Engaging audiences internally and externally with consistent messaging across key social channels.
Crafting a multichannel communication strategy
Growth in Engagement in
The Problem: unused content
IBM Storage was having a hard time consistently engaging audiences through stories of value. They had a vast amount of resources that spotlighted their diverse portfolio of products and solutions; however, they weren’t using those assets to their full potential.
Increasing awareness both
internally and externally
IBM Storage needed to increase awareness around their overall business strategy and better align sales and marketing teams through content that would help facilitate conversations with customers and prospects and progress them through the buyer’s journey.
- Internally, IBM sales and marketing professionals needed to be aware of all the valuable content available.
- Externally, that valuable content needed to be shared on the right channels to find the eyes of the right audience.
Crafting a multichannel communication strategy
To meet both the internal and external communication needs, we developed a multi-channel communication plan for IBM Storage.
Consistent messaging with internal and external audiences
First, we created a 16-week master calendar that identified weekly themes to ensure consistent communication with internal and external audiences. After each weekly focus was chosen, we worked with key stakeholders to map digital assets to each theme—including case studies, white papers, customer references, product demos and thought leadership videos—that could be shared with both audiences.
While one goal was to better use the digital assets that IBM Storage had throughout the 16 weeks, another was to identify all their gaps in content. When we realized which subject matter was missing specific content, we advised the IBM Storage team on what assets they needed in order to fill those content gaps and eventually created the necessary content.
Determining key channels to reach the target audience
In addition to identifying weekly themes and assets, we also determined the most appropriate and effective communication channels.
- Internally, we identified unique distribution lists and internal social communities in order to expand our reach – to reach a larger audience of sellers and marketers within IBM. Through research, we discovered how to best reach all those involved with storage, including sales and marketing teams across multiple divisions.
- Externally, we determined the best IBM-owned social media channels as well as unique, non-IBM LinkedIn groups to share content. We used social media measurement tools, including Sysomos and Simply Measured, to understand potential reach, levels of engagement and where the conversations were taking place.
Setting communication goals and defining KPIs
Once an editorial calendar to drive the internal communication plan was set, and the best ways to distribute and promote key messages and assets was identified, we set a communication goal for each correspondence and defined KPIs.
- The weekly internal correspondence, which we wrote on behalf of the VP of Storage, focused on all things storage, including key products and solutions, competitor announcements and major conferences and events. The goal was to not only increase the number of those who viewed the information each week, but also motivate internal audiences to share assets with their personal audiences on any social channel, incorporating the @IBMStorage handle or the #IBMStorage hashtag.
- The external communication plan included a social media editorial calendar, which identified the assets to be shared by IBM social media channels, the most optimal times to distribute, where to share which content, and what KPIs would be used to measure success. The comprehensive calendar helped IBM Storage put to use their relevant digital assets and realize the gaps in content.
Significant increase in views and engagement was due to the fact that we identified 11 internal IBM communities and various company-wide newsletters, in which we placed headlines to ultimately drive large audiences to specific correspondences. Additionally, to keep the audience interested and involved, we made sure the content was engaging—specifically not too lengthy or text heavy—and we weaved intriguing assets within each correspondence that could easily be used in conversations with clients and prospects.
Internal Communication Measures
- The first correspondence we wrote on behalf of the VP of Storage received 1,417 views, 32 likes, and 16 comments. The average number of views on other executives’ posts was around 95 views; that’s nearly 1500% growth!
- The second correspondence received more than 600+ views in just 12 hours.
Social and External Measures
- On average during the 16-week campaign, engagement increased by 30% each week across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Engagement is defined as the number of interactions with a post, including retweets, likes, favorites, comments and shares.