Marketing needs and strategies have evolved over time and with the advent of technology. There will always be marketing strategies that work, strategies that change and strategies that are constantly effective thanks to the ever-changing landscape of consumer behaviour. Content marketing is certainly one of the gems of marketing strategies that delivers and converts.
In the study of Demand Metric, content marketing is used more often since it costs 62% less than traditional marketing strategies and it has the ability to generate thrice as many leads compared to the former. This year alone, 57% of marketers are using content marketing as their top marketing priority.
Content marketing is purported to be the key to the floodgate of all other marketing channels. If well published, content should be able to:
- Inform the target audience about the company’s product
- Present content that is relevant to what the target audience needs
- Help readers and prospective customers solve challenges
- Build credibility and establish expertise in the eyes of consumers
- Demonstrate understanding of consumer problems
- Engage and entertain the target audience while informing them; to keep them coming back
- Have readers become acquainted with and connect with the company
Content marketing may be inspired by the three most common resources and content is likely to be developed from these as well:
- Blog posts, white papers and videos (made and published by marketing teams)
- Audio, written and visual information (experts in specific fields, with third party experts for info validation)
- Information from experts within the company
The above content forms are successfully used to reach out to consumers. However, the current trend now veers towards the use of content marketing within the walls of a business, targeting employees as tools to generate communication internally. Internal content marketing is now consuming organizations and business ventures like wildfire.
What is Internal Content Marketing?
Content is the key in deciphering a company’s products and services. But, how about providing this key to employees?
The ideas of content marketing may also apply to the internal organization of companies; internal content marketing mirrors the goals of external marketing in that it first addresses the way a company works on the inside. This marketing strategy helps to keep employees up-to-date on their knowledge of company and enterprise policies. It also can become a channel to keep employees aware of company events and current happenings that relate to an organization’s business field.
Although marketing teams often only use an average of 13 content marketing strategies, each organization may employ various strategies which are different from those of their competitors. Marketing strategies can also vary within business fields; one form of marketing may suit the needs of a specific field more than another. A few examples of external and internal marketing tactics used by content creators include: social media, blog articles on websites, inforgraphics, eNewsletters, in-person events, case studies, articles on other websites, white papers, ebooks, webinars research reports and microsites.
Other strategies includes: branded content tools, mobile content, virtual conferences, print magazines, books, podcasts, mobile apps, syndicated content, annual reports, digital publications and games.
What if we could apply all the principles of content marketing to internally benefit an organization? What if this internal communication was laced with content that targets employee individuality too? Will these external content principles improve the efficiency of organizations and the effectiveness of their work?
Content, Engagement and Productivity
As an HR initiative, the content marketing strategy will focus on a core goal of improving the people within organizations. Therefore, as a good and informative internal content starts to influence employees, major benefits will include:
- Awareness of Enterprise Policies
- A sense of belonging amongst organization members
- Clear communication pathways in between departments
- Provision of valuable information to improve work
- Strengthen relationships
- Improve service
- Increase performance
- Engage Employees
With the introduction of internal content marketing, HR departments may now introduce and strengthen business policy awareness so that employees will be more aware of it, digest it, make use of it and become more engaged within their organization. As Ninan Chacko said, “Engagement is the best metric to measure content marketing.”
Engagement of employees, according to the Towers Watson study, helped companies increase operating income by 19% and earnings per share grew by 28%.
According to a Gallup study, engaged employees are most valuable since they are likely to become more productive, more profitable, they are customer focused and are more likely to stay within the organization. In the same study, 25% of employees who are well informed about what the organization expects of them are more likely to improve their overall performance. 14% said that more resources and content will likely bring in improvement as well.
In addition to this, content that is filtered and matched to the personal and professional needs of employees will help daily work, provide insights to the issues of business, and help avoid information overflow which may be irrelevant to them.
When this content is successfully developed to match the language and keywords that employees find relevant and engaging, the answer to the question“Will these external content principles if applied internally improve the efficiency of organizations and the effectiveness of their work?” will surely be “yes”.
featured image: Joi via flickr