By: Shama Hyder
Currently, we are working with two clients (both non-profits) who are struggling with the same issue-marketing their intranet. We often think about marketing as an external practice, but it is just as important to market within the organization. Once employees are on board, the entire operation runs easier.
Here is the definition of an intranet according to Webopedia:
A network based on TCP/IP protocols (an internet) belonging to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization’s members, employees, or others with authorization. An intranet’s websites look and act just like any other Web sites, but the firewall surrounding an intranet fends off unauthorized access.
Like the Internet itself, intranets are used to share information. Secure intranets are now the fastest-growing segment of the Internet because they are much less expensive to build and manage than private networks based on proprietary protocols.
Both our clients have spent a good amount of time and money on creating an intranet that can allow them to share valuable information within their organization. The problem? Actually getting their members to log on. Here are 5 ways to effectively market your intranet:
1) Make it exclusive– If the intranet becomes a place where exclusive content can be found, members are more likely to log-on. Don’t splash the same content on emails and memos. Let them access it exclusively through the intranet.
2) Make logging on a breeze– We are currently building the intranet site for the American Heart Association. One of our key goals for this site is to keep the login process as simple as possible. We live in hectic times, and if it isn’t simple most people aren’t going to bother taking the time to figure it out.
3) Get user input- Asking is the simplest way to market the intranet. Ask the members who are going to be using the intranet for their input. How can the intranet be made more accessible to them? What features would they like to see? And most importantly-What’s keeping them from using it on a regular basis now?
4) Set-up a rewards program- Subway Sandwiches has an innovative program which rewards franchisees who participate in the online “Subway University” courses. It’s a great way to increase participation and cultivate a healthy competitive spirit within the organization. Figure out a way to reward your members for using the intranet.
5) Give it time- It can be disheartening when you put a lot of effort into a project, and your members aren’t as thrilled about it as you. Give it time. It may take a few months for all the members to get on board and get comfortable with your new intranet. Even if you implement new marketing strategies, have patience with the results.