More than 90 percent of organizations view content as a business asset, according to the Content Marketing Institute, but Altimeter points out that 70 percent of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy.
Two of the biggest challenges are coming up with good topic ideas and finding the time to dedicate to writing content. Without consistent content production and promotion, content marketing won’t be very effective.
In this post, we will look at how involving your whole team in content marketing can address both of these concerns and improve your return on investment.
Everyone Has a Story to Tell
There are many different roles within an organization and each person has a different story to tell. For example, sales personnel are often the most in-tune with a customer’s pain points, support staff have insight into common issues when using the product, and product developers are intimately familiar with how a product was built. There are also many issues that everyone has an opinion on, such as the work environment or broader industry.
Content marketing is often the responsibility of the sales and marketing department, but it can be challenging for a single person to brainstorm ideas week in and week out. By leaning on the entire organization, you can come up with unique topics covering everything from customer pain points to product features to what differentiates you from the competition. You can also use customer anecdotes and real examples to bring the content to life.
In a recent Audience Ops podcast, Tactical Content Marketing That Drives Sales, we talked with LeadFuze CEO Justin McGill about how he uses everyone in the company to develop content rather than relying exclusively on a sales and marketing team. McGill points out that there are lots of benefits to this approach and outlines his strategy in the podcast, but in reality, there are many different ways to go about content planning company-wide.
Content Isn’t Just About Sales
Most people believe that content marketing is only about generating sales. After all, investing in a well-written blog targeting customer problems and pain points can draw in repeat visitors from search engines, social media, and other sources over time. But, content can be used to market to much more than just potential customers: It can help market your company to potential employees, existing customers (upselling), or even industry partners.
A software-as-a-service provider might have their software developers maintain a software development blog that helps recruitment efforts. For example, Airbnb maintains an Engineering & Data Science blog that talks about the company’s technical challenges and how they overcome them. This helps build a rapport with the software development community and has definitely helped the company attract top talent.
The same company may have their customer support personnel write knowledge base content that can be referenced by other customers. Over time, an in-depth knowledge base can help customers help themselves without consuming customer support resources, while simultaneously improving the customer experience. Customer support can also reference these knowledge base article when addressing support requests to save time.
Defining Unique Goals
You may want to consider dividing each unique type of content into a separate blog – or at least category. For example, an engineering blog should be kept separate from a sales and marketing blog since there’s very little overlap in audience. Each blog should also have its own ‘business plan’ with unique marketing channels and specific marketing goals. The performance of each piece of content can then be quantitatively measured to ensure you’re seeing a ROI.
For example, suppose that you have a sales and marketing blog targeting new customers and an engineering blog to help with recruitment. The sales and marketing posts may be written with the goal of sending a visitor down a lead funnel and marketed to on social media. However, an engineering blog may seek to generate inbound resumes or spur the download of open-source software projects and be promoted on engineering-specific websites, like HackerNews.
It’s important to establish specific goals when you’re involving the whole team, to ensure that everyone’s time is well spent. For example, an engineer’s time may be worth $75.00 per hour and a blog post that takes two hours needs to generate enough value to be worth $150.00. Setting these goals also helps let you know how engaged the audience is with the topic, rather than relying on page views alone when looking at metrics.
Tips for Getting Started
The easiest way to get started is by having every employee complete a brief topic ideas survey at the end of each month and send the topics to an outsourced content marketing team. For example, you might create a Google Form that’s emailed to everyone in the organization and then send the resulting topics to a company like Audience Ops that specializes in actually writing, posting, and marketing the content on your behalf.
If you want to keep the writing in-house, you might consider having each person submit a piece of content on a rolling basis. It’s a good idea to setup some criteria beforehand, such as a style guide and desired word count, and then develop a content calendar that holds each person responsible with a deadline. The upshot of this strategy is that employees can fine-tune their writing skills and the content represents a ground-floor viewpoint.
Finally, you may decide to have everyone in the company brainstorm ideas, but then have a professional in-house writer create, post, and promote the content. This way, you can benefit from the advantage of developing SEO-driven content that’s well-written, but still have someone in-house that has direct access to employees. The downside of this approach is that it involves greater overhead from hiring a dedicated employee.
The Bottom Line
Successful content marketing requires a consistent schedule and high-value content. By including your entire team, you can come up with unique story angles that deliver a high value to your target audience. You may even be able to lean on your team for the writing itself. Those outsourcing their content production to companies like Audience Ops may also want to consider involving their team in topic brainstorming to maximize relevance and long-term success.
If you’re looking for a way to effectively manage your content, try OpsCalendar for free as a way to schedule, post, and promote your content without missing a beat. If you’re interested in outsourcing your content production, contact us today for a free demo and consultation to learn more about your business.