Better Communication Means Increased Engagement: The Role of Internal Content Marketing

Attracting and retaining great talent is the name of the game for companies who want marketplace success. Whether you market a product or a service, to businesses or consumers, engaged employees will help you decrease costs, satisfy customers, and innovate faster – all of which lead to greater profitability and market leadership.

More and more, Human Resource professionals are looking over the cubicle walls to their Marketing brethren to understand how to communicate with and motivate employees. We have talked about Employer Branding and Internal Branding in a previous blog (Regain Brand Control: 5 Keys of Employer Branding). Now, the latest marketing toolkit finding its way into Human Resources is content marketing.

According to Content Marketing Institute, “Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Content marketing is different from selling; it is “providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.”

So, what does that have to do with attracting and retaining employees?

Internal Content Marketing takes the same approach and tools and applies them to internal communications goals and strategies. Human Resources has long been the keeper of information needed by employees about their employment, but now Human Resources must move from being the keeper to being the disseminator. Whether you communicate via the internet, your intranet, or apps, here are some tips for content that will help employees feel like important and valued team members (also from Content Marketing Institute):

  • Provide useful documents and tools. And organize them in useful, intuitive categories, so employees don’t have to spend a lot of time searching for the information they need.
  • Treat employee content as you would customer content. The goal is to get employees to read this information, so make it professional, interesting, attractive and fun. The same design ideas your company uses in external marketing communications can be repurposed for internal communications.
  • Encourage response and interactive. Most employees use social media in their non-working hours, so they are used to activities like commenting, posting, liking and voting, as well as sharing other useful content. Making this functionality available in your internal content marketing will help employees engage with your internal content.
  • Fun works. Internal content marketing is created for serious, business purposes. But that does not mean you can’t have some fun. In fact, having a bit of fun might mean that more employees engage with your communications! Keep in mind, your employees, especially the younger ones, are playing video games, interacting with social media sites, and listening to podcasts in their free time. Why not for work?
  • Mobile is required. Employees are not always in the office, so creating communications that lend themselves to being accessed via mobile devices is a necessity. Making your internal content mobile-accessible means employees have the information they need – whether they are at an off-site meeting, a home office, or even traveling.

Applying the content marketing toolkit to internal and employee communications will help keep employees informed and will keep Human Resources relevant and important. Many research studies have shown that improving communications at all levels of the organization is key to increasing employee engagement. An internal content marketing strategy is part of that plan.

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