AB Thinks  →  5th August 2022

Three things IC professionals can learn from the world of content marketing

There are almost as many routes into internal comms as there are IC practitioners. Overall, it’s a good thing – unique backgrounds and experiences bring a range of insight and understanding.

For example, I joined AB from a B2B content marketing agency. My previous roles involved aspects of IC, but I was struck by how some fundamental content marketing approaches are also core to connecting with internal stakeholders. Here are three simple but vital messages we all need to keep front of mind:

Don’t take attention for granted
External audiences are under no obligation to engage with the content that organisations share. Each image, line of text and video has to do its job in making the reader or viewer want to learn more.

Emails without compelling subject lines will go unopened. Overdo the branding and intros at a start of a video and your target viewer will have clicked elsewhere. Every asset counts.

Within IC we need to work just as hard to gain engagement. Treat colleagues and other internal stakeholders as a ‘captive audience’ in any way and you risk creating content and comms that will go unread or unwatched.

If you’re fighting for inbox airtime, take a look at our advice on how to cut through with creativity, clarity and compassion.

Consider the journey
In the world of content marketing, winning your audience’s attention is hard and often expensive. It’s therefore vital to make the most out of every interaction.

Marketers need to be clear about the customer journey and ensure the reader always has somewhere to go next. Each step along that journey deepens their understanding and brings them closer to the actions and behaviours which will define their success.

The same is true in IC. Once you have the attention of your internal audience, always signpost the way forward and offer options to suit different people with different needs or preferences. Be clear about calls to action ­– and never have a communication path that leads to a dead end.

Start and finish with the audience
In IC, just as in content marketing, it’s all about the audience. Always. The more you can understand their needs, the more effectively you will communicate with them.

Create comms and share content that helps them. Do that and you will have their attention and their trust – and your message will land.

For example, I understand that AB’s audience of IC professionals is made up of intelligent, busy people with a host of competing demands. That’s why this article is short, practical and to the point.

If you want to dig deeper into keeping employees engaged tune into Episode 57 of The IC Podcast to find out how IKEA shapes its comms to reach all its target audiences.