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What Is Internal Marketing, and Does It Increase Employee Engagement?

When it comes to scaling your business, the single best investment you can make is in internal marketing. Educating your team about your brand and getting them excited in your mission is simply a non-negotiable in today’s corporate climate.

Written by

Henrik Jesman Sunde

July 18, 2022

Wouldn’t it be great to spend less money on outside marketing consultants and instead start turning inward to your existing employees? Internal marketing efforts can help motivate employees to authentically advocate for your business, improve morale, and boost productivity. 

Learn how a streamlined internal communication system can increase your bottom line and workplace satisfaction. Internal marketing is a simple–and free– way to share your brand values and build loyalty with your customers and your team.

What is Internal Marketing?

Internal marketing is how a company shares its objectives and mission with its employees. Essentially, internal marketing is the way in which a company starts to educate the market about its features and brand values from the inside out. Starting with employees, this marketing strategy aims at a more holistic approach to reaching an audience that can relate to and benefit from what the company offers. 

Internal marketing (business to employee) typically goes hand-in-hand with external marketing (business to consumer). When employees are educated about the company, they can better and more authentically share their knowledge with consumers.

Internal marketing goes deeper than just selling a product. The goal of internal marketing is to give employees a more meaningful understanding of the core of a business. How does the business value its employees? How does it value its customers? To what extent is the business positively impacting the market or the industry? Does the business effectively communicate within the organization? Why is this company the one people should work for or support? These are the questions internal marketing answers.

Here are a few examples of internal marketing strategies that often work well regardless of the industry in which your company operates or its size:

Employee recognition programs convey to employees that their work is valued and appreciated by management and the company as a whole. A simple handwritten note or a free lunch to celebrate the employee’s success dramatically increases employee engagement in the workplace. 

Team brainstorming sessionsthat help to define marketing strategies across different departments can be financially prudent and fun. You could be surprised by how creative and thoughtful your employees are when promoting your products. After all, they know the product better than an outside consultant and are more interested in the success of a new campaign. You could even make it a fun competition between departments and offer lighthearted recognition to the winning team. 

Brand education is one of the most important components of internal marketing. When your employees understand the company's mission, history, and future goals, they can better share those values with potential customers. Also, having the background information about the company you’re working for can be motivating to help the company keep moving forward in its success. 

Using integrated appslike Zelohelp keep everyone in your workforce abreast of company happenings without having to schedule unnecessary in-person or Zoom meetings. You can schedule messages to be sent in advance or at the preferred time of your employees. When employees choose what time they’d like to receive communication from management, they’re more likely to read it. It’s personalized internal communication at the highest level. Zelo also lets you track how your messages perform so you can tweak when and how you send your communications to your team. You can also create surveys to gather feedback from your team or take a pulse check to keep workplace morale high.

What Are Best Practices for Successful Internal Marketing?

Show your employees they matter

Larger companies often focus on celebrating significant employee milestones, like a 20th work anniversary where an employee gets an award or a party thrown to commemorate their accomplishment. Sometimes these celebrations are the only time an employee receives any recognition during their tenure at a company. It’s great to recognize these significant milestones; however, praising more minor accomplishments is one of the best ways to show your team they’re valued in your company. If an employee recently solved a client’s problem and the client left a rave review on Google– celebrate it!

A great way to showcase some of your team's achievements is by spotlighting them via internal communication like the company newsletter. It’s a simple (and free!) way to show your team you’re proud of them, and they in turn want to keep up the good work. 

It’s also important to share the company’s wins with your team. Whether you just met a goal or celebrated another year in business, sharing your company’s “wins” is hugely important for employee engagement. Recognizing the team’s hard work paying off will encourage everyone to keep doing their best to reach the next big goal. You can acknowledge these accomplishments through a small party or even just a simple, heartfelt email. Showing the team their contribution makes the company more successful will elicit a sense of pride and belonging. 

You can share your wins using social media and internal comms like the company newsletter. Employees can re-share the post on their own feed, which can help drive traffic to the company’s website and social feeds.

Foster employee advocacy through social media

Love it or hate it, social media is a huge driving factor for almost any business when it comes to getting and maintaining customers. Your company’s social media feed is important but not nearly as important as your employees’.

Why does their social media use matter? When employees love their jobs, they want to share what they do with their social media following. Think about it like this: when we find a product we love, we tell our friends and family about it. Why? Because the product made us happy, solved a problem, or we think it can help them in some way. The same is true with employees who are fulfilled and happy in their jobs. They will want to share what’s happening, and that enthusiasm can result in a major morale– and profit– boost. If the person working for the company is happy, the company must be pretty great, right?

There is no better brand advocate than an employee, period. A study conducted by Hinge Research Institute found that employee advocacy of a brand resulted in more social media followers, more website traffic, and an overall boost in sales. 

Don’t underestimate the importance of workplace culture

A huge part of guaranteeing a high employee engagement is ensuring your workplace culture is positive. Workplace culture is the system of shared beliefs and attitudes that surround your employees all the time. It’s essentially the vibe of the environment where you work. 

When employees show up to work in a negative environment where they aren’t valued,  challenged, or fulfilled, they won’t produce excellent work or advocate for your business. 

Investing time and energy into fostering a positive workplace culture is crucial to the growth of any business. 

If you’re already embracing remote work for your employees, you’re on the right track to creating a happy workplace culture. You can also offer incentives, reward ideas, and allow flexible hours for employees with children.

What Are the Benefits of Internal Marketing?

The benefits of internal marketing can range from intrinsic happiness to a hearty bottom line. Some of the most common benefits include: 

  • An increase in productivityWhen employees feel like their work matters, they work harder. If they don’t feel like their efforts are noticed, the motivation to work hard won’t exist. 
  • Lower turnover ratesHappy employees who are fulfilled in their professional life aren’t going to be searching the job boards anytime soon. 
  • Improved morale and employee satisfactionRecognizing an employee’s hard work and rewarding their efforts will leave everyone happier in the workplace.
  • A strong inter-departmental cohesivenessBrands that share their mission and objectives with their entire workforce make it easier for everyone in different departments to be on the same team. All employees can feel confident in working towards the same goals collectively.

3 Ways Internal Marketing Increases Employee Engagement

1. Internal Marketing Builds Trust Between the Employee and the Business

According to the Edelman “Trust Barometer” ( an in-depth survey interviewing over 33,000 participants in 28 countries), approximately one-third of people don’t trust their employer. Much of this distrust stems from a lack of communication from the top of the organization to the lower-level employees. Strong internal communications can help bridge that missing piece of the trust puzzle and help employees have more confidence in both management and the company.

2. Internal Marketing Breeds Employee Advocacy

Employees are often one of the most commonly untapped resources when it comes to organic marketing. Employee advocacy can include sharing a post from the company’s social media profile to an employee’s personal audience; this can dramatically increase the impact of that post. If your employees feel connected and trust their employer, they’re more likely to share what the company is up to with their friends and family.

3. Internal Marketing Helps Boost Authenticity

Once employees have a solid understanding of a company's mission and its impact as a whole, that messaging can be shared authentically with customers. Storytelling is a huge pillar in successful sales meetings. If your sales team knows the deep-rooted heart of their company, they can reiterate that messaging to potential clients on sales calls, at lunch meetings, or at conventions. If your employees love the brand, it’ll be evident to your customers.

Final Thoughts

A streamlined communication system is one of the simplest ways to improve your internal marketing strategy and increase employee engagement. Zelo lets you easily schedule, send and track branded messages to your entire workforce via email, SMS, Slack, and more.

Contact Zelo today to discover all the amazing features this business application offers.

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