Skip to content
Thoughtfarmer intranet blog
Communication and Collaboration

What intranet content strategies work? We analyzed 16,000 intranet posts and this is what we learned

What intranet content do employees actually view? What posts are people interacting with? And what are other organizations doing to achieve and sustain intranet adoption?  

6 minute read
ThoughtFarmer Blog Content Strategy Hero V01
You might also like…
Intranet use cases Thumbnail
Intranet use cases

Not everyone loves crunching numbers, but fortunately our President, Darren Gibbons, does. Not only did he analyze thousands of lines of data from our customer’s intranets, he actually enjoyed it. 

Darren sifted through 16,000 news and blog posts among 80 high performing intranets and looked at which types of communication were the most frequently posted on the intranet, and which types of content are the most frequently viewed. 

Here is what we learned, as well as some takeaway insights for you to apply to your intranet strategy. 

But first, some background information

Generally speaking, there is a correlation between frequency of posts, and frequency of viewing. This makes sense since we know employees like to see what’s new. Categories with lots of content will also naturally have higher view counts.

However, this pattern doesn’t follow for all types of content. For example, we learned that “Fun” news (e.g. employee events, celebrations, etc.) was the 6th most frequently posted type of content, yet it was the 4th most popular in terms of views.

For customers that share Sales Wins, the total number of these posts wasn’t even enough to land them in the top 10 of news types; however, they were the 5th most popular for people to view.

As you can see, there are a lot of variables to intranet data. 

Our takeaway here is that quality is potentially more important than quantity, sharing “wins” is important, and not to discount less corporate information when creating your content strategy for your news on your intranet.

The top 10 categories by volume

This refers to the total number of posts by category.

  1. Company News
  2. Department News
  3. Employee News
  4. Meeting Minutes
  5. Sales Wins
  6. Fun News
  7. IT*
  8. Training 
  9. Health**
  10. Job Postings

The top 10 categories by number of views

View counts on a specific post are determined by looking at the number of view counts on a specific post. 

  1. Company News
  2. Department News
  3. Employee News
  4. Fun News
  5. Meeting Minutes
  6. IT
  7. CEO updates***
  8. Training 
  9. Payroll & Benefits
  10. Job Postings

The top 10 categories by average reach

Reach refers to the number of users that are using your intranet for a specified period of time. 

  1. CEO
  2. Strategy
  3. Conferences
  4. Fun News
  5. Project News
  6. Payroll & Benefits
  7. Company News
  8. Charity 
  9. Clubs
  10. Employee News

The top 10 categories by post engagement

Your content’s popularity isn’t just determined by visits, but also by engagement, which includes such insights as shares, likes, and comments. 

  1. Payroll & Benefits
  2. CEO
  3. Fun News
  4. Strategy
  5. Employee News
  6. Project News
  7. Company News
  8. Charity 
  9. Health
  10. IT

Now that we have this data, let’s look at what we learned after analyzing it…

Insight #1: Show me the money

Payroll & Benefits are news related to payroll, bonuses, benefits & perks. This category has 9.5x the engagement of Company News, and 6 of the top 10 posts by engagement are regarding benefits or compensation. We recommend linking up your payroll system and tie it into your intranet. 

Insight #2: CEO blog posts perform well

When leadership talks, employees listen. CEO blog posts reach 70% more staff than regular company news. CEO blog posts also have over three times as much engagement as regular company news.

Insight #3: Strategy is also a high performer

Strategy related news posts cover topics such as quarterly, annual goals, and strategic planning. They have 70% higher reach than regular Company News. To get the most out of your strategy posts, consider building out a CEO corner, and communicate your annual and quarterly strategies on the intranet.

Insight #4: Fun matters

“Fun” news includes employee contests, recipe blogs, travel blogs, pet blogs. Fun News has the third highest engagement of any category. Fun topics reach 20% more staff than regular Company News. Fun topics also have 70% more engagement than regular Company News. In other words, intranets don’t have to be boring. Fun content helps communicate culture, engages employees and improves adoption.

Insight #5: Employee News is always a good idea

Employee News is new hire announcements, promotions, kudos etc. Employee News has the second highest engagement of any category. It reaches 15% fewer employees compared to Company News, because it is typically department or location specific. However, even with a smaller reach, the engagement is 10% higher than Company News. Employee News such as new hires and key accomplishments should be a part of your HR process. 

Insight #6: Meeting minutes are useful

Meeting minutes are the fourth most common category. While they have low reach and engagement, they are a good use case for intranets. Meeting minutes are critical content, even though the reach and engagement will be low. To get the most out of meeting minutes, create a Meeting minute template on your intranet, and clone it prior to each meeting (that’s what we do here at ThoughtFarmer and it definitely makes things easier). 

Insight #7: Newsletters make poor news

Newsletters might seem like the obvious content choice, however our research revealed that intranet newsletters have 70% less reach than company news. They also have 29% less engagement than company news. 

Insight #8: Don’t use boring headlines

Headlines play an enormous role in the success of intranet content. Some of the high performing headlines we saw were:

  • Watch the March All Hands Meeting: You asked; we answered!
  • Online Pay Stubs – Now Available!
  • Organization Changes – from the Desk of the CEO

Meanwhile, the low performing headlines were:

  • Reminder: Friday is fridge clean day
  • October Perks
  • CEO Update – March 15th

Insight #9: Exclamations!

Across all posts, those with an exclamation mark (!) have 50% higher engagement. To reap these rewards on your own intranet, try breaking up the newsletter content into separate posts with relevant and attention-grabbing titles.

Insight #10: More content drives more engagement

The highest correlation factor for highly engaged intranet content is number of posts.

70% of top engagement posts are on high volume intranets. So if you want high intranet engagement, you need to ensure you are posting frequently. 

In summary

Hopefully you found these insights helpful. To summarize: 

  • Put your payroll & benefits information on your intranet
  • CEO and strategic news are key opportunities
  • Bring the fun whenever possible
  • Share employee news frequently
  • Post your meeting minutes on the intranet and leverage templates

Things to watch for: 

  • Engaging titles make for an engaged audience
  • Newsletters work best in email, not on the intranet
  • Have a content plan in place!  Don’t just launch the software and expect the content to materialize

And finally, don’t fear data! While admittedly our President enjoys data a little too much, it isn’t something to be feared. All this analysis was accomplished through ThoughtFarmer analytics and excel, and can be easily achieved by almost anyone. 

* The IT category included posts related to patching, tech alerts, and tech tips.
** The Health category included posts related to wellness, safety, and fitness.
*** The CEO updates category included blogs, insights, and updates from CEOs

Ready to measure the success of your efforts?

Download our free whitepaper for step-by-step instructions on how to measure your internal communications efforts.

Download now
Measuring Internal Comms