Despite content marketing becoming more and more prevalent within the digital marketing industry, creating content that is fresh and engaging is getting harder. More than 78% of companies are creating more content than last year and that trend continues to outgrow the disciplines budget which means marketers may need to look introspectively to meet their growing demand. Thankfully for many, a handful of potential content creators full of industry knowledge and experience exist within your own organisation.
Unearthing knowledge and participation from people inside the company is nothing new, but it is certainly underutilised by digital professionals as a method of creating customer facing content. It’s not surprising that one of the best places to find and create genuinely useful content is from within your own organisation using the expertise and the sheer content potential of the employees in your company; after all, who knows your product better than your own staff?
Sadly this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Handling people, politics and process is rarely a simple affair. To help you here are 5 tips to engaging your internal workforce and mining their knowledge for content marketing.
Explain why it matters
Remember that although they work for your company, their goals and objectives may not be the same as yours. Show them the benefits for them personally as well as the benefits to the business as a whole. People generally are pretty responsive if they know why they are being asked to do something. Make sure they understand the impact they will have and they’ll be much more willing to help.
Mention other employees who are participating in your content efforts; especially if you have a senior manager involved to help get buy in from others.
Share their successes
While it’s natural for us as marketers to promote our content externally, sharing internally with staff allows you to highlight the successes of your efforts, put a spotlight on your contributors and entice others to join in.
For those looking for guidance on how to do this, The Social Employee by Cheryl Burgess is packed with very real and very relevant case studies from companies (Dell, AT&T, Southwest Airlines, IBM, etc.) who have successfully embraced this knowledge sharing ethos as part of the corporate culture.
Offer guidelines / ghost write
In the initial stages you’ll find that those first few contributors are those you’d expect; the leading industry figure or the extroverted professional, but to really tap into the potential lurking in the business you have to dig deeper.
For those that are a little nervous, using structured guidelines can help them to come forward by giving them a framework to work to and an understanding of exactly what is expected of them.
For others, perhaps those more senior, time will be a limiting factor. Here you can offer ghost writers to take their recorded conversations and create a narrative for them. This allows you to generate content based on the experiences of senior staff without sucking up their precious time.
Repurpose all the things!
You’ll be surprised how much insight and useful information that can be found on a company intranet. Slide decks created for internal presentations, or simple reports on market trends can be a hub of ideas for content. We’ve started doing this internally at Gocompare.com to repurpose our press releases into handy infographics and social titbits that extend the life of the information exponentially.
Always check with the original author that the information is correct, up-to-date and allowed to be re-purposed for external use though. The last thing you’d want to do is publish something that could create a roadblock for future content.
For more examples of how to repurpose content for new audiences I’d suggest this article from Wordstream.
Gamify and reward
One way to encourage your work colleagues outside of the digital team to participate in content production is to introduce a little healthy competition. From simple leaderboards to more robust reward schemes there are a number of ways to add a competitive element to the process. Doing so, can not only improve initial uptake in the programme but can also help sustain content efforts from individuals.
Hopefully some of these tips have given you some ideas about how you could unearth content producers that can breathe new life into your content marketing strategy; all the while engaging, motivating and rewarding the people at your organisation.
How do you gather additional resource internally for content campaigns? I’d love to hear in the comments below.