As a business owner or Internet marketer, you’re likely aware of just how important content marketing is. You need to gain an understanding of what your target market needs in terms of information and then address those needs through web content so as to establish authority in your niche and gain visibility for your brand. At this point however, we have to mention a caveat: A common pitfall marketers tend to forget is becoming so focused on providing high-quality content to their target market that they’ve unwittingly taken their internal audience for granted.
What exactly do we mean? Which internal audience are we talking about and why do you need to market to them as well? The internal audience we are referring to is your staff, of course. They, too, have specific needs in terms of information and addressing those needs properly can help maintain your staff’s enthusiasm in doing their work and enhance their productivity.
Content Marketing Principles
There are a few general principles in content marketing that apply to both your target market and your employees. These are:
- Your content should be relevant to the needs of your audience.
- Your content should help solve some of the biggest concerns of your audience.
- Your content should demonstrate that you understand your audience’s problems.
- Your content should help build your credibility and expertise in the eyes of your audience.
- Your content should be both entertaining and informative.
- Your content should allow the audience to engage with the company.
When you grab your employees’ attention, address their most pressing issues, help them solve their work-related problems, and show them that you can be trusted, they’re more likely to find their work meaningful and you are more likely to earn their loyalty.
Strategy for Internal Content Marketing
Okay, so it’s important to do content marketing for your internal audience as well. Now, how do you go about it? Here are a few tips:
1. Set Goals
Whether you’re marketing to an external or internal audience, it is important to start out by setting clear goals. How would you know which path to take if you don’t even know where you’re going? Be specific in mapping out what you want each department in your company to accomplish. Once you’ve identified the specific results you expect from them, it’ll be a lot easier to determine what type of content you’ll need to create for them.
2. Assess Your Resources
How many people do you have on your team who can work on creating content for your internal audience? Can you dedicate them to internal content marketing or do they need to work on other tasks as well? What are the strengths of each person on your team? These questions need to be answered before you start laying down your internal content marketing plans. The answers to these questions will determine what your team spends most of its time on and how they will accomplish the goals you’ve set.
You’d also do well to ask yourself how many newsletters you want to put out at what intervals, how many times each week you want to post to your internal blog, and how much you’re willing to spend on internal content marketing. The answers to these questions will also determine, to a certain extent, the specific strategies your internal content marketing team can use to achieve their goals.
3. Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience means digging deeper than the basics. You have to go beyond knowing each of your employees by name. You have to know what they want, what they expect of you as an employer, and how they view your brand as consumers. This knowledge will give you a good idea on what kind of content you should give them.
4. Create Your Stories
Once you understand your audience’s stories, you’re in a better position to determine which of your stories are relevant to theirs. If, as consumers, your employees appreciate your brand’s commitment to always listening to what your customers have to say, then perhaps you should apply the same commitment to your internal audience. Show your staff that you listen to what they have to say by making your internal content reflect viable suggestions coming from them.
5. Check the Archives
If you’ve been in business for quite some time, then it may be safe to say that some of the people with you today weren’t there, say, five years ago. There just might be a piece of content sitting in your archives that can resonate well with the new members of your team. Even those who’ve been with your company from the start could benefit from a little trip down memory lane. So start digging up those controversial articles, popular videos, and interesting case studies from the past to see if they have any relevance in the present setup.
6. Establish an Editorial Calendar
Content works best when there’s a semblance of order in it. This is what an editorial calendar is for. Map out which particular piece of content you’ll publish on which particular date. Leverage holidays and take your business calendar into consideration. It’s best to have your content mapped out for the next three months, at least. Indicate who’s responsible for a particular piece of content, what the theme and format is, and when drafts and final versions of the content should be submitted. Make sure each member of the team sees the calendar.
7. Establish a Reuse Plan
You shouldn’t have to keep digging through your archives. From this point onwards, you can make it easier to reuse content by categorizing each piece of content you publish and keeping a database that can serve as basis for your content reuse plan.
8. Give Content a Face
Put someone in charge of internal content marketing. This person is responsible for tracking the progress of your internal content marketing campaign and is also in charge of celebrating internal successes so as to keep the team’s spirits high. This person is your direct contact to the rest of your team.
9. Leverage Intranet
Many companies now have intranet, but many employees don’t really know how to take full advantage of this tool. Make sure your employees don’t have the same problem. Set aside some time to teach everyone how the intranet works and how they can use it to gather any information they need.
When you’ve put your internal content marketing strategy in place, you’ll soon see how much it has helped your employees be as productive as they can possibly be. When employees are productive, there can only be good news ahead for your company.