Roles Of Internal Communications Department In Digital Marketing
Internal communication departments help with the development of the content and the creative part of the digital marketing strategy. The communication department is usually structured with a PR team, content team, design team and event team. Working in synchronicity helps create a holistic experience of the brand and product.
A digital marketer cannot work on his own to achieve their goal, therefore they need to inform the communication department at the early stage of the strategic planning in order to align efforts for a greater impact. It’s not uncommon that the communication and marketing departments are placed under the same department, MARCOM (Marketing Communications). Marketers usually work on initiating and integrating their strategy, working closely with the communications department.
That being said, how does a digital marketer work with the communication department? A product launch is an example of the interactions that exist between the two departments and how they can work together. Marketers will think of the end customers, how to reach them, create awareness through the owner and paid media and create earned media with virality and influencers. But raising awareness also goes through generating content in the press online, in the news, in specialized media. The product content developed in marketing, the positioning, the main message and the creatives created by the digital marketing team will be passed on to the communication department where they develop the public and press relation strategy. This is added to the digital marketing strategy to achieve the main marketing objectives, of let’s say, raising awareness around the new product.
When marketers want to work with influencers this would follow under the shared responsibility as an influencer can also be part of the PR strategy. As the two departments may cross paths and decide on the strategy, it is important to keep communication clear and open to prevent duplication of efforts, developing similar content and wasting time. Delivering messages that are misaligned can create confusion for the audience and their perception of the company.
Social media that resonates with your audience will be on the list of platforms used on a daily basis to either post, monitor or analyze your content performance and audience engagement. Besides the social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat, there might be a social media platform that is more niche which could also be used by the stakeholder. That platform will also be your place for developing paid social media advertising and selecting influencers. Usually, the social media platforms offer an intricate offer of ad formats and services that can deliver based on your objectives. Similar to a CMS platform, depending on your account type you might be eligible to work with an account manager and have a team of stakeholders to work with.
Social media platforms fit under the core marketing function of awareness, conversion and retention by providing multiple tools to reach user organically or via paid content.
The key assets of social media are:
- Profiles/ Accounts: This can be the company or employees profile and can be used to provide extra content and personalised experiences that are valuable in the awareness and retention phase. Creating deeper conversations and showcasing personal interest in the company or public figure that represents the company.
- Pages: This is a more official window over your company. It is the flagship store of social media on Facebook or LinkedIn, for instance. This creates awareness of search and also a point of contact for consumers that have more questions as they consider your company in their search. This is where all branded content lives and is shared on a regular basis.
- Groups: These are a great way to create awareness and retention by starting or participating in discussions geared towards a specific community of interests.
- Advertising: The content that is posted and created can be advertised according to an objective. The power of social media advertising resides in its targeting and formats capabilities, it can be a strong tool for converting users in customers, but can also increase followers and engagement.
Overall, the social media platform is a central place for content. The marketer will work with the platform regularly and depending on the level of investments, work with the social media sales and account teams to develop better strategies. Agencies who specialize in social media strategies can come into play as key stakeholders to increase social media performances. But the main stakeholders in social media are the audience and the followers.
In the traditional marketing era, marketers relied on media vendors to set up deals, buy media spaces and plan on the media side of the strategy. For example, to get display space on a billboard, marketing teams would work with a media buying agency that gathers all the data and contacts in this industry. They would discuss planning and pricing with the media company directly, then come back to the marketers with the availability and take a form of commission over the final transaction. Today, with digital media this has changed as media companies are directly accessible and usually gather under one platform without the need for a third party. The relationship with media vendors is more direct, but also more complex, as new stakeholders have risen in the media landscape.
Think of the online media space as a giant industry in a complex network auction room where each company bids for their ad to be shown all at the same time, from a platform gathering thousands of ad space across millions of pages.
Marketers work with big media vendors who in turn work with ad networks and exchange platforms in order to get your content out there. These work on a demand & supply system that gather multiple websites looking to rent their ad space and multiple brands that have content to put out there, that is the DSP (demand-side platform) and SSP (sell-side platform) division.
When marketers develop their strategy they will share the brief (plans for targeting, positioning and key objectives) with the media vendors, who will then select specific exchange severs and targets. On the marketer’s side, the assets developed and provided are content, audience targeting and budget cap that can be expressed in cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM). Then the vendor takes that information to buy the necessary space. This content then gets pushed on publishers platforms, social media and forums.
The complexity of the current model is to understand the media vendors role as the exchange platforms are accessible without core media vendor stakeholders. Marketers can go on social media exchange platforms and deal with this directly within the digital marketing team. Software now exists for marketers to manage their own media buying. Working with media vendors is becoming more liberal but also more complex as marketers can break free from media agencies, hence having to find the resources on their side.
I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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