How to Leverage Your Internal Resources in External Marketing Efforts

September 8th, 2015

How to Leverage Your Internal Resources in External Marketing Efforts

The world’s best marketing teams are enhancing their brand’s presence and promoting greater awareness by externally publishing content they’ve already made for internal purposes.

“Wait,” you might say. “Doesn’t that mean you’re just handing over your secrets to success?”

Not quite. The internet is flooded with “secrets” to success. Think about all the thought leaders and PR releases on growth. Often times we’re irrational about keeping our corporate cards too close to our chest. Yes, there are certain things it’s probably unwise to share, but there is a lot that should be publicly available to support your marketing efforts. The catch is determining what “secrets” you or your company are willing to share.

Google, Salesforce, Hubspot—the list goes on. These companies use internal resources to inform the public on how great they are. What happens? Contagion. What does it lead to? Well, new revenue. Below are some internal materials and messages that you might have never thought to promote externally, but can become a staple for your brand.

Style Guides

From writing to design to full-fledged branding, style guides are a goldmine of content. Internal use ensures consistency across departments and raises the bar when it comes to discipline in marketing, but external use is a unique statement.

Similar to how companies openly publish their mission and vision statements, style guides are another way to stake a claim with your company’s identity. It holds your company accountable for its image and voice. Every company says they’re unique, but a style guide gives the public access to proof. Of course, Google is an example of this.

A quick look at Google’s style guide proves that what they believe soaks into every part of their business, even down to the way they design each and every icon. By sharing this publicly, they clearly take a stand on how they do business. Customers who catch on to this are going to start looking for the minute details, and when they find them, they will be more delighted than before. Great move, Google.

Training Materials

Brands with a reputation for great customer service obviously have well-informed, well-trained employees. Sharing training methods and materials from your company reveals the thoroughness involved in the training process. At Lesson.ly, we use our own software to train internally, and we make it entertaining with GIFs and clever copy. Simply, efficient training materials and practices yield effective teams.

Sharing your internal training publicly is also a great way to reveal your company’s spirit and promote brand advocacy outside of your employee base. Major brands like Salesforce are taking to LinkedIn Slideshares to give tips and tricks of the trade. Here’s an insider’s view of social media.

Below is an example from Hubspot. This lesson was originally a part of their employee handbook, and they wisely shared it on LinkedIn to gain an even greater following and public stamp of their mission:

Company Culture

A company with values embraced by employees becomes a subconscious word-of-mouth campaign. If your employees genuinely believe in the values of your company, then they’ll be sure to express that when asked, “How do you like your job?”

To leverage your employees’ love of your company, let the public get to know them, too. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or even just end of quarters with small parties or outings. Use social media to document it. If there are new hires, take the time to profile a few of them on your blog or a local publication. At Lesson.ly, we’ve mentioned a few of our employees in published works—a rock climbing coach, a pro soccer player, and a musician with a record deal.

Lastly, make that culture tangible. Take your promotional items (t-shirts, bags, pens, mugs) and give them as freebies to employees. I think I have a Lesson.ly t-shirt for everyday of the week! Tim Kopp, former CMO of ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce), had this to say about building Exact Target’s “Orange” culture epidemic:

“Orange was more than a simple color or tagline. It was a reflection of the true passion, energy, and commitment of our employees. Orange was the name that we used to capture this energy and give it focus. The most important thing about Orange is that it was not a top down culture initiative; it was deeply and authentically rooted in our team and became a bottom-up movement.

The fun from a marketing side was lining up our internal brand with our external brand in a way that became very powerful for employees, customers, partners, and the community in a way that they all felt included and part of this movement.”

ExactTarget promotional items

This entire article is an example of using things you already have to boost or establish awareness. It’s cost- and time-efficient and serves as a motivator to make excellent content. Be a teacher with your marketing materials, and give other growing businesses an opportunity to learn. 

Take a leap this week and outline at least one internal resource you can share publicly to reinforce the praise for your company. Be bold.

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