By: Charles Lee, SVP of Studios & Customer Experience
As the owner and operator of my own creative agencies for over 20 years, I’ve learned what it takes to create engaging content. Storytelling, design, and technology can help you better connect with your audience, but I’ve also seen firsthand that a single ad just isn’t going to cut it. No matter how great it is, one piece of content is simply not enough to motivate people to act and change. As controversial as it may sound coming from someone with my background, content is no longer king.
Instead, think of content as part of a bigger, more strategic picture. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing and advertising center on campaigns to amplify consumer awareness and position the seller’s brand. A successfully executed campaign can directly influence customer purchase decisions.
Shifts in Employee Communications
The same logic applies when communicating with employees. While the employer-to-employee communications space is less mature and less glamourous than business-to-consumer marketing, the stakes are every bit as high. Instead of promoting a new TV show, you’re showing employees how to recognize unconscious bias and promote inclusion. Instead of selling a video game, you’re connecting employees to your company’s strategic programs and initiatives. Addressing these sorts of issues captured my interest, and it’s part of the reason why I joined GuideSpark in 2017.
Attracting, retaining, and engaging employees has never been more important. Companies are realizing that increasing engaged employees can have a monumental impact on their business success. Effective communication plays a crucial role and directly influences employees’ actions and how receptive they are to organizational change – whether it’s Open Enrollment, the launch of a new performance management program, or a high-profile merger or acquisition.
In the not-too-distant past, PowerPoint decks were the employee communications workhorses used to onboard new employees, explain policy changes, and so much more. Relying on PowerPoint and analog media no longer has to be the case. Videos are a newer tool being used for employee communications, but they also have limitations. Videos may never reach the intended recipient, and they may not get played. However, by pairing short videos with communication campaigns, and personalized messaging, you can create an experience that is familiar, engages employees, and drives action.
I’m energized by employee communications’ high potential, while recognizing that it’s still catching up with B2C’s mindset. That’s why I wanted to apply my agency learnings to this space. In my white paper, I discuss how an employee communication strategy can enhance the success of your employee communications and your associated initiative or program. It should include these five parts:
- Defining communication goals: A communication strategy’s value lies with its defined goals and metrics, allowing the company to measure and iterate its communication program over time.
- Identifying and segmenting the audience: Content’s power is amplified when it feels personalized for the recipient, whether it’s including the recipient’s name in the messaging or factoring in their geography, role, gender, and so on.
- Creating the campaign content: The right mix of bite-sized content will rely on audience segmentation and be part of a multi-touchpoint, immersive campaign.
- Determining the delivery channel strategy: Crafting enticing reach messaging for emails, SMS, chat integration, and other channels can help bridge the gap between awareness and engagement.
- Measuring results, analyzing, and iterating: If marketing sensibility is the key to empowering internal communicators to be agents for change, then analytics can become the difference maker in the ever-important arsenal for employee communications.
When it comes to effectively reaching your employees, you hold a key advantage that B2C marketing professionals can only dream of: You know the audience well, and you own their experience. Instead of battling noise and disruption to capture your employees’ attention, you can focus more on creating better engagement based on the quality of the communication experience and your delivery. While I believe that well-designed content is not enough to engage employees, I do think content that’s designed as part of a powerful communication experience does resonate and lead to action, results, and successful business outcomes.