The Ultimate Guide To Creating Employee Engagement Content That Resonates [2017 Edition]

Heather R. Huhman

The Ultimate Guide To Creating Employee Engagement Content That Resonates [2017 Edition]

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The Ultimate Guide To Creating Employee Engagement Content That Resonates [2017 Edition]

Employee engagement: It’s the phrase that makes your world go round. As a content marketer, you’ve likely dreamed for a topic that’s as rich in options as employee engagement. Not to mention, it’s something your target audience is very interested in right now. There’s a lot of opportunity for you and your brand.

But where to start in creating employee engagement content? Do you focus on new research? Compelling infographics? Which trends should you be letting people know about right now?

And most importantly, with so many people talking about the subject, how do you make your employee engagement content stand out from the crowd? We know you have a lot of questions about employee engagement content.

That’s why the Come Recommended team decided to dive into the data (courtesy of BuzzSumo) to determine exactly how to produce employee engagement content that will resonate with your current and potential customers.

We analyzed a total of 8,310 articles, which combined received approximately 634,259 shares. This means employee engagement content, on average, garnered 76 shares.

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However, yours could perform even better. The following guide is full of takeaways to optimize your content in 2017.

Best Month

The best month for employee engagement is, by far, February. Coincidentally, one of the biggest gauges of employee engagement, the Gallup State of the American Workplace report, was just released this month. So it makes sense that the topic is popular during the month of February. In the grand scheme of things, however, February is the month following all of the “new year” employer initiatives to improve employee engagement. It’s no wonder February would peak as the most popular month for employee engagement content.

On the other hand, December is the worst month for employee engagement content. Compared to February, content received four times fewer shares during the last month of the year. This is likely due to employers focusing on year-end goals, rather than what best gets employees there — employee engagement.

Marketing takeaway: Unfortunately, February is also the shortest month of the year, so there’s not a lot of time to make the most of your employee engagement content. Since Valentine’s Day is also in February, why not create a theme to your content about “love” and ways employers can increase the love between employees and their jobs? That will make your pieces timely and allow you to ride the topic’s wave of popularity during the month.

Best Day of the Week

Mid-week is the best time for employee engagement content. Especially on Facebook, considering the other platforms have more consistent share rates during the work week. Whenever possible, avoid sharing content on the topic during the weekend. It doesn’t just get fewer shares than… it gets tens of thousands of fewer shares.

Marketing takeaway: Even though Tuesday through Thursday are the days when employee engagement content gets the most exposure, that doesn’t mean you should clog up your feeds promoting the same piece during those three days. Even if you use different wording for your shares and different images, if someone clicks on your shares and repeatedly gets taken to the same piece of content, it won’t sit well with them.

Instead, recycle evergreen posts you have on employee engagement or repost other relevant content. This will allow you to add variety to your feeds while still giving your audience valuable information on the topic. Tuesday is definitely the best day to get your most current content posted on social media, so consider Wednesday and Thursday bonus days to direct your audience to other valuable content you’ve shared on the topic.

Best Content Type

Employee engagement has been the talk of the HR town for a while. Given that, it makes sense that there’s not much interest in “what” content. Your reader already has the basics of the topic down. Now they want a more in-depth look at employee engagement and what it means for their company.

Lists, videos, and infographics soar in employee engagement content shares. Readers are looking for engaging ways to learn about “why” and “how-to” implement employee engagement strategies.

Marketing takeaway: Yes, employee engagement is a popular topic. But that can also make it an exhausted topic. Make sure that your content brings something new to the table or it won’t interest the reader at all.

For example, look at one of the most popular employee engagement posts from last year: “The Dark Side of High Employee Engagement.” This post, from the Harvard Business Review, received 19,300 shares on social media and earned 83 backlinks. But it’s not your run-of-the-mill piece of employee engagement content. It’s a list about potential downfalls of engaged employees and features new research from the authors. It offers the reader something new on the topic.

Determine what you can offer that is new to employee engagement content and offer that in a variety of mediums across social media. Don’t limit yourself to long-form posts when readers are looking for infographics (which are easy to format as the lists readers love). And don’t eliminate the possibility of video from your content in lieu of a why or how-to in blog format — mix it up.

Best Length

On Twitter and Facebook, shorter posts between 1,000-2,000 words get the most shares. For LinkedIn, however, 2,000-3,000 words is the best length. For example, the top LinkedIn post on the topic was 2,254 words. Don’t limit yourself, though, content that was more than 3,000 words also got an impressive number of shares across all three platforms.

Marketing takeaway: Don’t fall into the trap of making longer content, boring content. There are ways to keep a reader’s interest for 3,000 words. You can break up copy with relevant images or experiment with the format of the piece. The top LinkedIn post, for example, was structured as a quiz.

Best Network

Not surprisingly, LinkedIn is the best platform for employee engagement content. It outranked Facebook by almost 300,000 total shares on the topic.

Marketing takeaway: As a publishing platform, LinkedIn is a powerful place to house your content. Looking at the list of the top employee engagement pieces, three of the top five were published on LinkedIn. Take advantage of the platform and how easy it is for readers to share pieces there by ending content with a call-to-action that invites them to pass it on to their network.

Best Keywords

LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, keywords about employee engagement surveys earn a lot of shares. That implies your audience is turning to the platform to find ways to measure and track employee engagement in their own company. The fact that “trends” pieces, on average, receive 60 fewer shares backs that up.

Marketing takeaway: Readers aren’t interested in best practices or trends content on LinkedIn. They want information on how they can assess their employees’ levels of engagement and use that data to make better talent management decisions. Fill the content you share on LinkedIn with information and tools that will help them do that.

Facebook

There’s less of a marked difference in keyword popularity on Facebook. “Engagement strategies” — the top keyword — only received 20 more shares than “retention” — number 10. With Facebook employee engagement content, there isn’t one all-powerful keyword that will help you succeed.

Marketing takeaway: While keywords are always important, on Facebook, it’s the quality of the content that earns the most engagement. So instead of trying to make something work with a certain keyword, focus on making it a fantastic piece first and foremost. That will help it stand out on Facebook.

Twitter

On Twitter it seems like just one thing matters: making employee engagement better. Unlike the other platforms, there’s little interest in specific strategies. Your audience just wants to make improvements — and probably quickly.

Marketing takeaway: Showcase what your content has to offer readers when promoting it on Twitter. Use words like “better” and “improve” in your tweets to let them know that you have the information they need and want.

Conclusion

Overall

Timing

February is the big month for employee engagement content. If you missed that opportunity this year don’t worry. There’s another surge in popularity in August. Use the time until then to plan out a strong calendar and plan for August. After that, there’s another lull until February, so start the cycle of planning over again as the year comes to an end.

Type

Lists, videos, and infographics perform best on average. If you’re going to focus your efforts on Facebook, definitely, highly promote these types of content there. They do especially well on that platform.

Length

Longer is better with employee engagement content. The best length is 2,000-3,000 words, but don’t be afraid to add more if it adds depth to the content.

Social Network

LinkedIn is far and above the best social network to rely on — not only to garter buzz about your content, but also as a great place to publish it.

Keywords

In general, stick to surveys and strategies. They offer a lot of keyword options, many of which perform very well on all of social media.

Caution

Like all best practices, it’s important to experiment and analyze what works best for your specific customer.

When Devoting One Month to Employee Engagement Content

Timing

February might seem like the obvious choice, but we’re going to go with August for two reasons. First, it offers 31 days to publish and promote your content instead of 28. Even during a leap year, there’s more of a chance of your content getting in front of the right eyes in those extra days.

Second, there’s less competition. If everyone is trying to cram their employee engagement content into February, it’s likely your content will get overshadowed by bigger giants like Gallup.

Type

Try a list series for your blog during the month. Having related content will increase the odds of readers continuing to peruse what you have to offer. Plus, it will keep them coming back for more when the new piece in the series is released. You can also throw in a few simple videos or infographics based on that series to add some variety.

Length

Aim for at least 2,000 words, but remember, there’s a lot you can delve into with employee engagement content. Make sure each point is fully explored, and don’t limit yourself if a piece is creeping up towards 3,000 words and there’s still more left to say.

Social Network

If you’re only focusing on the topic for one month, spread the love over all the platforms. Focus most of your efforts on LinkedIn, but don’t ignore Facebook and Twitter. You can recycle some older content about employee engagement to fill out those calendars.

Keywords

Since there is such a big of a divide between the top employee engagement keywords, just pick one that applies best to your goals. Focusing the majority of your content on related keywords, it increases the odds that eventually you’ll rank higher for those words.

When Devoting Once or More a Week to Employee Engagement

Timing

Concentrate on midweek to promote your employee engagement content. The absolute best day is Tuesday, but if that doesn’t work with your editorial calendar, Wednesday or Thursday work, too.

Type

Long lists will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Just remember to break up the copy into digestible pieces and organize the list in a way that flows for the reader.

Length

Longer pieces tend to do better. But don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity. Once you’ve completely covered your topic, know when to stop.

Social Network

Stick with LinkedIn. You can use Twitter and Facebook for your other types of content.

Keywords

If you do decide to stick with LinkedIn for your employee engagement content, then your keyword choices need to match. For the most part, stick with content about engagement surveys or strategies. Occasionally add something else to the mix to have well-rounded content, though.

All You Need to Know About Attracting HR Professionals With Awesome Content

Do you want even more data about reaching HR pros with content? Together with Recruiter.com, we conducted our own research to discover what content they read, when they read it, where they look for content, how they share it, and more.

Heather R. Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.