Creating content for employees takes time and resources, which are two ingredients that are often in short supply. At the same time, leadership wants to know the important topics they care about are being seen by employees. Employees on the other hand, largely indicate what they find interesting with their actions.
Assuming engagement data is being recorded by your internal channels, employees are anonymously sharing their preferences each time they interact with internal content -- they're opening emails, clicking links on the intranet portal and maybe even engaging on social.
And so, the value of reporting on your most popular content each month comes in learning what actually inspired employees to take action, in your effort to make the important more interesting.
Two simple ways to find your best internal content
By looking at the top level metrics that indicate how popular content was on each channel, you can get insight into the the content and messaging that actually got through to your internal audience.
Reporting on your top internal email content
One way to determine what content is most popular is with an internal email measurement tool. Of course, we’re pretty biased and will always recommend our tool Bananatag, but other systems that provide open rates and click rates for your internal emails will provide the information you’re looking for here.
Link clicks are the best email metric to measure your content’s value to your audience. This is one of the biggest reasons we recommend using the short form over long form layout for your newsletters.
A simple approach is to rank your internal email links in a spreadsheet from top clicked to least clicked for the last month.
Here’s how to structure this report:
Pro tip: Be specific when naming your links to make reporting easier (i.e. try to avoid using “click here”).
Along with the link URL and the number of clicks, also be sure to include the link text that was used in the email for context, as well as the date each email was sent.
Here’s how this data looks in a monthly bar graph:
One advantage of measuring the number of link clicks directly from your internal emails is that your measurement tool should be able to give you data on every link in the emails you’ve tracked and sent. This means you can report on content popularity regardless of whether or not you have access to analytics on the page you’re linking to. Email link click data is useful when sending a link to a public YouTube video (or any other page outside of your network), or linking to an intranet which may be difficult to access for employees.
Reporting on your top intranet content
For your intranet, we can determine overall content popularity by looking at total pageviews per article.
Your intranet vendor should have a reporting interface that allows you to export this data, along with the month each article was posted in an excel format.
If intranet data isn't available: Learn how to use the free tool Google Analytics on you intranet
Also related: Get a dashboard for Google Analytics
Similarly to how we structured our top internal email links, the example below sorts these data points into a list of your most popular intranet links:
Evergreen Content on your Intranet
If you’ve been collecting data for a while, you can also use this report to quickly determine your evergreen content. This is the content that’s always popular. Think the vacation policy, possibly the employee handbook, or any instructional articles that employees need to reference regularly.
Evergreen articles will often be part of the top viewed content every month, but should be treated differently than new content. These articles can be reported on over multiple months as trends (instead of only in a monthly snapshot) to give you another perspective on content that is timeless.
Looking at how employees reached content that you’re not actively promoting can also give you insight into the paths employees take to access your content organically. Specifically if an article is popular without having a link sent to it by email that month, secondary metrics on your intranet can give you insight into how employees arrived at it -- i.e. direct visits (using a bookmark or typing it in) vs. visits from the portal’s homepage.
Digging deeper and reporting on what matters to you
Reporting on impact vs. effort
One of the most useful pieces of information this type of monthly reporting can give you is insight into which content created the most engagement, paired with how difficult it was for your team to create each of those links.
Within the monthly reporting spreadsheet examples above, we recommend adding a column to rate the ease or difficulty (1-10) to create each piece of content:
Even if you already have an idea of what content gives you the ‘most bang for your buck’, getting specific and recording this in a consistent way helps make everyone on your team become more strategic.
Related: read more about using the ice method to rate your content
Reporting by topics that matter to the organization
Both internal email and intranet content can be categorized around topics important to your organization (i.e. sustainability, security or loss prevention). Often, these are the topics communicators are tasked with reporting on specifically because leaders are invested in them.
By adding a column and drop-down list to include this sort of categorization, it’s easier to understand which topics resonate most with employees (and which topics aren’t getting the attention they need).
Want to see how content popularity fits into a monthly internal comms report? In the coming weeks we’re offering a report template and presentation to get your monthly reporting up and running, so you can spend less time in excel and more time on great comms. Reserve your spot for our reporting webinar today!