5 best practices to boost engagement in news

Include these tips as part of your company’s internal communications strategy to get better employee engagement in your news.

August 26, 2021
Alex Donate
Product Manager

There’s a clear objective when publishing news on the company intranet – to reach the right people and deliver a message effectively. Sometimes, just reading the news does not achieve our goal. We expect readers to take specific actions like commenting, submitting a poll or visiting a link.

This is what we call ‘engagement’. When readers perform these actions, it indicates that the content is interesting and relevant to them. The editor closes the feedback loop and can estimate whether the goal is achieved or not.

ahead Insights help you understand if you are reaching your engagement objectives. In ahead, a user falls into the ‘engaged user’ bucket if they’ve interacted with content by reacting or leaving a comment.

We’ve collected a short list of best practices that will help you increase employee engagement in news.

1. Reach the right audience

As an editor, you want to publish content that is relevant and useful for the employees. Reaching people with the wrong content clutters their intranet experience and provides misleading insights to editors.

You need to aim for a specific audience, rather than a broad one. Start by understanding who your target audience is and ask yourself ‘For whom is this content relevant?’. Then select in ahead the user group that best fits the answer to that question. It’s better to reach 20 highly-engaged readers of a properly segmented audience, than 200 disengaged readers of a broader audience.

💡 Learn more about ahead target audiences and how to best use them.

2. Headlines are key

Having an attractive and thought-out headline is key to spark your audience’s interest. The headline (or title) is the reader’s first touchpoint with the content and your best chance to trigger their interest and get them to read your news.

Headlines should be about employees. Think about what’s in it for them to read the news. Instead of ‘Vacation and time-off policy update’ you should say ‘Get more flexibility with your days off. Policy update.’

When you publish a news, the headline will show up in the mobile and in-app notifications (if you choose to notify users ‘by notification’) and in the subject line of the email (if you choose ‘by email’). The headline also plays an important role in the homepage newsfeed.

3 - Use straightforward calls-to-action

Let the readers know what you expect them to do by including a prominent call-to-action. A call-to-action is a concise, unambiguous statement that encourages readers to take the desired action.

Do you want employees to open an attached file and read its content? Don’t be afraid to sound obvious. Be clear and specific and include a highlighted text that says ‘Please read the attached file’.

Do you want to gather some information or insights from the readers? You can use the ahead polls feature and kindly ask them to leave their vote.

4. Openly ask for feedback

If you want readers to share their thoughts or opinions, try to proactively ask them to use the comments and reactions section. Let your workforce know that their comments and feedback are welcome. By simply adding a friendly invitation to participate, such as ‘please let us know what you think in the comments', readers will feel more confident and willing to contribute. Establishing a clear open-door policy will foster participation and transparency, and therefore engagement.

5. Include visual content

Catching an employee’s attention is hard, but keeping it up is harder. Including photos, videos, infographics or memes in your news does not only provide extended useful information, it also creates a friendlier reading experience. Visual content is easier to digest, more memorable and more appealing than plain text.

Use ahead’s image, video and embedded content building blocks to insert visual content and publish more engaging news.

We’ve covered some of these best practices in our webinar ‘Von passiv zu interaktiv’. Now is your time to include these tips as part of your company’s internal communications strategy. Happy engagement!

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