Depending on the purpose of your communication efforts, the strategy you will apply may vary. Whether your goal happens to be generating awareness, changing brand perception or stimulating business growth, you must make your communications scalable to achieve higher efficiency.
Now, what is scalability?
You will find a lot about scalability related to business or marketing but not much in the area of communications. From a content marketing perspective, the Content Marketing Institute emphasises the importance of breaking up a content output into several separate parts. For example, you produce a whitepaper from which you can create articles, a press release, infographics, videos, webinars, etc. In this way, you achieve scalability.
From a pure marketing perspective, building a scalable plan as Inc.com points out is about flexibility, being able to respond to favorable market and industry conditions and put your company into "expansion mode." If your marketing plan is inelastic and unresponsive to opportunities, you will fail to grow your business.
From a communications perspective, one idea of scalability, as we address below, is about being able to replicate and adapt a campaign efficiently across markets and do it in a cost-efficient way. However, other aspects on how to increase the "elasticity" of your communications can be used.
What we will apply in the #100Million Reach Challenge
Mynewsdesk has created the 100 Million Challenge, the purpose of which is to help our client Hövding reach millions of people with their story. We cannot make this happen if we don't embrace the principle of scalability. Although we cannot reveal too much at this stage, as we haven't yet launched our campaign, we are applying assured principles to achieve our objectives.
Here are three concrete steps you could use:
Ensure you can reproduce the campaign
The general idea of scalability from a communications perspective is that it is something that can and should be replicated and adapted to different markets with ease. For a marketing department, it is essential for gaining efficiency, saving time and money. Creating communications that you can modify quickly, and that resonates with all audiences, however, isn't achieved overnight. You need to find local fans and make them part of the creation process.
Create something your audience can use
The real power of scalability is better understood from the perspective of the consumer. Instead of just presenting your audience with an original message, for them to approve or disapprove of, you can design a creative concept that is something your audience can relate to, would like to use and experience. When you allow your audience to join in the communication process, you not only learn how to become a better communicator, by learning the interests of your customers, but you also achieve something quite incredible: your audience becomes your primary advocates, spreading your message and building your brand. To make this happen, you need to provide something of value to people, something they can use on a daily basis, something that they use out of habit - a tool of sorts.
Let your audience help create, modify and improve your offering
When you provide something of value to people, they will use it, and it will activate your communications. For example, when people start engaging with say a useful tool you have created, they both give importance, credibility and exposure to your brand, and they start simultaneously thinking of bettering or at least modifying whatever you are offering of value to them. And this is where the magic happens: when people use, create and improve your offering, using a communication platform you own, a brand-new and exciting story begins.
To some this might seem a bit scary and out of control, allowing your audience to be a part of creating the story. It can be, but shouldn't if you know you are advocating something that benefits people and communicates a positive social purpose. Giving away the keys to the control room is part of enjoying the ride.
Why is this important?
From a media perspective, audience interaction will give your campaign more credibility because people are carrying the message – and not your company. Journalists can then write about your story. Whatever your audience does – the recognition will always come back to you, and it will then be for you to deliver your brand message.
Creating something of value for your audience, like a tool which they can use is something that can live on for an extended time, giving longevity and communication efficiency to your project. Perhaps, more importantly, it also builds robust and surprising relationships with the people who matter to your organisation.
Next time you're trying to figure out how to talk to your target audience, ask yourself the most important question of all: "Is there a problem I can help solve?" By doing so, you will find the key to opening that door into people's hearts. With the 100 Million Challenge our goal is to do just that, solve a real-life problem. Stay tuned as there is more to come.