As organizations work to build the capabilities of their digital workforces and transform their cultures, influence-based enterprise content is taking on a more significant role. Unlike transactional or process-focused content, influence-based content aims to drive behavior change. It’s the difference between using instructional content to get employees to complete a task and providing content that addresses employees in their specific context within the business.
Amidst these organizational transformations, employee expectations for engaging, digital-first experiences continue to evolve. Companies that fail to create influence-based content risk undermining their business goals. Driving employees to make the strides that grow a digital organization requires content that changes mindsets and behaviors. A dedicated focus on such content can help to advance numerous organizational goals including cultural assimilation, increased engagement, employee alignment, and communicating desired actions and behaviors.
But before they can hope to influence behavior change in employees, businesses should understand the elements that make content influential.
The right content for the right context
Enterprise content that sparks meaningful behavior change meets its audiences in the right context. For instance, messaging about career development might vary for employees in different roles.
In identifying the right context for your content, it’s important to consider several factors to foreground the employee perspective and personalize messaging.
- Nature of the message
- Channel for the message
Is an email announcement the best venue for communicating a company’s new cultural philosophy, or would a virtual town hall Q&A resonate more with the audience? Focusing on the above elements helps to identify the context that’s ripe for the influential content that powers organizational change.
Benefits of influence-based content
Approached systematically, influence-based content can play a vital role in transforming organizational culture. Successful influential content translates a company’s cultural philosophy into actionable ideas. Influence-based content also empowers employees to take action that supports business innovation, reinforcing that the best ideas don’t have to come from the top down. Empowered employees feel a greater connection and commitment to an organization, which helps align them to the future state.
Designing your content ecosystem
Crafting and distributing enterprise content that drives change begins with designing a content ecosystem that enables a business to get a 30,000-foot view of its massive stores of content. Companies still struggle to organize and deploy their existing content to drive change. Moreover, an inadequate content ecosystem thwarts an organization’s ability to create new influential content. Before a business can create such content, it needs to establish the appropriate infrastructure. To build a content ecosystem for influence, organizations must focus on four elements.
Integrate technology and content.
Audiences inside the enterprise increasingly expect digital experiences at work to match those they see in the consumer space. They want content surfaced for them that’s relevant, useful, and engaging. As such, any content ecosystem built for influence needs to integrate technology and content to drive techniques like personalization. Here, the importance of identifying or establishing context becomes clear. Understanding the context for content increases the ability of that content to resonate with the employee audience.
Equip influencers across your organization.
Influencers can come from all levels of an organization. In fact, some of a business’s most influential individuals won’t be in leadership positions. These informal leaders can help to drive change because they have access to a range of networks across an organization. Part of building a successful influence-based content ecosystem is enabling influencers to create and disseminate relevant content. A business may want to train such leaders to create or curate content by providing specific tools to help them do so. Building a network of key influencers broadens the sources for influential content and instills the idea that such content doesn’t have to come from leadership.
Craft a strategy for developing influenced-based content.
Formulating a strategy for developing influential content is key to ensuring it yields results. For instance, establishing a regular cadence and providing clear messaging from leadership about organizational vision and mission helps to build credibility with employee audiences. Enterprise-wide goals and initiatives will necessarily come from organizational positioning, so it’s vital that communication about these topics resonates with audiences across an organization. Such content would avoid jargon and address audiences in everyday language that invites them into a conversation about the business and their place in it. Building a framework for influential content might also include elements like a content calendar that assigns key influencers to communicate regularly on specific themes.
Measure content effectiveness.
What does success look like for influence-based content? The answer to this question will vary based on your business’s needs. But your content ecosystem won’t be complete unless it includes a way to measure content effectiveness. As executives increasingly make data-driven decisions, being able to show the why and the how of content success is vital. For example, if an organization wants to use content to increase employee self-service for a task like requesting time off, a useful measure of the success of that content might be reduced calls to the business’s call center. Establishing the means to measure content effectiveness avoids wasted time and resources and helps to provide direction for future content efforts.
Creating the influence-based content that advances digital organizations is no one-off proposition. Businesses looking to develop and strengthen their digital workforces must take a systematic approach to building a content ecosystem for influence. This means integrating content with technology to maximize its impact, leveraging key influencers within organizations, establishing a clear content strategy to build credibility with employee audiences, and measuring content effectiveness to provide direction for new content. By building a sound content ecosystem, companies can meet business needs while also increasing employee commitment.