Create Guiding Principles for Your Business Communications

Reaching out to your audience—be it potential customers, existing customers, thought leadership, influencers, or a combination of them all—the approach you choose is critical. Most business have a series of guiding principles that help drive their communications. Creating a set of guiding principles for your business communications helps build a solid audience and a strong social media following. Here are some ideas that I put together to help your create yours.

Depth & Substance

Providing thoughtful and insightful content that your audience will find useful and engaging is important not just for you and your audience, but also for your search engine optimization. Google values quality content. Quality content is not noise. It is not just getting a post out on your blog because you know one is due. Quality content adds value for your audience and demonstrates your position as a thought leader in your industry or vertical.

Make sure that your communications have depth and substance to them. Make this a key aspect of your messaging. Clients and potential customers will notice the difference between your content and others right away because it treats them as if they are important. They will look forward to it, so you can produce less content in favor of more quality content while still maintaining your audience.

Authenticity

Most people are turned off by “corporate speak.” They know there is a going to be a certain amount of selling involved when they are engaging with your brand, though they expect it to be reasonable. They are trading their eyeballs for your content. Respect that. Be authentic when reaching out to your audience. Be genuine and remain true to your brand values and voice. Avoid trying to “pull one over” on your client or prospects.

Authenticity adds a person touch and is more likely to win people over. Maintain consistency with your business values and believe in what you are saying to your clients and prospects. They will be able to tell right away when the message is inconsistent with the image.

Integrity

Integrity and authenticity go hand in hand. A commitment to the truth is critical in your communications with clients and prospects. It is extremely easy to check the facts today. Anyone with a computer can do a search on Google for a fact or a phrase. That has tripped up many a business and it is extremely difficult to rebuild trust after such an incident, if ever. Always strive for accuracy, as well. Little errors and omissions add up and people will start to lack faith in your communications if you have too many. In fact, I would suggest that you should never have any. There is no excuse—it is too easy for your check your facts. Take the time to ensure your content is accurate, honest and fact-checked even if it means a little delay.

Create a Dialogue

Business communications have moved beyond just spewing out content. Clients and prospects expect a two way dialogue, so create one. If the information is worth communicating, then it is worth discussing. That means actively listening to what your audience has to say and responding to them. Are you producing content that is important to them? Are you responding to their questions and comments?

Creating a dialogue by listening to and responding to your audience will strengthen relationships with them. It is also an easy way to find out what they care about so you can respond to their needs. The very nature of a dialogue is that it implies a conversation and elaboration on each other’s points—take the time to build one.

Evaluate

Always evaluate where you stand. Create benchmarks to find out if you are achieve your goals. No one benefits if you are grouping around blindly trying to figure things out. Be committed to finding out if you are being successful in your communications. If you are, then your metrics will show it. If you are not, then do not be afraid to change course—your audience will appreciate it. You should always be seeking to improve your content and engagement. It shows your customers you are committed to improvement and are always striving to provide the best service possible.

These are just a few guiding principles that I have seen businesses use to ensure their communications with client and prospects are achieving the goals they set. Whatever principles you choose, just make sure you follow them. Besides having an overall narrative or story, guiding principles are the second most important aspect to being successful in your audience communications.