Our Attention Span is not Endless
Gaining the attention of your target audience and leaving a lasting impression with content is the daily business of communication experts and marketers. As we are spammed with content from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we go to sleep at night, it's not easy to trigger our attention out of the blue. That's no longer only true for marketing, but also applies for internal communication. How can you get the attention of your employees in the daily storm of information they receive?
The challenge every marketer knows very well is to get the attention of your target group who have not thought of you yet. They are not looking actively looking for your content. Therefore, it needs to stand out. We are looking at our smartphones about 200 times a day, and the pandemic has not exactly helped to reduce our time on the internet. Now that companies also communicate with their employees online, receiving more external triggers and bits of content than ever. Competition is hard, so you have to stand out. And that is also true for internal communication.
How Can my Internal Communication Stand Out?
But how? If you look at the big players, such as Facebook, you see that you can choose specific target groups to aim your ad at. Based on location, age and other specifications, you can exactly tell the software to whom your ad needs to be shown. If the product and the ad are relevant for them, you manage to catch their attention. As so many companies are using social advertisement, it must be working. So why don't we use this approach in internal communication, too?
The good news is: You already know your target audience, your employees. And maybe you also know how to reach them, as you have communicated with them before. Intranet? E-mail? You have it all in place. The bad news is: That's not how it works. One message on the intranet or one global webinar for 500 or more people is not the way to go. It might be interesting and relevant for some of them, but definitely not for all. And in that case, the information doesn't stick and you loose their attention again. Keep in mind that, of all the content we receive on a daily basis, we only remember 1 percent. Guess what? The likeliness that this 1 percent is your short intranet message is not very high.
Internal Target Audiences & Message
To change that, you need to do the same as those companies running ads on social media: segment your target audience. Maybe the information you are planning to share is not relevant for all of them. Then why should you bother those who will most likely not even remember it? And even if you want to reach all employees of the company: identify different target groups and define who needs which piece of information. Create separate internal communication messages for each of them. Messages that are relevant for their daily business and their knowledge level. This way, your content is easier to follow and to remember for them.
Another way to win your audience's attention is by using visuals. With all the text we read daily, from e-mails to online news, visuals stand out. If you want to explain a complex subject, you could also use explanimations, an animation that reduces a comlex topic to the core message and is easy to follow. This way, your audience will stay focussed and the likeliness of them remembering it increases significantly.
So think of your target audiences and message for internal communication before sending out an e-mail to all of your colleagues. Make your message relevant and keep it short - because after all, our attention span is not endless.
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