Think about the reasons why marketers have embraced content as the best way of reaching customers, and why it’s proven such an effective communications tool.
It builds connections, by giving people what they want, in the format they want, when and where they want it. It allows you to champion your brand and your values, inviting your audience to buy in. It delivers relevant and actionable information that fosters trust and loyalty, adds value by delighting and surprising, and ultimately makes people feel appreciated.
Now: doesn’t that sound like all the things your internal comms should achieve?
THE DARK PAGES
From blogs and vlogs to social posts and syndicated campaigns, through podcasts, magazines, and plenty more besides, content marketers aren’t short of ideas on how to get a message across. By now, a majority of businesses recognise the value of a killer content strategy, and have seen the results it delivers.
But while external communication has been revolutionised, internal comms often look pretty similar to how they’ve always done; the send-all email, the hastily arranged town hall, and the printouts pinned to the bulletin board are as ubiquitous as they’ve ever been.
An increasingly competitive labour market, staff turnover reaching all-time highs, and the post-COVID reality of from-home and blended working solutions have all contributed in making communication with employees more important than it has ever been before – yet internal comms all too often remain stuck in the dark ages.
It’s time for a change, and a new way of looking at internal comms – and it turns out that the solution has been hiding in plain sight all along.
OLD VLOGS, NEW TRICKS
We’ve all learned enough about the efficacy and efficiency of content when it comes to marketing towards consumers to know that it’s a potent weapon in scoring the results that every business craves – and it turns out that the very same central tenets apply when it comes to internal comms.
In fact, some of the most challenging aspects of nailing down a strategy are already taken care of; you have a defined audience, that you (hopefully) know pretty well, and have a variety of direct distribution channels at your disposal. That’s a heck of a start.
Now, it’s time to consider the questions that form the core of any content strategy. What do you want to say, and what are your staff interested in hearing? Which formats do they enjoy, and which will lend themselves to landing your message? How often should you be in touch? What can you do to allow for the communication to be two-way? And how will you be able to tell if what you’re doing is working?
We know those are the questions to ask because we know that the desired results are much the same as with any marketing campaign; that you will attract and engage your audience, forming a connection that will bring about beneficial action both now and into the future.
And you might be surprised to know that successfully deploying content in your internal comms can have an even more seismic impact than you might consider.
You’ve almost certainly heard the mantra that your staff are your most valuable asset – and it’s even more true than you might realise. When it comes to communicating your values, and acting as ambassadors in their professional and personal lives, your employees can have the type of effect that blows the most extensive marketing campaign out of the water.
At a time when brands bend over backwards to project their purpose to customers, it’s a massive opportunity missed if the same zeal isn’t applied in getting staff on board too. Your employees have the potential to be an army of advocates for your brand and everything it stands for; the value of that can scarcely be overstated.
After all, a product or service being championed by influencers is what many brands dream of these days (and fork out significant sums to make happen, too). It’s time to connect with the influencers already on your teams, and take your internal comms to the next level – and content is the way to do it.
THREE KEY TIPS TO GET STARTED
- Go hard
Standing out from the endless stream of content in the modern landscape is tough – so if you want your staff’s attention and engagement, you’re going to have to earn it. Strong writing, compelling design and – of course – exciting ideas will be required in plentiful supply, because sub-standard content simply won’t cut through the noise.
- Of the people, by the people, for the people
Employees want a sense of empowerment and ownership; inviting them to play a part is an easy way of achieving that. Whether inviting contributions from your workforce, selecting guest writers to share insights from their area of the business, or encouraging collaboration on design, there are lots of ways in which you can make your comms a collective effort – and reap rewards in the process.
- Some work, some play
As much as some managers might wish it were otherwise, nobody is in ‘work mode’ morning, noon and night. Entertainment recommendations, recipe ideas, family-friendly activities and interesting interviews with people outside of the corporate field are examples of how you can extend your connection with your staff beyond the realms of business-as-usual.
From Staff Surveys to Crisis Communications, to Recruitment Drives, Annual Reports & Innovation Awards – we’ve done it all and won 30+ content awards. Need help getting your internal comms to the next level? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via our Contact us page.