There are two elements that need to be considered before internal content marketing can work: first, the content development itself and second, the avenue or the technological facet used for its distribution. These two factors, once dissected, can lead to even wider specifications that need to be addressed.
The HR department’s strategy of content marketing focuses on how good content can be developed and how it can be distributed to target employees in order to positively influence behaviour.
In light of these two elements, what are the best practices that will encourage better return on investment (ROI)?
Content Development Best Practices
Curate an editorial board
An editorial board is the driving force of this venture. For this the HR department needs to round up thought leaders and representatives from each department. The gathered group can meet in a specific scheduled interval. Now, what does this board do?
The editorial board is the group responsible for the keywords, key themes and initiatives needed for the content curation. The group is also responsible for the scheduling and distribution of content. The board will include all ideas as to how each piece of content will address the needs of the employees and the goals of the company.
Recruit internal contributors, possibly from each department
Freelance writers can do the job of writing for your organization but internal content writers are far more valuable. Why? Employees who know the goals and objectives of the organization will be able to write more relevant and therefore more successful content. How do you choose these writers? First, the need to have a knack for writing and creating content and second, they should be driven and have a good overall understanding of your brand.
Schedule your Posts
Content doesn’t just happen. It needs to start from the basics and has to be built upon until it becomes a full-blown working force. Schedule posts. You can do this on a daily, weekly, tri-weekly or monthly basis, etc (frequent and sustained scheduling is advised).
The scheduling should also include all the planning, production and distribution; from the start to the published analytics. Scheduling may require applications and tools, many of which are available on the internet. Scheduling not only organizes everything, it helps contributors become aware and accountable and helps managers keep track of everything.
Jayson DeMers from Forbes created a good guideline for schedule planning, which you can read here: How to Double Your Content Marketing ROI in 2014.
Hire freelancers to fill in gaps
Freelancers can fill in the gaps of work from regular, internal contributors. Of course, budget may have to be considered before this venture is decided on. Also, the internet is teeming with wannabe freelance writers; choose them based on experience and ability.
Effective Internal Content Distribution
So you did everything right with the planning, now it’s time to distribute the content. But how would you distribute it, make readers read it and make it useful in their work?
Post a message to your intranet social network to gain attention for the new content. Provide a link to the new content and mention the author. Put some catchy lines for the description and throw in a thumbnail if the social network you use allows it.
Use a single repository for content. This can be within the intranet or elsewhere. Make searching for content easy and tag it accordingly.
Send emails for the most important posts. Use email sparingly because if you use it for daily updates, most people will either ignore it or it will get lost in a busy email inbox.
Make sure newly hired employees become acquainted with this strategy. Let them have the knowledge of the repository which will be useful for them later.
That’s it for distribution. Now, one of the most important tools to measure the content’s effectiveness is to use analytics.
Track Content Analytics
What would be the use of the internal content approach if the end result is not measured and understood?
For external content the question would be, would this really make a sale? Content analytics is one of the most overlooked aspects of a marketing strategy in the industry; only 27% of marketers admit to doing it.
Would you make the same mistake with internal content? Obviously this wouldn’t really focus on sales; rather it could focus on the engagement, the strengthened relationships among employees, the increase of performance and the improvement of service.
Analytics can be available in the intranet or it can be established from individual or third-party tools. Google analytics is a useful tool (read a good guide here)
Internal content marketing exposes employees to the right policies, making the brand well-understood across the entire organization. Consistency amongst departments is vital to successful brand marketing.
Most of the time, the content and the ripples it produces within an organization will help more than is imaginable. Content is King, it is far reaching and it can influence both employees and an external audience.
featrued image: Thomas Leuthard via flickr