https://www.zerys.com/solutions/zerys-for-agencies/content-agency-blog/bid/90043/5-ways-to-turn-a-company-into-a-content-machineIn an increasingly content-driven environment, generating enough quality information becomes problematic when it’s the responsibility of one or two people in a company. Even if your clients have a whole team at your disposal, chances are good that they are marketing or communications people, right? And yet you keep hearing that quality content isn’t marketing-centric.
This is a common challenge facing companies as we head into 2013 – exactly how to deliver the high quality content you need on an ongoing basis without incurring equally high costs. One answer is to start using a content management platform that streamlines that process of creating and managing your content. Another? An “insourcing” strategy, which allows your employees to contribute significantly to your content needs.
Create a Content Culture
As with most cultural changes, this begins at the top. Persuade senior management to create a content-friendly culture, which promotes the understanding of the role of information in the company’s communications, by:
- Highlighting the purpose and value of content through employee communications.
- Make sure your staff members see what goes on to the website and social media, so they are aware of the content generates.
- If you don’t have an employee email newsletter, develop one that piggybacks onto the content you produce for outsiders.
Empower your staff to become ambassadors for your company and products, to help generate the content you need.
Look, we aren’t suggesting that you simply allow untrained people to run riot across your online properties. You do need to develop a content policy or guidelines that help them understand what they can and can’t do.
First, it’s essential that they know what they are doing. Allow employees to spend time on social media during the workday. Don’t be one of those firms that bans social media – in the long-term, employees who aren’t active online will be the poorer for their lack of exposure to technology. Implement a policy outlining who can post content, where they can post, and whether an approval process is required before they do so. This spreads the workload, reduces the risk of any craziness on your properties, and sets up monitoring protocols.
Encourage all employees to follow industry-related blogs. Invite them to join the corporate Facebook page and to share anything they read that might be of interest to others in the company.
Every company has experts. Not only product experts, but other, mostly untapped expertise:
- Regional expertise. Your employees live in the area. They know the people, the region and many of the issues.
- Service expertise. Staff members who deal with customers know what your target market wants. They know how to reach them, and they often know just how to talk to them.
- Media expertise. In every group of people, you are likely to have amateur photographers, videographers, writers and radio buffs. Conduct a pop quiz to find out what your employees’ hobbies are, and select those whose out-of-office experience complements your content needs. They’ll love the opportunity to use their skills to build up their reputation at work.
And of course, ask your technical people and product specialists to submit white papers and guest columns based on their areas of expertise. Even if they need help with the writing and editing, nothing beats getting a technical perspective from a qualified person.
Even employees who aren’t talented writers can contribute to your content insourcing strategy. Invite everyone to submit ideas, and acknowledge and reward them publicly for doing so. Don’t wait for them to think of something. Task each department or employee with coming up with an idea on a rotating basis. This will force them to give thought to the process and make an effort to find a topic of interest. Evaluate the ideas with your writing team to see which ones work, and let a writer “interview” the source and write the copy.
Develop an Editorial Calendar
Knowing when you're going to post is as important as knowing what you are going to post. By developing an annual editorial calendar, you can identify important dates and events such as:
- Business cycles
- Seasonal trends
- Product launches
- Company milestones
This enables you to allocate the production of content related to these events to those employees best suited to covering it. You can also see at a glance when you have a gap in the process and prepare something to fill it well in advance.
Turning your client's company into a well-oiled content machine requires a carefully-managed strategy, empowered employees and reasonable guidelines, but the payoff will be better content and huge savings for them.