Author: Bianca Szucs

How to Keep the Whole Business on the Same Page

The intention to have a flawless external communication strategy in order to attract and retain new audiences may take your whole attention, thus neglecting your approach to internal communication. But, to have consistency and harmony between your messages sent towards your followers, you have to make sure that all of your employees are on the same page.

Your internal communication strategy can have a great impact on employee engagement and morale, which finally leads to motivation, productivity, loyalty, and retention. When the people you are working with are informed and when they are able to ask questions if they need help, they feel supported and the whole company experiences good outcomes.

Email – as comfortable as an old shoe

Notwithstanding, the increased regulation around Data Protection and the implementation of the GDPR in May 2018, email remains the preferred business communication tool. Finding itself in a real battle with the social media networks and other internal communication apps, email is still the go-to tool when employees are sending more formal messages to their colleagues.

An analysis of 5 million emails shows that the average user receives 147 emails every day and deletes 48% of them. However, worldwide, the number of email users was nearly 2.6 billion in 2015 and by the end of 2019, there is expected a rise in the number of email users to over 2.9 billion. Why is that?

When communicating with clients or even internally, the email remains a quite formal communication tool, easily accessible, which reaches huge audiences at the click of a button. Moreover, the information sent by email is stored and documented, so when you need to go back to a message or file you can find it quickly in your inbox.

As the working remotely trend keeps growing, using email is the best option, as you have a permanent record of all communications sent out and you can even check if your receivers have read your message.

When it comes to email, there are several options for external providers. For example, Mailchimp serves millions of customers around the world, is 100% founder-owned, and is highly profitable. FastMail is another alternative for the classic email, helping you easily manage your emails and contacts with folders and labels. Its simple interface is more attractive and its option that allows you to pin important emails to the top makes it more efficient and organized.

Intranet – a trouble shared is a trouble halved

The intranet has the ability to reach your entire workforce, using it to share company information, centralize access to resources and training materials, publish news, blogs, forms, and messages, and it also provides a solid framework for all your communication needs.

Unlike email, intranet is not necessarily an instant communication tool. Anything that goes on the intranet is there to stay – to refer back to, to train new employees, or just to read it again when needed. Basically, it’s a platform that organizes and contains all the information required in order for the organization to carry out its daily activities.

The intranet is an effective channel, used by 93% of organizations as their main communication channel. The reason behind its popularity is that this network allows the users to reach out for help, ask questions or answer to others’ questions, as well as to access any kind of documents or information available on it. Thus, the employees are saving precious time by having all they need centralized and by having the possibility of reaching out for help every time they need it through this platform.

Despite all the advantages encountered by this communication tool, less than half of all employees that are using intranet log in daily. In contrast, we pick up our smartphones more than 85 times per day. Can you see the connection? A mobile intranet has emerged as an internal communication channel for organizations so there are high chances for the statistics to change soon.

When it comes to the intranet, you can either host it internally or through a hosting provider. An externally hosted intranet is easier, less complicated, and less expensive to build – especially for a smaller company without a dedicated IT staff.

Whether you choose to build your own intranet or to use an external one, intranets can improve morale and communication, increase efficiency, build a greater sense of corporate culture and community, and provide effective means for distribution of company information.

Business apps are the newest to the game

Together with the rise of remote jobs and with the development of the relationships between the employees, internal communication becomes more complex, implying the use of more channels.

Hence, when the employees are willing to communicate beyond email and phone calls, the new trend is using mobile apps. Enterprise communication apps that are dedicated to employee communication are on the rise.

Communicating via apps, social interaction is encouraged. The users are able to provide feedback via comments and they can express their appreciation through likes and by sharing content. Also, when communication is so easy and similar to the way friends are interacting with each other, the relationships between work colleagues are changing – becoming more relaxed and using a friendly tone of voice.

What’s more? Using mobile apps is a crucial step towards the digital transformation happening in most contemporary workplaces. Also, these new communication elements serve to establish a dialog between management and the operational level.

Yet, there is a real challenge for the employees when it comes to the usage of their personal devices. Today, keeping the work and the personal life in balance is a real struggle. Now, can you see the problem? Constantly receiving notification from your work colleagues on your smartphone is not exactly the right way to spend your free time.

Despite all the issues encountered when it comes to the internal communication tool based on apps seems to be very useful, not so time-consuming and organized – from random conversations to private messages with your boss.   

Right after Skype for Business and Google Hangouts, Slack is the third most used business app, suited for teams of all sizes. This app organizes messages by using channels, direct channels, and direct messages. Available for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, Slack is a great option since you can easily share files and images with anyone you want.

Miscellaneous – put your heads together

Even though the direct internal communication tools tend to be in the spotlight, some indirect communication strategies can drive unexpected results within your business. One great example of this alternative communication options is the “open door policy”.

Having the doors open in your office empowers your employees to have opinions and to share them. Hence, you encourage two-way feedback and it helps employees realize that their thoughts matter.

Your organizational culture is a mix of the internal communication strategy and the way your employees act when working. The organizational culture is one of the greatest assets you have because it defines your business. So, in order to make sure your audience gets the right impression of your organization, you have to define the core behaviors that both represent and drive your culture.

A whiteboard is a magical tool for effective internal communication outcomes. Using it correctly, it can encourage collaboration, face-to-face communication, and transparency within your organization. If you want to make of a whiteboard a fun activity and to encourage all your employees to use it, you can add index cards, pins, colorful pencils, and drywall.

Thoughtful leaders might be rare, but they are very appreciated. A thoughtful leader means being aware of the impact of your behavior, actions, and leadership strategy on your employees. Understanding how your team is feeling and adapting the communication strategy in order to improve the morale and the motivation level is essential for great results – both internally and externally.

The digitalization of the organizations contributed not only to so many new communication tools but also to completely reshape the way we work. Colleagues are also friends, there are chats for work purposes and groups for fun, and different communication tools meet different needs.

There is no doubt that the internal communication strategy of an organization is the core for all its results – good or bad. The employees have to be on the same page in order to deliver high-quality and coherent outcomes which will eventually lead to the overall success of the company.   

The PR Kit You Need for a Successful Start in 2019

 

Marketing in 2019 will not be an easy feat. The continuous development of all the online tools available has fed the curiosity of the followers, making them increasingly interested in the human side of the brands. However, sharing more internal insights of a company is as attractive and interesting as dangerous, the information being exposed to large audiences.

Whether your goal is to increase sales revenue, generate more leads, increase website traffic, or acquire new talent, the communication channels you use are the key elements in achieving the results you are looking for. This article reveals the most used communication tools in marketing at the moment.  

Website

Even with the rise of all the social media networks available, your website remains the main presentation channel for your brand. When scrolling through the content present on your website, the reader should be able to find out all the basic information about who you are, what are your activities, or any news that might interest your audience. Thus, when meeting a new client, the discussion can start from a completely different level, jumping right into specific issues.

On your website, you can communicate to your potential customers all about your mission, vision, the organizational culture, as well as about your approach to leadership. From increasing brand awareness, building brand equity, and testing the interest of your audience in buying new products or services, to sharing important announcements, post new job offerings, and even helping to launch a new brand, your website serves a wide array of purposes.

When your future customers are having a problem that your company could solve, their first intention is to search for your website. Approximately 60% of all consumers use Google search to find businesses, therefore your top priority should be to optimize and nurture your website ranking with fresh and high-quality content. Still, it is not easy to keep up with your audience’s demands.

The best ways to make your website show up in search engines and drive traffic in organic search is to start a blog, use videos, write ebooks or create new website pages – and post regularly to boost your website’s relevancy. Every new post adds one more index page on your website and increases the chances for your content to be shared on social media networks – which exposes your business to wider audiences and attract new followers.

When planning your website’s content, keep in mind that very few people are looking for advertisements. Thus, you should focus on highlighting how your brand is unique and how you can solve your visitors’ problems, rather than putting the spotlights on your products.  

The power of your website lays in its ability to provide answers to most of your future client’s questions – 24/7. Hence, you have to make sure you cover your visitors’ basic curiosity, as well as keeping the information updated and relevant, so your audience can rely on it.  

Content Marketing

The real development of content marketing started back in 2013. Yet, its format changed over the years and in 2017 the blog posts and infographics were the most used formats of content. The concept of branding evolved to a completely different level. The times when the customers were looking for a product to satisfy their needs, bought it, and left is a thing of the past.

Today, customers are expecting a closer relationship with the brands they love; they are interested in storytelling and insights that are not involving any costs. In return, they are giving their loyalty to the brand as well as “free” advertising through recommendation. The power of content marketing is giving away valuable information before asking your audience to buy anything. Thereby, your customers feel more understood and acknowledged. In addition, content marketing works because your community feels supported when they find solutions to their problems.

It might seem hard to believe that giving out valuable information to your readers for free is the best deal for your business. But do you know what are the leaders in the world of content marketing experiencing? They are enjoying up to 7.8 times more site traffic! Moreover, content marketing can cost up to 62% less than other forms of advertising – which makes it the most cost-effective communication channel available.

Having all these facts in mind, content marketing is worth a try with respect to its surprising results and the insignificant costs implied.

Social Media

Being original and unique on social media can be a real challenge. With so many possibilities, so much content out there and so many opinions that can be expressed by anyone who has Internet connection, bringing value to your online community is not that easy.

Social media is among the communication channels that allow you to differentiate your brand from the others, helping you to provide dialogue – both public and private. Also, in contrast to all the other communication channels available, social media allows you to make human connections, share more creative and funny content, and keep up with the latest trends.

Despite the fact that social media has only been around for little longer than a decade, it is already an essential communication channel for individuals, but also for businesses. A good social media strategy can add a lot of value to a company and, if used correctly, it can personalize its relationship with the community.

Social media is the perfect tool for branding, as, through a strong media presence, it strengthens your audience’s perception of the brand by sharing the core values of your organization. Social media can help you start conversations, grow business partnerships and expand your online community to win new followers and potential customers.

The reason why every business should have a strong social media presence is that nearly half of the world’s population is using social media platforms, and that is a great chance for brands to reach new and highly targeted potential customers. People are not following only brands they already know. In fact, 60% of people on Instagram claim that they discover new products on the platform and customers are more likely to consume products or services from businesses they feel connected to. Social media increases brand recognition for existing customers and makes your brand more accessible for new customers, employees, partners, or even the press.  

Creating a strong social media community is not only about attracting prospective buyers but also about people who have the power to spread your message beyond your reach to their own networks. In a world in which 92% of consumers claim that their trust in a brand is earned thanks to recommendations from friends and family above any forms of advertising, these social media advocates are indispensable. The word-of-mouth is one of the most valuable features that a brand could benefit of. When one is posting online a compliment that is associated with your brand’s name, new audience members will follow you for updates.

Consequently, the more people are talking about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your brand will seem to new users. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are among the highest-traffic social media channels and can be targeted by interest groups, departments, or topics.

Does it still seem easy to manage social media networks? Then you should know that its nature makes it very difficult to control. Certainly, social media remains one of the most challenging channels for communicators to monitor and influence.

Newsletter

Given the fact that you have only a few seconds to capture your future customer’s attention on your website before he is gone forever, your marketing strategy is crucial for your overall success. But how can you make sure you will obtain the desired results?

Well, besides a blog – which requires a more active approach of your visitors, having a newsletter is essential.

This marketing tool increases awareness by highlighting to the reader what you are offering, as well as giving him an idea of how would it be to deal with you. In addition, a newsletter is a great way to create the best first impression of your products or services and to share the latest news related to your activities.

In order to complete your efforts of brand exposure, you should work on a weekly or monthly newsletter that will put your business’s name in front of your audience repeatedly. When it comes to the community, a newsletter has no limits. Through this channel, you can bring value to a large variety of people because it contains high-quality content of your company and not just related to a specific product.

Unlike advertising, newsletters are always based on reality and it is quite informational. Its content is always factual and impartial because otherwise, it can lose your customers’ trust. When writing your newsletter, you shouldn’t focus on promoting your products and services all the time; in fact, you should avoid self-promotion and provide educational, relevant, and timely information.

With all these tools in your arsenal, you can confidently go to the marketing battleground and make yourself visible and easily recognizable to the world. Used correctly, all these communication channels will retain your current clients and attract new ones and achieving your business’s goals is just a matter of time now.