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How to engage your staff in content marketing

5 Tips for getting key employees involved in Content Marketing

Altimeter content capabilityDo you remember the scene in 'Far and Away' where Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman race against hundreds of people in wagons and on horseback to stake their claim in the Oklahoma Land Rush? Now, pretend all those men and women are CEOs for companies in one industry, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the current race to establish thought leadership is like.

Everyone wants to be considered the Thought Leader in his industry, and just like the Oklahoma Land Rush, it’s a lot easier to establish yourself than it is to replace someone who’s already claimed that spot.

Content marketing, if done correctly, leads to Thought Leadership for a brand. If you’re putting out engaging content that helps your customers be more successful, you’re going to end up having a loyal, highly engaged customer base. If you are not aggressively pursuing this opportunity, it’s likely that one of your competitors is and, thus, the race begins.

Why getting key employees involved is a challenge

Just like any new form of digital marketing, content marketing requires a certain level of education to understand why it’s important and warrants attention. You’ll have to explain the value of content marketing and how it can benefit the business. Next, you’ll have to explain to key employees why they are the ones who should be developing content, even though their time is already a scarce resource.

Finally, you’ll need to overcome the objection that 'I’m not a writer.' This is a common objection, and not one without merit. You’ll have to reassure key employees that they’ll be supplied with the necessary resources to make sure their content flows properly and is edited correctly, allowing them to focus on the underlying message and expertise they bring to the piece. Focus on establishing a process that is easy and somewhat fun so the employee can stay engaged in the process over the long term.

Five tips for boosting employee involvement

Here are five tips that will enhance the involvement of key employees and remove barriers in the content marketing process:

  • 1. Provide examples: Examples of other companies’ successful content marketing strategies will help employees see the value and results of producing content.
  • 2. Remove friction: If the process runs smoothly, employees can focus on showcasing their expertise without getting bogged down in the process.
  • 3. Show Added Value: Show employees how content marketing can be used to make their jobs easier. For example, content marketing can be used strategically in the sales process to generate qualified leads or answer customer concerns.
  • 4. Provide topics: Source topics that are timely and feed them to your team so they don’t have to search for something to write about. In addition to helping the content creators, this ensures topics match up with the overall content strategy for your brand.
  • 5. Share the load: Involving multiple people in developing content can reduce the burden on any one employee, and it might foster a little friendly competition to help keep them engaged in the process.

Evernote does a great job of engaging its employees in its content marketing strategy. If you look at its blog, you’ll see that many different employees contribute on a variety of topics from technical insights to fun tips for getting the most from the product.

The fact is that getting key employees involved is absolutely critical for effective content marketing. These are the people you need developing your content because they have the most to offer your customers and prospects. They know your product or service in a way that others don’t, so getting them to share that knowledge is indispensable for developing a deeper relationship with customers. And it’s this relationship that will ultimately establish you as the thought leader in your industry.

Editor's note: If you're looking for more ideas on how to encourage staff to contribute to content marketing, see the  Smart Insight's post on 'how to persuade others to share content' and Content Marketing Benchmarks from where the Altimeter image of content marketing capability is referenced.

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