At Immedia Content, we love helping clients maximize their marketing spend with high-ROI collateral. But not every item in your content strategy requires the expertise of an outside agency. For many types of content, you already have a highly skilled, cost-effective solution inside your office: your staff.
I’m an editor and have been for many years. And I work in content marketing. So when I’m not overseeing websites, whitepapers and videos for clients, I create content for my employer – like this blog. However, at many companies, staff members are excluded from content production, which is a missed opportunity. Your employees are often your most enthusiastic brand evangelists.
Some team members who aren’t involved in marketing and don’t see themselves as professional writers may not initially see the point of contributing. Busy with their primary tasks, they might think content creation is a waste of their limited time. That’s why it’s important to show everyone the massive impact – both internally and externally – that they can have in promoting your business.
To help you convince your staff to start blogging, podcasting and social-media posting, we’ve selected five reasons they should contribute to the company’s content.
1. Building brand awareness
You would love for all employees to share the company’s latest news on LinkedIn, but many only share personal content on their social media channels. They’ll begrudgingly post about the company if absolutely required… but that can cause a level of animosity. However, if you get employees involved in the content strategy, they’ll happily show off the company to their networks.
This is great news for your brand. According to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer on increasing trust & engagement with employee advocates, when employees share content, their engagement goes through the roof. In fact, they receive 8x the engagement of content shared on brand channels1. People love the personal touch of messaging that comes from individuals instead of businesses.
Employee advocates don’t just receive more engagement, they also reach a lot more people. Their content will be seen, read and shared throughout their networks in ways that company messaging would not.
This type of employee advocacy is something that should be company-wide; everyone needs to take part from the top down to the bottom. This way, nobody feels left out or like they’re being made to do work that others are not.
2. Creating a trustworthy brand image
Consumers trust individuals more than brands, and they trust a message from a regular employee (52%) more than one from the CEO (43%)1. If trust is a core pillar for your brand, there’s no better way to prove its importance than by communicating through your employees.
3. Increasing accuracy
Employees are experts who can provide valuable information about your products and services. Thought-leadership content is a perfect opportunity to show off what leaders are working on, while nuts-and-bolts instructional content can be a great way for line staff to share accurate, up-to-date technical knowhow.
4. Increasing employee engagement
According to Gallup, only 33% of U.S. employees are engaged at work2. By getting employees involved in content creation, companies can improve these dismal numbers. Increasing employee engagement has many benefits: higher productivity and efficiency, less turnover, good PR, and an increased ability to attract top talent.
When employees are involved in the company’s marketing strategy, they root for the company’s success. But content creation needs to be engraved into the company’s culture. If not, many employees may feel that they’re doing work above and beyond their remit, which can create tension and lead to dissatisfaction. To maximize the upsides, be sure to celebrate wins and let employees know how much their contributions matter.
5. Promoting every part of the company
Both management and customers benefit when content is created by employees throughout the entire organization – especially from underexposed departments. Management gains a better understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and wins that different teams have, while customers get introduced to services and products they may not know you offer. Publicizing all the departments can also help human resources in their recruiting efforts.
There are plenty of reasons to get employees involved in content creation, but how do you start? First, you’ll need to provide staff with examples of good content and relevant topics. Then, create an in-depth schedule that accounts for their other deadlines. Then, provide the tools, support and resources that will ensure success. If necessary, set aside some budget for photography, equipment rental, and agency support.
If you don’t already have a culture of content creation, and you want to avoid backlash, you might need to inspire [read: “bribe”] the team to take on the new task. Incentives don’t necessarily need to be financial; many employees are more motivated by recognition than by money. A writing or video contest can be a great way to get them started.
Not every team member will be an amazing writer or speaker; however, all will have something interesting to share, which can make for great content. To empower employees to boost marketing efforts, and to offer them professional development, consider hiring an agency like Immedia Content to train employees in communication techniques. Otherwise, you can have an agency come in and interview employees and transform their stories into artfully constructed content.
Whether employees create content themselves or with outside support, it’s worth making their voices heard. There are more resources available to help them get the word out than there ever was before. Give them a platform, and you’ll be amazed at the results.
Reach out to us today for more information on how we can help your business with its content creation and strategy needs.