Your internal audiences should be involved in the success of your campaign in three ways. The internal audiences are also a vital test of the integrity and credibility of your external marketing campaigns. If they don’t buy into what you’re planning to say, then they won’t amplify it effectively and they will struggle to deliver an experience that aligns with it. And if you can’t engage your colleagues with what you’re doing as a business, then what chance do you really have when talking to people who don’t work with you?
How to market more effectively to internal audiences
These are the reasons why internal audiences should be a key part of your external-facing campaign planning from the start. But what should that campaign planning look like? When you start to take employee audiences seriously, you find that you’ve got fantastic scope creatively when it comes to how you engage them.
- Think like a marketer
Marketing to an external audience starts with interrogating what you know about that audience, tailoring your approach to their needs and quite possibly segmenting the audience so that you can do this more effectively. You’ll spend a lot of time thinking about the best opportunities for capturing their attention, when they are more likely to focus on what you have to say. And you’ll carefully develop creative that’s impactful, to make the most of these opportunities.
When we talk to internal audiences as marketers, far too much of this seems to go out of the window. We assume that a one-size-fits-all approach is fine, fire out a quickly worded email about what we’re doing and assume that everyone will read it out of a sense of duty.
The first rule of better internal marketing is to aim to apply the same standards that you would to external marketing. Start with a strategy. Think about your different audiences and the moments in their working day when they are readiest to engage, then tailor your approach to fit. This doesn’t have to involve spending a large marketing budget but it should involve thinking like a marketer.
- Be visual
Don’t believe the old saying: a well-chosen image is worth a lot more than a mere thousand words. Striking visuals are one of the most important assets of any marketing campaign, and that applies to internal audiences every bit as much as external ones. Over the year, we’ve been working on building more emotional connection into the visuals we use for our internal campaigns. They proved particularly impactful and inspired us to find different ways to get those images in front of people.
- Find the right media opportunity
As an internal marketer, you have to get used to looking at your surroundings as a media opportunity. Some parts of your creative canvas are obvious: digital signage and screens, pull-up posters and notice boards. However, one of the exciting things about the past few months has been exploring the other types of opportunities that are available. Often these can have more impact, because they reach your colleagues at different moments.