How can brands use content marketing tactics to solve internal communication challenges? Giuseppe Caltabiano, Head of Content Marketing Advisory Services @NewsCred, shares his insight. A full version of this article can be found on the NewsCred blog.
When we talk about content marketing, we share tips and advice on strategy, audience building, distribution, and ROI. We discuss the content we create and who we are targeting, but we rarely do so in the context of internal communications.
Whether we work for a large enterprise or a small start-up, internal communication is a critical function. Especially for companies running global content marketing programs, it’s critical to establish internal communication channels between teams. This will ensure that everyone knows the latest information about content processes, frameworks, methodologies, and best practices.
One solution: Use content marketing tactics internally. Email newsletters, content hubs, and apps are all great ways to solve internal communications challenges and keep employees and partners aligned.
Using email newsletters for B2B internal communications
When I was VP of Content Marketing at Schneider Electric – a large energy company with more than 150,000 employees and an internal population of thousands of marketers – my team had to prioritize internal communications.
In fact, our first challenge was to inform and educate regional marketing teams about the global content marketing program we had just launched. We had to explain why we moved from a traditional, campaign-based methodology to an always-on content marketing model. We also had to share new processes, frameworks, tools, and goals.
The content team created, in cooperation with internal communications and HR, an internal bi-weekly content marketing newsletter called “The Content Strategist.” Why send a newsletter to employees? Why not just use existing internal sites or collaboration tools? Here are some of the reasons:
- Internal newsletters reduce email overload. Instead of sending multiple, one-off notices, an email newsletter is a more efficient way of distributing information.
- Internal newsletters are trusted sources. Especially when coming from an established leader, internal newsletters are seen as impactful and relevant.
- Newsletters break down silos. Email newsletters can encourage conversations among employees belonging to different countries, divisions, or departments.
- Internal newsletters help build champions. A continuous flow of information to the right employees will facilitate change and accelerate adoption of new programs.
- Newsletters supplement other forms of communications: Although we had our own section on the company intranet and regular video conference calls with main stakeholders, the newsletter was the most successful and impactful tool.
Since our objective was to increase awareness of our global content marketing program, we structured the bi-weekly newsletter so it covered the following sections and topics:
- Main editorial update
- Link to the editorial calendar
- Content roadmap: what marketers should expect in the following weeks
- Links to curated content produced in the previous two weeks: big rock content, social media posts, blog posts, whitepapers
- Voices from the countries: interesting stories and best practices from the countries participating in the content marketing program
- If available, news on marketing initiatives and overarching corporate campaigns
- Executive summary of content performance and KPIs
- Who to contact to get information about content marketing initiatives
The first three sections were recurring – and all newsletters should have some. In fact, when readers are familiar with regular newsletter features, they tend to remember them better. Because we had new subscribers every week, we had to continuously communicate the existence of the editorial calendar and content roadmap. At the same time, we had to keep the newsletter feeling fresh.