One of the biggest factors for success in content marketing doesn’t have a thing to do with the actual content you publish. Instead, it involves your culture: your people, process, and priorities.
The very best businesses who have created a culture of content display content that is useful, varied and high-quality, they highlight internal subject matter experts, their publication schedule is consistent, their website generates and reflects accurate CTA’s with content, and their social engagement is present and active.
So the real question becomes, how can you become an advocate of content culture and drive serious results? Here are eight ways to scale content throughout your organization:
Without a doubt, an important component of a successful content culture is whether the boss believes in it.
Good leadership that invests in the vision of content marketing is highly valuable. Leaders can inspire participation and help align people around a common goal.
Not only do leaders need to understand and buy into the importance of content marketing, but they can lead by example. Those who pitch in to create content can boost thought leadership and encourage other content creators.
Content is a reflection of the people who make up your culture. If they stink, your content will, too.
Seek to hire the right people who support the content you create (or want to create) and fit your organization’s culture as a whole. Make sure their qualities include understanding content marketing and how it differs from traditional methods, willingness to get trained in content marketing if not already experienced, excellent writing and editing skills, easy collaboration with other team members, and bent towards the creative side.
Don’t forget that some of the best people internally are hiding in plain sight.
Don’t ignore that front desk person could be a great photographer, or the HR director could have an amazing video voiceover. Look in areas of your team to see what talent you already have waiting to be tapped into.
One obstacle to content creation can be the lack of understanding of how everything works. Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing is more like talking with a prospect when they have questions, rather than interrupting their day and talking at them.
To create a clear understanding, start with training. Until everyone buys into content marketing and understands how it works, you cannot begin to create a culture that’s effective. So start with training and offer continuing education on specific topics as your plans progress.
Allowing employees to work creatively creates incredible content and serves two important purposes. First, it helps set the business apart through its content, an increasingly important tactic in a crowded and noisy media environment.
Second, it gives the people who create content (e.g., designers, copywriters, bloggers, videographers) the freedom to flex their creative muscles to reach current and new audiences.
Creativity flourishes most with multiple perspectives and customers can act as an inspirational source for creative content. Content marketers can and should leverage analytics across all media to gain insights on how to evolve existing content and justify new, creative approaches.
With encouraging creative writing, be sure that employees feel as though they can contribute in additional ways beyond just blog writing.
This could mean creating a video, an infographic, a PPT presentation, new data visualizations they’ve researched, or stick with the written blog post we all know and love.
It gives your writers freedom to develop new and unique material ans also serves consumers who all learn and digest information in different ways!
Choosing the right tools will streamline your content marketing implementation right off the bat. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Set up simple communication where people can share content using a general email or shared drive to allow people to send ideas or completed work. This can help you gather everything together and encourage people to make every moment a content opportunity.
Establish a consistent content calendar. One of the key pieces of implementing your strategy is organizing it within a content calendar. It could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or part of your project management system. Whatever it is, it must help you blend the art and science of content marketing into a well-thought-out, detailed plan.
Track and report on content analytics. Find the right tool to track and measure your content efforts so you can get a positive return on your investment. Google Analytics is a great platform to start on, but if you’re looking for something even more robust, look to marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, Marketo or Act-On.
Organizations that hold onto every piece of content to get it just right have lost sight of the main principle of great content marketers.
You want employees to feel comfortable creating content that is unique without the fear of submitting and being lambasted for grammar, format, etc. Let them submit a sloppy copy. It’s your job as a marketer to help clean it up and prepare it.
Better yet, show them how to write the sloppy copy way. They’ll feel freedom to generate thoughtful pieces you may have never otherwise tackled.
Last, but not least, some content is going to stand out among the rest and may generate high leads! Reward the content creator for their innovation and brilliant execution, so you encourage other employees to strive to create this type of content.
Reward these employees by highlighting their content and the specific results it achieved at your next marketing team meeting, your next company meeting, or even in an internal email or newsletter.
If you’re short on content being submitted, also incentivize creators who send over the most thought leadership or some of the best ideas. Whether it’s through bonuses, gift cards, or public recognition, make them all feel valued and part of the process.
Your culture is the driving force and will facilitate consistent content production, bringing your strategy to life. Without the right people in place, the vision from your leaders and the best tools to help you meet your goals, your content efforts won’t work as you hope. Embed the above ideas into your everyday work and you’ll be well on your way to cultivating a culture of content creators.
Need additional ideas on ways to create this culture? Or perhaps need some direction on content strategy? Give us a call today!