Last updated on July 26, 2023 at 03:03 pm
In today’s competitive business landscape, companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of engaging their employees and aligning them with their mission. While external marketing efforts are essential for reaching customers, it’s equally crucial to have a robust internal marketing strategy that focuses on promoting the company’s goals, products, and services to employees. To help, we’ll share six powerful internal marketing strategies that you should be using.
What is Internal Marketing?
Internal marketing is exactly what it sounds like. If marketing is all about promoting a company’s products, services, goals, and values to potential and current customers, internal marketing is the promotion of these things to employees. This involves treating employees as internal customers and utilizing marketing principles and techniques to engage and align them with the company’s objectives.
Internal marketing strategies focus on aligning employees with the company’s goals and fostering a sense of pride and loyalty among the workforce.
By effectively marketing and promoting the organization’s services, brand, mission, and values internally, employees are more likely to understand and identify with the company’s vision, leading to increased motivation and productivity.
Internal marketing tactics may include:
- Internal communication
- Employee engagement programs
- Internal branding efforts
- Establishing employee advocacy programs
- Educating and training employees on the company’s products/services and mission
Why Internal Comms Teams Need an Internal Marketing Strategy
Marketing teams are highly strategic. They use a variety of channels, audience research, constant measurement, and a ton of testing to create their marketing strategies.
The same is true internally. You can’t assume that your employees know what you need them to about what you do, why, and how. You have to be intentional about internal marketing, just like you are about every other internal communication campaign you create.
If you don’t create this internal marketing plan, you’ll not be able to successfully educate your audience let alone inspire them or activate them to higher levels of performance.
So, let’s talk about a few different internal marketing strategies you can try.
6 Internal Marketing Strategies to Try
1. Brand Alignment
Step one for creating your internal marketing strategy is to talk to the external marketing team. They know your company’s brand and external talking points better than anyone else at the company. Tap into that knowledge and make sure you’re aligned as an internal comms team with the brand.
From there, you can create your internal branding strategy. This includes pulling key talking points, stories, and “why” statements from your marketing team and continuing them in your internal communications.
This creates a continuity for new hires from their experience with your brand during the hiring process. But it also creates a sense of authenticity. It shows employees that who you represent yourselves as externally is the same as who you really are.
To maintain this alignment, meet with the PR and marketing team regularly.
2. Create an Employee Advocacy Program
Having brand ambassadors and employees who go out there to advocate for who you are and what you do is so important. Often, when companies think about advocacy programs, they are thinking about external marketing and spreading positive word of mouth messages.
But this misses a huge opportunity! Your employees who feel strong enough to advocate for your brand externally are exactly the kind of people who can be internal spokespeople.
To find these advocates, look for employees who live the values, are passionate about the mission, and are connected within the organization. These employees are likely to have a wealth of stories and knowledge about their peers, the company’s history, and why your mission is important.
Tap into them to reinforce important messages, help be change leaders, and share culture-based stories about the company.
3. Employee Personas
Marketing teams are known for doing considerable research of their customers, often culminating in the creation of buyer personas. These are then used to develop content strategies and inform the sales team of how to help solve their buyer’s problems.
You can use the same concept internally to learn how you should share company updates and information with your employees. Although the basic information remains the same (your mission, products, and services don’t change), how you market yourself internally can adjust.
For instance, your manufacturing teams might want more of a deep dive into how your product is made and how their role contributes to the whole. Whereas your corporate team might care more about stories about that product in action and how it’s making a difference.
You might also learn that certain teams or departments love video updates, while other people like pictures, or some might prefer quick text-based updates to stay up to date without needing to take too much time.
Bottom line: use employee personas to figure out what your people care about and how they like to be communicated to.
4. Executive Communication Strategy
Just like you would have a social media and press coverage plan for your senior leadership team, you want to think about how the C-suite helps with internal marketing. Unfortunately, many companies worry more about their customers and shareholders than they do their employees. The key here is to create more balance and ensure your employees are a key audience when announcing good and bad news, strategic pivots, and evolutions to your mission.
Do this by:
- Coaching your executive team on how they can live the values to lead by example.
- Making sure the mission and vision for the company makes it into their all-hands meeting talking points.
- We also like making your senior leaders the spokespeople for your internal marketing efforts. Since they are leading the strategy, it can be very inspiring and powerful to have these internal messages come from them.
5. Include Internal Marketing in the Onboarding Process
One of the most important places to start with internal marketing is your new hires. When you’re new at a company, you’re still hungry to learn what the company is all about. If you don’t include the onboarding process in your internal marketing plan, you miss a big opportunity to share your values, cultural norms, and aspirations early on.
6. Repurpose Content
Don’t recreate the wheel. Your marketing team is working really hard to create content for the website, social media channels, press releases, and more. Figure out what you can borrow or repurpose and include it in your editorial calendar.
But let this content sharing go both ways. Often, internal comms will have amazing employee stories that the marketing team would absolutely love to use in a campaign.
So, set up a regular and recurring meeting to share your content calendars, ideas, and upcoming campaigns.
Learn From Your Marketing Team
Long story short: there’s a lot you can learn from how your marketing team shares information, builds relationships with customers, and converts people from strangers to fans of the brand.
We can take those best practices and use them in our employee communications and internal marketing strategies too.
If you’re looking for a suite of internal comms channels that will help you with your internal marketing efforts, we’ve got you covered. Request a demo today to see theEMPLOYEEapp in action.
About the Author
Sydney Lauro is the Demand Generation Manager for theEMPLOYEEapp. Prior to joining the team at theEMPLOYEEapp, Sydney worked in internal communications for Chipotle Mexican Grill. She uses her internal comms expertise and passion for improving communication and the employee experience to create content and share best practices to help other communications professionals.
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