no easy feat! A communications task outlines what you are going to say to your customer to get them to make a desired action (i.e. learn more about your product, participate in a trial, visit a store etc…). 

A great way to understand how to motivate consumers is by using behavioural science. The study of human behaviour that uncovers the predictability of our actions. For instance the behavioural science bias called Social Norms. The idea that people gravitate to something that is already popular. A good example is a queue for a night club. Instead of seeing this as discouraging because it could take a while to get in, we see it as highly popular and therefore highly desirable. Making us want to go in ourselves and see what the fuss is all about. 

     4. Know your communications role in the marketing funnel 

As consumers go through the different touch points of your campaign, understanding where they are in the funnel (awareness, consideration and conversion) is critical for your campaign ecosystem. For instance, paid social is a great awareness tool as the advertising is pushed out to individuals based on a set of criteria. While a landing page is great for consideration as someone who has been made awareness of your product or service now has a space they can explore for more information. 

Ensuring you are filling the top of the funnel full so that people can trickle down to the bottom is important. That’s why, outlining this in your communication plan can make sure you have the right balance for a successful campaign. 

     5. Match the right communication to the right tactic

Some messages take longer than others to get across. Ensuring you will be able to express your communication properly means matching the right tactic to each communications task. For instance, using Aldi and their quality messaging as an example again, telling stories about the farmers they get their produce from may be better suited for TV than a web banner. As it requires some time to get all that information across. While a message about how they offer the same quality products as other grocery stores for less could easily fit into a shorter format medium like social media or a web banner. 

Communicaiton Connection Plan Outline

They say medium is the message and when it comes to communications planning it really is!

Are you in need of a communications strategy to unlock new customers for your business? We are always here to help. Drop us a line at [email protected]

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