Most content marketers would agree that the hardest part of the job is getting people to read the writing they’ve produced. This challenge is almost exclusively thought of as an external problem - of trying to build an external audience of potential leads among other metrics we watch for. However, what if content marketing is relatively new to a business?
We were finding that our internal audience (read: Adjusters) weren’t aware of all the content that was being released on the mobile marketing blog and resources pages, and so a large group of potential ‘brand ambassadors’ weren’t being leveraged. This meant our content wasn’t being spread around as many networks as possible from the people most likely to share. This was what they call ‘low-hanging fruit’, and an area that we really wanted to improve in.
So, an idea came about: create an internal newsletter aimed at people with a vested interest in content, but who didn’t necessarily know where to go, and when, and who needed the key facts from each piece without reading an article in its entirety.
Drafting a beginning
I was skeptical of the idea. Why couldn’t people who wanted content simply go to find it themselves? Or why couldn’t we rely on a few select Slack channels to do the job?
The answer is that everyone at Adjust is frenetically busy, and a direct email with a little bit of personality can go a long way to creating something interesting enough to hook people to read while providing on the learnings of content, without the actual time spent digesting it. The email is also repurposed in some of our outward facing communications, so it can be useful for other purposes too. Not everyone checks Slack, but all on the list will see a preview notification from their inbox. Finally, one of the main goals was to boost our social shares, and so this reminder puts the possibility of that about one or two clicks away.
I created a first draft for approval. It looked exactly like this:
For some time, the Tiger stayed put, but the structure has remained for much longer. The basic format of the email starts with a small introduction, followed by a link to the article. After, there's a short summary, created to be as informative as possible within a handful of sentences.
As mentioned, the purpose of the email is to encourage social sharing in the company, so all readers are shown three links to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for ease of access, and with a reminder to do so.
As for output, we aim for one per week, usually sending them for our marquee pieces of content. If we’re really productive, we have no problem sending two, but we don’t want to spam the company with every new blog update we make. The point is to distribute the best, first.
The results so far
While we’re still in the very early editions of the ‘Content Update’ we’ve seen some small success. First, the company is much more aware of the content the team produces, which has also increased feedback and ideas from pretty much everyone.
The emails have been a big driver in social sharing, particularly on LinkedIn. Other channels such as direct email from sales teams have perhaps benefited too, though the evidence is anecdotal.
Tips for creating your own internal content update
If you’re thinking about increasing and improving the distribution of your content, I’d recommend email as one great way of doing it.
The first big tip? Use emojis. Or, more indirectly, experiment! Inward facing communications are a great area to try new things, and help see if they could work for a bigger audience. As you’ve seen in our example we use icons (found in Google Images) to make social sharing a little more pronounced. Over time as people get used to the format we might change this again, but it’s touches like these that make emails easier to digest.
When it comes to tone, within Adjust we knew that the most junior to the most senior would receive the same email, so we cut down on bull. In larger organizations, different emails could perhaps be sent to various levels or teams, with personality to match the audience. It’s the same kind of principle with advanced email campaigning, but on a much smaller scale. For now, we want to include as much concise information into three points, but personalize enough to keep the attention of the people we know.
Finally, if you want to an automated proofer for your emails, try Boomerang. The plugin will rate your email as you write it, and it helps me so keep the length short, and reminds me of potential missed opportunities in my emails.
We’ll be keeping our blog fresh with all kinds of marketing tips in the future, and as we’ve now discovered, email seems to be one of the best ways to do so. Sign-up to our mailing list today to get all of our updates straight to your inbox.