What we know, stated in a new way
We know that a multi-pronged approach to communication is key to connecting with clients and potential clients. Having a variety of media helps keep that connection going between transactions.
I came across a quick presentation this week that gave me great “tags” to hang on 3 of the 4 cornerstone media, and I thought they might help you clarify how you use your communication tools as well. I will say that the presenter used a communications “triangle” metaphor. I suggest a four element venn diagram as a better visual… but we’ll get to that in a minute. (Tag inspiration – Christopher Penn, What Counts via Social Media Examiner)
Tools of Your Trade
In your digital marketing tool box you have (or should consider having) a website, a variety of social media applications, and a direct-email application & mailing list. Think of the tools in this way:
Your website is the content – it is is the repository for your story, your sales pitch, your news, your storefront. It grows and evolves as your company does. Whether you think of it as the hub, the base, or the “mother ship’, it should be connected to everything you do in marketing both in the physical and digital worlds.
Direct mail is the distribution mechanism. It is a way you share your content – usually in bite sized pieces which link to more information somewhere else. E-mail puts you into your viewer’s space — you invite yourself in, so to speak. And often, you stay a while! And, if you’re lucky, you get forwarded on (pushed) into new viewer’s spaces.
Social media is the conversation. It’s where everyone can participate and discuss, share, comment on and elaborate upon the information you have on your site and distribute through email.
You can see how the three areas criss-cross and link back and forth to each other constantly… Sometimes you push (direct mail), sometimes you pull (link to your website), some times you share and connect (social media linked from mail and to your site).
These 3 components are essential. Your strategy (plans) and campaigns (implementation) should always take them into consideration. However, .I feel strongly that there is a 4th piece to this communication plan that really compliments and often completes the picture.
Face-to-Face Networking is the live extension. When you connect in person, you make a physical impression. Good or bad, your personal impression has more shelf-life than a Tweet or an email. Networking is about building relationships with a variety of people so that you can refer business to them, and likewise, they can refer business to you. The goal is not to sell TO your network partners, but rather to sell THROUGH them so that you actually an extension of each other’s sales force.
A personal introduction to a new client who needs your services is exponentially better (I’d say a million times better, but I am not known as a math genius so I’ll stick with a generic term.) than a re-tweet, a comment, or a forwarded email. Building a network can really take your business to the next level.
So my visual model isn’t a triangle. It isn’t a square or a pyramid either. It’s a venn diagram: four circles that interact with each other to varying degrees depending on the situation. Their touch and overlap depends on your goal, but using all 4 in someway make for a strong campaign and an engaged following.
I encourage you to plan your communications thoughtfully, taking advantage of all 4 tools. Push, pull, moderate, shake, rattle, and roll… understand how each piece can create engagement and ultimately grow your business.