Marketing-grade automation arrives for internal comms
External marketers have been using automated campaign-building technology to elevate customer engagement for decades. Now it’s time for internal communicators to take advantage of the same functionality to level up employee engagement across the enterprise. Discover the future of employee engagement with Unily’s newest feature.
Closing the gap between marketing and employee communications
More often than not, the brands your employees know and love are the ones that provide top-tier communications in the form of savvy marketing strategies. Rather than an ad-hoc approach, campaigns are carefully structured, sequenced, and scheduled so that customers are receiving relevant content at the right times, that reach them through their preferred channels.
As a result, employee expectations surrounding messaging have changed. Your colleagues are now looking for the same kind of omnichannel approach and personalization that they’ve grown accustomed to as consumers. However, internal communicators have traditionally lacked access to the powerful digital tools needed to underpin consumer-grade messaging strategies in the enterprise.
We’re aiming to change that with the introduction of engagement automation, a set of features that make it easy for internal communicators to orchestrate complex, highly targeted campaigns from a single place, across all channels.
What is engagement automation?
Engagement automation is a set of features designed for internal communicators to enhance the delivery of marketing-grade campaigns in the enterprise space. The engagement automation suite gives enterprise communicators the ability to build, plan, schedule, and measure complex campaigns that meet the growing demands of the modern workforce.
For the first time, internal communicators will have the ability to unite diverse communications channels in one manageable space that lets you leverage every opportunity to extend the reach of internal communications and deliver cohesive messaging across channels.
One of the most innovative changes engagement automation brings to the enterprise is the ability to create workflows that support an engagement strategy akin to marketing approaches. By bringing together market-leading analytics and workflow engines, engagement automation provides an automated route to building engagement over time.
With engagement automation internal communicators can:
- Plan, create and automate multi-channel campaigns that build engagement over time
- Deliver unified communications across all your channels and meet employees where they are
- Track and analyze rich engagement insights that help you optimize performance
"From a technology perspective, engagement automation marks a significant move to bridging the digital gap which enables external marketers versus internal communicators, so I see it as a big leap forward in empowering smart, 21st century, user-driven messaging."
Unite 21 offers a sneak peek at engagement automation
On day 3 of Unite 21, Unily founder and CEO Will Saville joined the conference to look at the future of Unily, speaking on the direction of employee experience and the Unily platform. The session offered the first look at Unily’s upcoming engagement automation feature and how it’s set to power new ways of working.
Unily: The future
Get up close and personal with Unily's roadmap and discover our vision for the future of employee experience. Where is our product going and how do we see it powering new ways of working? Get a first look at Unily's new engagement automation feature.
The live demo offers a glimpse of what’s possible with engagement automation and runs you through all the features that enable you to automate campaigns, communications, and employee engagement. Take a look at the demo now to learn everything you need to know about engagement automation, so you can hit the ground running with Unily’s latest employee experience innovation.
4 ways to level up your comms strategy with engagement automation
What exactly can you achieve with engagement automation? Below we outline how this new feature-set will prime internal communicators to deliver consumer-grade messaging approaches that increase engagement and maximize every channel.
Automating employee engagement
In this episode of the Unily podcast, our Unite 21 superstars wrap up this year's #1 employee experience conference and discuss the future of internal comms and employee engagement with Unily's new engagement automation feature.
#1. Plan your timeline
If you’re launching a new initiative, like a wellbeing campaign or a sustainability effort, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience by giving them too much information at once. Instead, you might choose to build-up to the big news and start generating excitement about what’s to come several weeks before your announcement.
Rather than watching the clock to make sure you don’t forget to publish an update, engagement automation provides a buildable timeline within your content management system, allowing you to schedule and plan activities as part of a logical campaign. From choosing when to promote your initiative to deciding when your announcement will be unpublished, engagement automation gives internal communicators the tools to simplify the delivery of complex campaigns that build engagement over time.
#2. Streamline multi-channel delivery
Even the most exciting news will fall flat if it’s only communicated through one channel. Each of your employees has their own content consumption habits that are impacted by multiple factors, including their role and generational preferences. For example, since Gen Z spends over 4 hours daily on their smartphones and considers them the most important device for engaging with communications, mobile content is likely to be a top priority for engaging those who are just entering the workforce.
With engagement automation, you can schedule communications across any channel, including email, mobile, and third-party platforms to deliver a unified messaging experience that maximizes the reach of your campaign. You can even slide into your employees’ DMs by including a direct message on Teams or Slack to encourage them to check out your latest announcement.
How to choose the best intranet CMS for an omnichannel strategy
Selecting the right intranet CMS can feel daunting. As the need for omnichannel internal comms rises, so does the number of players on the scene. To choose the best option, leaders must prioritize a checklist of features and digest several key recommendations.
#3. Know who to nudge when
You’re always going to have some audience members who stay on top of the latest news and others who might need a little push. Rather than mass-messaging your entire workforce, engagement automation gives internal communicators the insights they need to personalize their approach.
For example, if you’re looking to get employee feedback on a new initiative, you’re going to want to target users who haven’t already shared their insights. With Engagement Automation, you can track users’ activity, discover who hasn’t completed the form, and use pre-set workflows to trigger re-engagement activities that push team members towards your goal. If you want to encourage proactive audience members to keep up the good work, you can set up alternative streams designed to thank those who have already engaged with your campaign. The beauty of automation means these activities can be defined from the outset, leaving your teams to focus on doing what they do best: communicating.
How to make your employee comms go viral
Engaging employees means fighting for their attention and your employee comms are going up against social media heavyweights and the best marketing minds. To make your content stand out, engage, and spread like wildfire, you need to live up to rising expectations set by external marketers. So how do you create consumer-grade employee comms that go viral internally?
#4. See how your campaign stacks up
Measurement is a lingering challenge for many internal communications teams, with just 43% using data to lead their decisions. All too often, the analytics that are available merely scratch the surface and fail to provide internal communicators with the insights they need to fine tune their messaging strategy.
With engagement automation, you can dive deep and learn exactly how your latest campaign stacks up. Put your data into context with an engagement score that allows you to compare multiple campaigns and create a benchmark to measure your success. Analytics also capture which content pieces performed best amongst various user groups, providing you with the insights needed to ensure your next campaign is even bigger and better.
Engagement automation in action
To best understand how engagement automation can be used to level-up enterprise internal communications, let's take a look at some simple examples of engagement automation in action.
#1. New policy updates
When you're updating a workplace policy, whether that's changes to benefits or a new flexible working arrangement, clear communication is critical. When change happens, the only way to prevent turbulence is regular and transparent communications. Once you've honed your messaging strategy, understood the impact on different workforce segments, and created a plan for roll-out - how do you ensure your message lands with every user?
With engagement automation, you can structure your content across channels and set workflows that take the pain out of reaching the hard-to-reach. Here's what an example campaign timeline might look like in this scenario:
- Start by setting up "mandatory read" content which employees have to indicate that they've read in order to access the digital workplace. This will be a good catch-all for most employees, but not everyone accesses the digital workplace regularly and many users will want a more in-depth understanding of what the policy change means for them
- To tackle these challenges you'll want to schedule further activities to the campaign timeline - posting a video explainer for example or prompting employees to engage with content on other channels like Teams or Slack
- Finally, you'll want to provide opportunities for employees to feedback on the policy changes or highlight any concerns or questions they might have. For this, you may want to launch a form, poll, or quiz. And to close the circle you'll want to schedule further content outlining your response to the feedback
#2. Launching a new initiative
When you're launching a new initiative, you want to do it with a bang. You want to let as many employees as possible know what you're doing, and create a buzz that builds over time. That means you'll need to leverage every channel at your disposal to share the news and produce lots of vibrant content that gets employees excited. Let's say your company is launching a Global Recharge Week to amplify messaging around wellbeing and boost engagement following some tough circumstances. For this, you'll require a messaging strategy that meets employees where they are and ensures every employee understands what's happening and why. In this scenario an example campaign timeline might look like this:
- Post an article explaining what the recharge week is and why the company thinks it's important
- Send an email to employees that links to the article to drive engagement for those that don't regularly check for new news
- Set up a conditional workflow that sends additional notifications to users that haven't opened the email for maximum exposure
- Create a temporary homepage takeover on your intranet to launch over the course of the initiative to put your campaign front and center
#3. Relaunching your intranet
Our final scenario is an intranet relaunch. Your intranet or employee experience platform is a living, breathing beast - or at least it is if you're doing it right! That means you're always iterating and once in a while you might feel the need to do a full relaunch - changing the look, feel, and function to be more in keeping with your business needs and employee expectations. When this happens it's a great opportunity to re-fuel adoption and engagement with a campaign that takes employees on the journey with you. How can engagement automation help you do this? Here's how an example campaign timeline might look:
- Publish a video teaser that builds excitement around the relaunch and shows off some of the new functionality soon to come
- Schedule further teaser and explainer articles to keep information trickling through up to launch
- Send users notifications prompting them to update their profile information so that when relaunch comes the people directory is up to date
- On launch day set a temporary homepage takeover that welcomes everyone to the platform and highlights where to find key resources
- Hold a virtual event where you can demo new features and schedule messaging prompts to be sent out via teams and mobile push notifications to make sure everyone knows when it's on
- Publish a feedback form or poll to help you understand how changes are being received and where improvements can be made
- Send an email to reach users that aren't already regularly engaging with the intranet, and to remind colleagues to leave their feedback. Schedule further prompts to be sent to those that don't respond with their feedback using conditional audience features to only target users that aren't engaging
Are you ready to take your internal comms strategy to the next level with automation?
Learn how to level up employee engagement with marketing-grade automation for internal comms.