While your marketing department is busy sending a fine tuned message to the public, the sales or customer service teams may be undermining the expectations of your customers. This is simply because they haven’t understood what you have promised.
Good internal communications or internal marketing is a really effective way to help employees make an emotional connection to the products and services they sell. When staff care about the brand, they’re motivated to work harder, work better together and become the best advocates of your business. Bad internal comms or worse, no internal comms can leave staff disengaged or even hostile towards a brand they don’t believe in.
Most of the time the task of informing, inspiring and motivating staff through internal comms is left to the HR department, and often a bit of marketing expertise would go a long way to helping make this messaging more successful.
With that in mind here are our top tips from the marketing department for improving your internal comms
Plan your Campaign
You’ll need to think about what you need to achieve for your team and your company. You can start by taking a good look at what (if anything) you are doing now and assessing its effectiveness. You should think about a timescale for your campaign and consider all the touch-points you can use to send your message to your employees. Understanding the how, when and why of the message you’re sending to your customers will also play a role, it’s important for your internal message to match any external advertising campaigns.
Quick Tip: Create a schedule that is focused on your goals but allows you to be flexible following analytics and feedback.
Define your Message
Is your campaign about keeping staff informed, helping them to access training or giving them useful insights and information that facilitates productivity or compliance? Defining your message from the beginning will help you to reach those goals you’ve identified in the planning stage. By using the FLAG model you can ensure your message will be effective:
FILTER – Ensure your message is received by making it stand out from all the other communications, send it via the correct medium whether that be a poster in the break room or an email sent at the right time to the right people.
LANGUAGE – Make sure communications have a clear and simple message. Make your communications continuous and engaging and in line with your brand.
ACCESSIBLE – You’ll be building calls-to-action into your messaging, consider how easy is it for your staff to access the training or content you want them to engage with?
GOAL – Make sure your message is working to achieve your business performance goals, measure, analyse and adjust the campaign to deliver a message that delivers results.
Quick Tip: Don’t be afraid to change your message, track progress, analyse results and be flexible.
To be effective you should make your internal marketing materials as creative and eye-catching at those you deliver to your customers. Your task is that of persuasion as well as information dissemination, so make sure your message is really making an impact with great visuals and brand identity.
Quick Tip: Back up your message with exciting visuals that align with your brand.
Use the Right Tools
Business social networking may be an effective way to communicate with your team. Companies like Slack, Yammer and even Facebook, who recently entered the business networking arena with ‘Workplace’ are all good places to start. This is especially good for teams who are spread out across the country or even the world.
Email is great for communicating with staff and customers alike but make sure you use a tool that lets you include branded visuals, fun images and motivates action through clear call-to-action links.
Various automation tools can be employed to send internal mail and enable you to track engagement with clear metrics you can use to improve your future messaging. This kind of software also allows you to segment your employees by their campaign interactions, activity on your website, intranet, or LMS, interests/social data, department and much more. Use these segments to send targeted campaigns, and trigger follow up messages based on actions, interests, or behaviours.
Quick Tip: Try to avoid email overload by reaching out to your employees on multiple channels, think about using digital signage, posters or text messages.
Make it Easy to get Feedback
Your staff are a great resource for your brand’s story, they may have some inspirational messages and be able to add a human feel to your brand, or they may have a good story that will help with training needs. Listening to their ideas and taking them on-board is another great way to motivate!
Quick Tip: Provide an easy way for staff to give feedback, it could be a company forum, social networking software or a whiteboard in the office.
About the author – Isobel Nancarrow
sobel is Managing Director at Nancarrow Partnerships who provide advice and in-the-field marketing services to support sustainable business growth. Drawing out company strengths and highlighting these to clients, partners and stakeholders.
Working with companies to establish appropriate ways of engaging your audience through the use of both on and off line media. Developing marketing plans, communications and resources. Working with businesses to strengthen your position in the marketplace.
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