Why communicate about highlights?
By Nicolas Pagniez
Rather than retreating from public view, companies are increasingly communicating on topics that are sometimes far removed from their core business. So communicating about highlights and celebrating them allows companies to associate their brand with new topics. This makes it possible not only to supply their news feeds with new content but also to anticipate the contents to be produced as much as possible. The technique also has the advantage of working simultaneously on several communication projects such as e-reputation and the employer brand. But certain rules should be followed.
Anticipating your content production and maintaining your presence on social media
In 2019, content snacking is also a response by brands to provide constant content to their online communities and audiences! Faced with this growing need to produce better content faster, companies are using different strategies:
Functioning more and more as a medium by determining an editorial line, and anticipating, producing and sharing content by expanding their communication topics. One example of this is Microsoft, which decided to use AI to spearhead its company blog. Since then, it’s become a model on the topic.
Breaking down communication silos to identify new topics for external communication, as illustrated by the latest “organic” positioning of the Orange group, which aims to supply its canteens using short and environmentally friendly channels.
From an operational point of view, these two trends converge when deciding to celebrate a highlight and how to share it on social platforms and more traditional channels (SMS, web media, print media, newsletters, display campaigns, etc.).
What highlights to communicate
There are several advantages to communicating about highlights. First of all, it can be used to promote your company in a different way. What makes your business different from the rest isn’t only your product or service. It also has to do with your storytelling, your commitments and the topics you engage with on social media!
Each celebration of a highlight is an opportunity to involve or engage all or part of your community in a rewarding way. They can promote your company and show your relationship with your employees (highlighting personal or professional success stories), your customers (content aimed at personalising your relationship), your partners, your communities (thanking them for their loyalty, for example) or even the general public (consumer content aimed at increasing brand awareness or appreciation).
Communicating to strengthen internal collaboration
So the trend in 2019 is to make a marketing and communication calendar and fill it with content on several types of news stories, including yours, those of your industry and general current events. Internally, the celebration of highlights allows you to effectively build team spirit and a sense of belonging with this medium that can be used for employee recognition. From interviewing an employee about a personal or professional project or rewarding a team for completing a project to celebrating together the company’s commercial performance, there are many great opportunities to promote good examples through this kind of communication, which is used by organisations to show recognition for their employees.
Communicating to reach new audiences
Externally, communicating about a highlight makes it possible to reach an audience that wouldn’t initially be interested in your brand, through news stories that create an impact. These include most seasonal events on your calendar, like year-end events and your wishes for the new year, promotional periods (winter, summer, Black Friday, etc.), major sports competitions and more.
The secondary purpose of these celebrations is to allow your audiences to relate to you outside of a more conventional marketing and business environment. Plus, showing that you’re interested in major cultural, sports or societal events known to the general public helps to humanise your brand and convey a positive image of your company, proving that you’re not just concerned with your own business. In short, there are many advantages to associating your corporate culture and values with the news!
Improving your e-reputation
Your communication about highlights can also be part of your institutional or corporate communications. From sharing news stories about receiving an award or a label that adds a little more to your credibility in the industry to news about external growth, company anniversaries and strategic partnerships, this kind of communication is one of the pillars of your storytelling.
These highlights can also be directly related to your industry, including important industry events, the announcement on your positioning with regard to a new regulation or political news, etc.
Pitfalls to avoid in communicating about your highlights
DON’T SPAM YOUR AUDIENCES
Using highlights to communicate with your customers and prospects is also a good idea because the end consumer has gotten used to receiving regular information from brands that they appreciate though this kind of communication. Both in BtoB and in BtoC, it has become common to send targeted communications about these highlights via emails, SMS campaigns, social media posts or mass media campaigns.
Regardless of the communication channel, remember not to spam your audience with the same kind of information. An SMS can sometimes be enough to share your promotional offers. Also avoid the temptation of sending multiple emails. Unless you’re communicating about a new sale, for example, or really providing new information with each email, you risk giving your audience the impression that they’re being spammed. And chances are they’ll stop paying attention to your communications in the future, regardless of what they’re about! Once you lose an audience’s attention, it’s almost impossible to get it back!
If you choose multiple communication channels despite all this, make sure to use different formats and content. For example, alternate a video message with a short but punchy email for your marketing campaigns. And make sure you don’t end up tiring your audiences.
So choose the right approach for your highlight. An internal highlight, for example, should only be shared once. There’s no need to communicate extensively on this kind of event. However, you can expand a year-end promotional campaign with emails, videos and social media posts. The same applies to an anniversary for which you’ve planned a marketing event.
DON’T DO WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IF YOU WANT TO STAND OUT
You certainly won’t be the only ones sharing highlights in your customer or prospect communication. The first thing to avoid is doing what someone else is doing. Always try to stand out! For example, imagine that you’re participating in Viva Technology as an innovator in France and when you announce when and how you’ll be participating, you limit your communication to the pictures or post-event video produced by Viva Technology. Your audiences won’t take the time to browse through your content because all you’ll be doing is rehashing someone else’s material instead of providing original content that connects you with this major French technology event. Instead, you can produce original and punchy content, like a teaser photo or video to announce your participation or an interview with a customer or partner who will be attending the event.
DON’T JUST COMMUNICATE ON ANY RANDOM TOPIC TO BE SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
As we discussed earlier, businesses have to function more and more like a medium. As a result, you should editorialise and choose which topics to communicate on and which to avoid. You should start by sourcing existing content and find out what your competitors are doing. You’ll quickly realise that you’ve identified new topics to communicate on.
Make sure not to communicate on random topics or you’ll lose credibility. Going in all directions and communicating constantly about the news can also cause weariness in your different audiences.
You need to choose a precise and consistent editorial line so that people can clearly identify you!
The final pitfall to avoid is the risk of getting a negative response to inappropriate communication about a special date. One example is the digital backlash against promotional offers for women on International Women’s Day, which is intended to celebrate women’s rights. So communications about annual events should be subject to thorough editorial consideration to avoid having the opposite effect to the one intended.
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