The first time future clients discover your company, they won’t be aware of your company name or brand. They see something you said or created and form their opinion based on this. Over time, they discover more about you and and start to realise that your organisation could be of benefit to them.
This journey is known as a sales funnel. Initially, you communicate with a wide audience, however the majority fall away for various reasons – they realise it’s not for them, they are priced out of the market, etc. At the end of the funnel, a relatively small percentage remains. The larger the group at the top of the funnel, the larger the group at the bottom, in absolute numbers.
The effort to organise the sales funnel needs to be coordinated with the sales pipeline used by the sales department to arrange prospective clients after their likelihood to become customers.
Your audience should be targeted with messages appropriate to their current stage in the process, using the most suitable channels. Here, a content pyramid can be a great help. At the top of the pyramid, there’s high value, in-depth material, such as white papers. To a person considering a purchase of your product, this can be very valuable, but to someone who has just discovered you, the material will be too heavy.
To make the best use of the in-depth material, it is divided up a great number of times and cascaded down the pyramid in smaller fragments. A white paper turns into feature articles for the trade press, case studies and blog posts. Articles become press releases and opinion pieces. All of this contributes to a stream of posts on social media and other online activities. This helps keep the focus on the main messages while using the material economically.
Small organisations may not need to use all levels in the content pyramid. It may be sufficient with some useful material on the website, with potential for re-use in social media. Over time, it may be possible to scale up and to use more levels in the pyramid.
Together we decide the most appropriate course of action for your company, based on cost-effectiveness and objectives. The PR plan needs to support the company’s marketing plan. Once a plan is agreed, I ensure it is executed.
Whatever its contents are, it is important that the campaign is implemented continuously. This can be more difficult that it seems, as operational requirements divert management attention in different directions. I will ensure that your campaign stays on track. No need to worry about, for instance, updating your social media streams – I make sure it happens. I report back once a month, detailing activities.
It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.