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What is a communication plan and how can you create one for your business?

Find out what a communication plan is and learn the necessary steps to create one for your business.

communication plan

A communication plan outlines and enhances any business’ communication. Check out our step-by-step instructions to create your own!

Good communication is critical for any business communication, advertising, or digital marketing strategy. Not only is it key for securing more sales, it also helps keep your brand authentic, trustworthy, and attractive.

To start a conversation with your audience, create more effective campaigns, and convey the right message to the right people, you need a good communication plan.

In this post, you’ll learn what a communication plan is, its benefits, and we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to create your own!

What is a communication plan?

A communication plan outlines all of your business’ communication actions in a strategic plan.

Through a communication plan, your brand can gather relevant information and scheduling details of what will be put into practice. It also includes all the necessary research that was  carried out to understand how to send an assertive message to your persona.

Why is it important to have a communication plan?

Increased predictability

You’ll be better prepared to put your brand’s communication and advertising campaigns into practice. You’ll know which steps need to be taken, contributing to the speed and quality of each completed task.

A schedule will make everything more comprehensive, helping you make changes when necessary, and avoid unforeseen events and delays.

Better routine organization

It’ll be much easier to put your ideas and strategies into practice, since everything will be planned and organized. You’ll know what to prioritize, what your deadlines are, and you’ll free up time in your agenda for other tasks.

Greater market knowledge

During the process of developing your communication plan, you’ll inevitably gain greater insight into your competitors and your market.This will better align your business to the current trends and demands of your niche. 

It helps identify competitive advantages

With a well-structured communication plan, it’ll be easier to identify your brand’s unique strengths. This will allow you to use your competitive advantages in your favor and be more relevant than your competitors.

Creating a communication plan

Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to create a strategic communication plan in line with your business.

1. Study the market and your business

Study your niche market, and evaluate your business according to market research in your segment.

This market research should be a way to monitor your competition, as well as assess the political, social, and economic scenario of your market as a whole.

Critically examine your business to understand what is and isn’t working well, and what needs to be improved upon.

2. Set objectives and goals

You need well-defined business objectives. They need to be specific and comprehensive. They need to convey the exact purpose of your brand’s communication.

After defining your objectives, list goals as tasks within these objectives that need to be accomplished. Set a deadline to accomplish each goal, and don’t forget that you need to specify the steps that will need to be taken in order to complete these tasks.

It’s a good idea to set SMART goals. They consist of 5 criteria to help guide your goal setting:

  • S: Specific 
  • M: Measurable 
  • A: Achievable
  • A: Relevant 
  • T: Time-bound 

3. Segment your target audience

Know who your ideal customer is. Build personas to segment your audience and understand to whom you should really target your brand’s communication plan to.

Your personas will be the basis for other essential aspects, such as language style, tone of voice, and your brand manual.

4. Set a budget

How much can your business afford to invest in marketing campaigns? Will marketing be strictly digital or will it include other communication channels such as TV, print, or a physical location?

Keep in mind all your necessary expenses to outline a realistic budget with some leeway for unforeseen events.

5. Create a communication campaign schedule

This step is critical for the success of your communication plan!

Carefully schedule all your campaigns, content, strategies, and communications. You’ll have greater control over when each phase will be completed, you’ll have a more comprehensive view of your communication plan, and you’ll be able to be organized so that everything goes as planned.

A schedule also avoids unforeseen events, makes it easier to make changes in advance, and provides support so that other strategies can be successful.

6. Train your team

A business’ communication only guarantees good results when it’s performed by a trained team.

Make sure that the professionals responsible for this sector are prepared to deal with the outlined communication plan, and that they are up to date with the techniques and strategies of the area.

Offer courses, classes, reading material, and any necessary knowledge to help your team  elevate your brand’s positioning in the market.

7. Perform tests

Launching your communication plan without testing it first is not a good idea. Test content and campaigns in advance with small, specific groups.

Check if your content can reach the outlined objective and only then, with the gathered data, decide if it’s worth adding it to your plan, or if it needs to be reformulated.

8. Monitor results

It’s essential that you set performance indicators at the beginning of your planning. They’ll serve as a basis for analyzing whether your expected results are actually being achieved.

Some examples of indicators are website traffic, the conversion rate of a capture page, or engagement metrics on social media (comments, shares, saves, etc.).

You should monitor these KPIs regularly and consider making strategic changes if you’re unsatisfied with the results.

9. Don’t be afraid to change

Change is always necessary!

Don’t worry about having to change your plan if something isn’t working. Accept it as a natural learning process and remember that adaptating helps improve business performance.

Analyze your plan to see what isn’t working very well and find new paths.

Communication goes beyond words

Adopting a communication plan is much more than creating promotional posts or texts. 

You need to know your business and your customers very well, and develop a series of strategic steps that will guide your brand’s relationship with your audience.

A well-developed plan will produce benefits in the short, medium, and long term. It’ll prepare your team for its next steps, keep you organized, increase brand awareness, and strengthen competitive advantages.

Hopefully, you now feel prepared to create your own communication plan, but remember that all areas of your business require good planning.

Check out our post with a step-by-step guide to create a marketing plan and get a head start in the market!