With 2016 on its last breath, content marketers the world over are convening to consider how they can improve their strategy for 2017. They study trends, send surveys to their clients, and make sure they’re up-to-date on the latest Google algorithms for ranking search results. These things are important and can indeed give your company a higher return on investment for its content marketing dollar. However, have you ever considered the results you could achieve by involving everyone in the company?
Before you write this idea off as impossible, consider the advice of Dan Steiner of Content Marketing Institute. In a December 2016 blog post, Steiner outlines several steps for implementing this strategy. He even shared the success experienced by Johnsonville, the well-known sausage manufacturer based out of Wisconsin. Johnsonville asked 100 employees to help the company tell its brand story, and the results still live on in commercial infamy. Keep reading to learn how this strategy might work in your agency.
Start at the Top
If your company executives aren’t on board with the idea, it’s not going to go too far. You may need to overcome initial objections by sharing success stories such as the one at Johnsonville. High-level executives must be willing to promote the idea to department managers as you plan, implement, and evaluate various strategies to achieve greater company involvement with content management. One of your main goals should be to improve enthusiasm for your company’s products and services while increasing cooperation among co-workers at the same time. Incentives such as gift cards or a reserved parking spot can help get these initiatives rolling.
Let People Know You Welcome and Value Their Ideas
It makes people feel valued to know that others in the company care about their ideas. After gaining approval from upper management, you could introduce the idea in your regular staff meeting and let people know how often you intend to follow-up on idea generation. Another possibility is to use the company newsletter to invite employees to contribute to the content creation process. You may want to consider including a short survey with the invitation to better understand your employees’ interests and the angle they might take with new content.
Brainstorming is the conventional way to collect ideas from people, but it isn’t always an effective one. It can make people feel like they’re on the spot and they don’t respond well to the pressure. Instead, they prefer the chance to think about your request in private and contribute ideas via email or during a one-on-one meeting. Cloud collaboration programs such as Google Docs, Slack, and Trello can also work well. While employees aren’t anonymous in these environments, they may feel more relaxed about sharing their ideas.
Ask Employees to Share Company Content and Be Sure to Share Theirs
It’s safe to assume that most employees have at least one social media account. Many probably follow the company brand already, so why not ask them to share it to increase engagement? According to a Social Media Today survey, people engage with content eight times as often when it’s shared by an individual than when the channel for the brand shares it. This is another area where you can reward those who willingly participate along with those who receive the most engagement from their shared posts.
If an employee wrote a blog post or created a video to promote content, don’t miss the opportunity to feature it on your company website. This encourages them to share even more and makes them feel like a valued part of the organization. Assigning a salesperson or someone else who normally doesn’t interact with company social channels the task of responding to customers on social media can help them to see what they need the most. It has the added benefit of getting their creative juices flowing when it comes to recommending ideas for new content.
Marketing Agencies Thrive When Everyone Has the Same Goal
Your content marketing team knows most about creating and promoting content with your brand identity, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from input by other departments. After all, your company cannot survive and thrive without a steady influx of new customers and revenue. You stand to be pleasantly surprised in the new year when you implement some of these strategies to get the entire company onboard the content marketing train. You don’t even have to write the new content yourself. Our team of freelance copywriters here at Content Runner are ready and willing to do it for you.