Digital transformation is a focus for most organisations – ‘going digital’ has many facets, it isn’t just about the technology – it is also about culture and the content. The Digital Workplace is the inward looking part of transformation; the focus is on enabling employees to work in more agile and efficient ways. Although the key area of focus on the Digital Workplace is about the technology and adoption, you also need to consider a transition to digital content.

Digital content is not a new or innovative idea; video, podcasts and blogs have been used in Internal Communications in the ‘old world’ as well. Where the change is starting to come is that these channels are now becoming primary, not secondary channels as organisations become more responsive to social media internally.

There is often a blurring of the meaning between ‘digital’ and ‘social’ in the workplace, organisations want to harness the power of social to add value in business, but for social to really fly inside organisations, it is the content and culture, not the technology that will make it happen.

The key is finding ways to make your digital content ‘social’ – using mechanics such as hashtags for employees to be able interact with content and drive conversation around stories.

Some things to consider as part of your digital content strategy could be:

Videos and Podcasts

If you are not making your videos social, you are missing a huge trick. The power of You Tube should be setting the direction of travel for organisations on video – firstly it is important to create your own internal channel or version of ‘You Tube’ so that your video content starts to feel like it is all part of the same social channel.

It is also important to assign a hashtag to all of your video content so that you can create a conversation around it – making sure that hashtag is displayed throughout the video gives it that ‘social’ feel. At the end of the video, the call to action should be your social tool with the hashtag so that you are aligning your video channel / content with your social tool.

It is also important to make your video assets work for you as hard as they can; publishing videos through one channel such as an Intranet is a wasted opportunity. If you use TV screens across locations they can be really powerful – and will enable you to publish videos multi-channel.

Last but not least, create a feed on your social tool for your video channel. You can also publish your video content here, and build up ‘followers’ in your organisation.

The same rules apply when it comes to podcasts, these can be a useful alternative or complement to video content for stories that are slightly longer in length.

Blogs and Social

If you look at one of the fastest growing marketing trends in the social space at the moment, it is the influencer market. This market is all about people who have a large social following / profile that can influence communities of interest. Typically, an influencer will be a blogger or vlogger.

There is good reason why organisations should look at influencers and understand how they can be effective inside a business. There are cultural challenges with some organisations that are hierarchical in structure with giving employees at all levels a platform to grow as an influencer, but there is huge benefit in doing so.

By creating a blogging network inside your organisation, you can surface authentic and bespoke content from your employees. Blogging can also be an enabler for employees to share insights and expertise that can help with learning and career development.

The integration between blogging and social is also a big piece of the jigsaw, once you have published your blog, employees can use social tools to publicise and create conversation around it – building up a network and becoming an influencer on topics that engage and interest them.

Blogging inside an organisation can become an extension of an employee’s social persona, in a social world persona’s really matter – and tools like LinkedIn are essential part of your career story – giving employee’s opportunity to build up persona’s and influence internally can add value to businesses both with authenticity of content and stories, and surfacing new ideas and perspectives.

This content can also be recycled inside and outside the organisation.

Digital Champions

For your digital content to really fly inside an organisation, you need a network of content generators to make the model work. The model for content creation should align to a Digital Newsroom – where there is more detail here >>

A Digital Champion network should sit right across an organisation and include a diverse mix of employees. This group will be your core content generators, and can help you source content and contribute to campaigns.

One of the great strengths of social is campaigns, and it can help organisations theme storytelling that joins the dots for employees on key initiatives. Most organisations can theme 4-5 key initiatives in a year – if you assign a hashtag mechanic you can use your Digital content and champions to help engage and connect employees to your stories.

One great way to use Digital Champions is to face up your internal TV channel, either acting as interviewers or presenters adding a level of real authenticity.

Summary

In a social world people are consuming content in different ways, traditional media has far less influence and the line between journalist and blogger is blurring all of the time. If people are consuming social content outside of work, Internal Communications teams need to adapt and look at how they can use similar content models inside organisations.

The tools are enablers; the content and culture are what will drive the real change.

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