External communication is any communication that leaves the office and deals with customers, prospects, partners, collaborators, investors, vendors, agents, regulatory agencies, etc. It shares your business marketing mix with the world, helping you to communicate your brand purpose, developments, and products/ services to the public.
Whether traditional forms of advertising or digital marketing or more is your preference for external corporate communication, one of the most important parts of your strategy must be to ensure to connect with the audience.
Advertising has many different layers depending on which part of the buyer journey you want to appeal to. For instance, you may use a television/ radio advert during the “Awareness” stage, then move onto other digital marketing mix when you need to nurture your leads.
External communication strategies don’t just include marketing campaigns alone, but also the things you use to reach out to investors, suppliers, and shareholders. This means that they can include slides, presentations, catalogues, prospectus, sales material, and more.
It might also include a networking campaign that allows you to build your external connection. In today’s digital world, a lot of networking takes place online, through connections to PR agencies, news outlets, social media, influencers, and realtime events and seminars
TYPES OF EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION:
The external communication strategies you employ will depend on various factors. Everything from your brand positioning, to your marketing goals, and even your budget can affect what your external communications look like. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to accessing the advantages of external communication, most strategies include some of the following elements:
1. Website/ Blogging
Website creation, SEO, and content marketing aren’t just ways to advertise your business. While they’re all effective in helping to build your bottom line, they also provide plenty of important information about your company. After all, whenever someone in today’s marketplace considers doing business with a brand, the first thing they do is “Google” them to see if they have a web presence.
When it comes to building your external communications strategy, your website becomes the hub for all of your other brand-building campaigns. Every post you create is another indexed page on your website, making it increasingly likely that your customers will find you when they search online. Your content marketing efforts will also show search engines that your site is active, which helps you rise faster to the top of the search results. What’s more, with a comment section and contact page, you ensure that the communication goes both ways.
2. Live events and conferences
When you’re exploring internal and external communication in business, it’s important to remember that you need a wide range of strategies to appeal to a broad audience. While your blogs might capture the attention of your B2C customers, you’re likely to need another way to interact with potential partners, shareholders, resellers, and professional partners. Live events, seminars, and conferences are a great way to boost your external corporate communication strategy.
Though it’s safe to say that there are plenty of B2B strategies and networking sites like LinkedIn out there that will help with the corporate side of your external communications, there are still few things more effective than a face-to-face interaction when you want to develop a lucrative relationship with someone.
3. Social Media
Social media has emerged as one of the most important external communication tools for many brands. In fact, it’s so effective when it comes to improving quick and efficient communications, that it’s even become a part of the internal communication network too. For an effective external communication strategy using social media, you’ll need to find out what kind of platforms your audience uses to connect.
Once you know where your customers are, you can begin to build your social media strategy to serve them. Remember, external communications aren’t just about advertising. 67% of consumers use social media to make customer service inquiries, so you should be thinking about how you can answer customer queries too.
4. Email/ Newsletters
For the majority of today’s businesses, email is an effective form of marketing. However, email isn’t just a way to show new offers to your customers and try to sell your products. It’s also a powerful way to build relationships with various groups in your external network. With segmentation, you can group your email campaigns into solutions for shareholders, customers, and investors, and then refine each of those groups even further.
Email open-rates are on the rise and the fact that it costs very little to get an email campaign going means that it’s one of the best ways to add weight to your external communication in business toolkit. Just make sure that you design something that works just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktop screens. More than half of all cellphone owners access email on a phone rather than a desktop.
5. Press releases
While press releases might not be the most modern or high-tech external communications solutions on the market today, they’re still an effective way to get the latest news about your business out. Press releases issued through reputable newspaper pages or media outlets help to improve your reputation and credibility as a brand. They also ensure that you connect with new customers or potential investors on different channels.
As well as press releases, companies can also arrange interviews and press conferences to make important announcements about changes in their organisation. For instance, you might want to talk about your latest rebrand using an official PR/ spokesperson, or an interview with a brand publication.
And much more…