A content and social media marketing specialist, Ben Jacobson joined the Lean Labs team in the summer of 2014. Ben has been active as a digital branding professional since the early days of social media, having overseen projects for brands including MTV, National Geographic, Zagat and Wix. His writing has appeared in Social Media Explorer, Search Engine Journal, Techwyse and the Mad Mimi Blog.
Ben resides just south of the Carmel Mountain ridge in Israel with his dashing wife and two sprightly descendants.
Depending on the size of your company, your marketing department might consist of just a few people – or maybe even just you. As a result, you're likely to be overloaded with everything from SEO to PPC ads to content creation.
When it comes to writing killer content for inbound marketing, having one person wholly responsible is not necessarily a good thing. It makes sense for one person to "own" content creation, but to be the only one in the trenches? Not so much.
A Culture of Corporate Content Creation
It’s hard for one person to constantly come up with different perspectives and points of view long-term. When one person is writing it all, the content is likely to sound repetitive at some point. Plus, marketers aren’t at the front and center of a lot what goes on in their companies. They don’t get a lot of face-to-face interactions with customers or product development. The questions prospects and customers pose to support and sales staff are veritable gold mines for content, yet the marketer can easily get the shaft.
Your company's chief marketer may still be the primary article writer, but basing the content on the perspectives of other team members will greatly enhance the ability to resonate with audiences.
Here’s how you can do this in your own company.
Inspire people to share their insights
Your team members won’t understand the value of their input unless you tell them. Explain why you are interested in their perspectives and how you will use the information they provide you.
Inspire them to contribute to the company’s marketing efforts by showing them examples where content creation has made a real difference. Share success stories from your own business and some from other companies.
For example, you could show your coworkers how Tony DiBenedetto, CEO of cloud tech company Tribridge, has successfully built a following while personalizing his brand, by posting regularly to a distinct personal blog on the Tribridge site.
Elsewhere, one of the top contributors to the brand blog from Blue Box, a leading cloud app hosting company, is a Blue Box software engineer named Craig Tracey. If you're marketing to coders, it just makes good sense to involve a coder in your content generation process.
Teach them to present and think of content ideas
Content creation should be in your company’s culture. All of your organization's team members should ideally have content creation on the brain. When they come across a new challenge with a customer, for instance, they should immediately let you know about an idea for a content piece.
Make it clear that you want to hear their ideas about new products and services, and that all innovative ideas can be turned into interesting content. Show examples of content that works best and content that has fallen flat for your brand in the past.
Provide team members with mechanisms to easily share ideas with you and provide you with drafts or outlines. If you use a task management system at your company, create a section for content ideas. A simple Google docs form can do the job too.
Always thank team members for sending in their ideas, even if you don’t end up using them. Don’t belittle or criticize suggestions. If you feel the need to explain why you can’t use a particular one, be sure to praise the positive aspects of the idea.
Empower everyone to contribute
Some people are good writers but don’t know what to write about. Others have great topic ideas but aren’t good writers. This is where teamwork comes into play.
You can write an article based on notes provided by a team member, or they can write an article on a topic you propose. Get to know your most valuable and interested coworkers and experiment with the best ways to leverage their strengths and talents.
The key here is to foster excitement for content creation. Praise your team for each success, even the little ones. Foster their love for content creation, so they will continue to contribute in the long term. Keep telling those who are on board how much you appreciate their efforts and use their successes to pull in those who haven’t opted in yet.
As the wins build up, the task of pulling people in will become increasingly easy. Your company's culture will start to change as team members start recognizing the power and benefits of great content.
Instead of needing your cheerleading, content creation will become a natural aspect of all operations, with people competing to provide marketing with the best content ideas possible.