Valuable, contextually relevant content that engages a target audience is essential to the success of marketing and sales teams. But in my opinion, content production is one of the more difficult jobs for agencies to set up and maintain.
The answer is to leverage the wealth of employee knowledge and expertise by creating a culture of content that actively encourages and rewards participation. A successful programme will allow time for thinking and creation. It will have budget for rewards and recognition. It will also be headed up by a marketing team that is skilled at journalism and people management.
If your business is struggling to maintain a content pipeline and your marketing is suffering, consider involving your wider team in these activities. Get it right and your business will benefit in these 7 key ways.
- Content creation won’t be reliant upon the expertise of just your marketing team or one or two senior people. Involving the wider business can result in a stronger pipeline of content.
- Employees will share content with their own networks when they feel involved and that their thoughts are valued. In my experience, creative people in particular will not share company content that they aren’t proud of or disagree with. Not everyone agrees with everything, but if your marketing team continue to churn out content that your team dislikes you will struggle to get them to share it. Therefore, you will be missing out on leveraging the extended networks of your team.
- Employees will develop their own thoughts and ideas – given the right coaching and ‘permission’, which adds interest and breadth to content. They will also be more inclined to keep up with their own learning, which will bring additional benefits to your business.
- Your team will bring different voices to the company’s tone of voice giving your content more depth and personality. This is particularly relevant for your company blog and social media feeds.
- Give employees time to think and create content for your marketing outreach and they will become experts in their own right – if they aren’t already. Your brand will be associated with these industry experts giving you new and interesting ways to connect with your target audience. I like to call this the ‘employee halo’ effect. Individuals knowledgeable in their field, who are also advocates for your business, are happy to write, speak and network on your behalf as well as their own. Their expertise also becomes your businesses’ expertise. Tread with caution however as the negative is also true.
- Individuals give you access to platforms that a brand can’t – this is particularly true for agencies. If you want to speak at prestigious events as an agency you will likely have to pay sponsorship. As an individual with a point of view to share and other content that lends weight to that view, you stand more of a chance of getting accepted without sponsorship.
- You can use training opportunities such as conference attendance to broaden your reach and networks. If employees are bought into your marketing strategy and feel that their thoughts are valued, training opportunities can also be leveraged for activities such as blogging and social media updates.
For these reasons I wouldn’t recommend outsourcing all of your content production. That isn’t to say that a good ghost writer, video production agency or social media company doesn’t play a part. They do. Although this method may not be easier than outsourcing and requires a change of culture and processes in the long term it will reap larger rewards.
If you put in place the required culture and processes, employ a marketing team with the necessary skills, you can create content in-house that by and large will be more in-depth and relevant to your audience than anything that is outsourced.