Content marketing should never be the job of just one person, or even one department. For content to truly have an impact on your audiences, you need a collaborative effort.
Whether your current content marketing efforts have stagnated, or you’re building a content marketing strategy from scratch, involving more players from outside your marketing department can give you an advantage. The Content Marketing Institute reports that nearly two-thirds of the most effective marketers meet with their content teams regularly. Building a strategy that includes more people power from within your organization can help.
The best creative ideas can come from anyone from your research and development department to a customer service representative. Featuring your staff in content, like a video interview with your CEO, helps customers build better relationships with your brand. Empowering employees with the tools to share your content via Employee Advocacy best practices helps extend the reach of your efforts.
Consider these benefits to making content marketing at your business a company-wide investment.
Ideation Gets a Boost
One of the top ways businesses that are successful at content marketing get great ideas is through brainstorming. Involving teams outside marketing in the brainstorming process for content is essential because:
- They talk with customers your marketing team doesn’t have access to. The needs, complaints and priorities of your customers can be revealed by employees such as salespeople, customer service reps, trade show attendees and more. Employees in the field may have insights that your marketing team doesn’t.
- Successful content marketing helps employees do their jobs better. You can use content marketing to proactively answer frequent customer questions or provide helpful information that increases leads or sales. Teams may have ideas for stellar pieces of content that are shareable and that improve business operations.
- They may have ideas inspired from competitors. Other employees who conduct competitor research or read news about the industry may be able to share what’s working for the competition and identify gaps where your content marketing can shine.
Make it easier for other teams to contribute on-target content marketing ideas by providing:
- Examples of content that captures your ideal voice
- Keywords you want to focus on
- Customer personas you want to target
An employee communication app like Smarp allows other team members to add ideas as soon as they’re inspired. Access to an internal content hub can also increase employee knowledge, which can lead to more content inspiration.
Content Quality Improves
Every person in your company is a subject matter expert in a topic that relates to your business operations. Instead of having your content team research, write and edit content in an area they might not be familiar with, using employees as sources or even as content creators helps to improve the quality of the content and the efficiency in which it’s produced, which are the most significant factors to increase success with content marketing.
Some ways to involve more team members with the creation of high-quality content include:
- Make guest posts part of your content calendar. Get manager approval to make guest posts from various departments a regular form of content, and upload a living document of your content calendar to the cloud to increase transparency. By planning content in advance and updating a calendar with what has been published, other departments can claim ideas that they’ll be producing and start working on content earlier. Managers can assign content assignments to employees who are interested and are better able to produce. The employee gets a byline they can add to their LinkedIn profile and share with their social networks.
- Have your content team interview employees or ghostwrite their content. For departments or employees who are strapped for time or who don’t enjoy writing or creating, have your content team meet with them to get ideas or create content on their behalf. An employee interview can be used to add quotes and credibility to a piece of content, or a video or audio interview can become the content itself through a podcast or video upload format. Regular interviews with staff can turn into new ideas for your content team, and quotes can be used in future content.
- Directly involve CEOs and key leadership. CEOs and senior leadership are viewed as more trustworthy than even public leaders are, according to the Environics Communications CanTrust Index. Employees in these positions are also ones that are viewed as credible sources to journalists and bloggers who are interested in covering news within your industry or who want to cite your company in an article. Whether you interview your C-Suite for content, ghost-create content on their behalf, or have them create content that your team edits and publishes, the more you can involve top leaders in your company in content marketing, the more credibility you can build with content consumers.
As your employees get more involved with the creation process, they’ll also be more likely to share their own content with their networks. This helps you achieve your content marketing goals, including increased pageviews, higher search results and more leads and sales.
Content marketing should be a key component in your Employee Advocacy program, which in turn creates higher employee engagement. When your employees take pride in helping build your content marketing program with their ideas and actual content, their loyalty for your business increases, and so does retention.
Compare the reach of your company social networks to the reach of all the professional social networks of your employees, including LinkedIn, Twitter and discussion-based networks like Reddit. Brand messages travel more than 500 percent further when employees share them, compared to messages that are shared by your official business channels, reports Content Marketing Institute. Use these ideas to encourage more sharing by your employees:
- Make sharing content easy. Tools like ClickToTweet allow your business to create compliant, on-brand social sharing updates. You can also create social sharing posts and upload them to a company message board for simple copy-and-paste sharing.
- Teach social media basics. Your employees may not share content because they’re not confident in how to deliver it effectively. Your business could host a lunch-and-learn explaining basic tips for social media sharing, and upload the presentation for non-attendees and anytime-access.
- Create a social media handbook. As you create and update guidelines for social for your marketing team, compile them in a handbook that is also accessible to any employee who wants to join in the sharing fun.
Reward employees who share by recognizing them. Your marketing department could create a digital employee spotlight that gives gratitude for a stellar share, or hand out awards at team meetings. As we previously covered, recognition is key to fostering strengths-based performance from employees. Be sure to play up employee strengths in ideation, creation and sharing processes in content marketing efforts, as well.
Create a Feedback Loop to Keep Improving
As more employees join in your company content marketing efforts, be sure to constantly ask for feedback so you can optimize their time and your marketing department’s work. Ask how you can make it easier for them to contribute and share, and be open to commentary regarding your content marketing work.
Just like you’d value what your customers have to say about your content marketing, respecting the subject matter experts within your own company can help refine your content marketing efforts.