Content marketing is a becoming more of a priority for companies across every industry. But would it surprise you to learn that, according to the Content Marketing Institute, only 30 percent of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at it? What about that between 60 and 70 percent of content created by marketing departments at B2B companies sits unused?
While these two figures may not be directly correlated, they should make you very uncomfortable. After all, a marketing department that doesn’t use the content it worked so hard to produce is sitting on an empty investment, like a custom-built dream home you and your family will never live in.
Fortunately, these data also represent an opportunity. Ineffective content marketing is not a supply problem; it’s a strategy problem. And any company can decide today that content marketing is a priority and turn a lackluster content effort into a flourishing asset. It just needs to develop a supportive blueprint for taking content off the shelf and putting it to work.
Here’s how to transform your business into one that reinvigorates content distribution:
1. Educate your employees about content marketing.
Most employees don’t fully understand how they can use content in their everyday. They think “Well, that’s our marketing director’s job,” and they go about their business. Or they think that content going viral is a result of magical pixie dust.
Neither of these mentalities will support effective content marketing, so it’s up to you to train your team to think of content as a companywide effort. You can look into partnering with Dynamic Signal to motivate your employees. You can also start a grassroots effort by targeting specific employee groups within your company:
- New employees: Personally send content to new employees as an additional training opportunity.
- Prospective candidates: Keep your recruiters in the loop on new content they can share with potential job candidates.
- Public relations: Share articles with the PR team to use in pitches or to send to reporters and contributors when they need sources.
It’s up to you to train your team to think of content as a companywide effort via @tweetJohnHall
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2. Motivate your team to get involved.
Once your team members know what to do, make it worth their while to follow through. First, lead by example. Send content to your network, and share the results at the next meeting. Then pick two or three people in the company who are content rock stars, and encourage those employees to use content to share their expertise and practices with the rest of the team. If they need more convincing, this post contains more ammo to fire up your team about content creation.
Motivation comes from leaders, but it can also come from incentive. Set aside some of your budget to reward team members for sharing content. When an employee brings an opportunity to the company using this method, acknowledge it and reward them.
3. Empower your team with the right resources.
Many companies overwhelm their directors of marketing with hundreds of responsibilities. Is it really a surprise that they don’t have time to email every employee about the most recent blog post?
For the largest impact on your content marketing performance, shift these bigger-picture positions from implementation to project management. To help with this effort, empower employees with useful resources such as a centrally located knowledge bank of published content and a personal branding checklist for each contributor. To get started creating a bank, download your customizable template here.
4. Take action outside the walls of your company.
Education, motivation, and empowerment are the cornerstones of effective content distribution, but they’re not enough by themselves. The final step is taking direct action to promote your content to new audiences outside your company.
While content distribution methods are always evolving, here are a few ways you can get started with little to no time or financial investment:
- Niche publications. Target specialized audiences by publishing in niche publications, which allows you to benefit from the trust the publication has built with its audience.
- Newsletters and emails. Use company newsletters and employee email signatures to share content. We helped a client publish to Forbes, but he was disappointed with receiving only 2,000 views. He added the article to his company newsletter, and it jumped to 10,000 views within the day.
- Repurposed content. Stay top of mind with your personal network by repurposing content on social media channels such as LinkedIn. Just the other day, a conference organizer told me that because of the way I leverage my content, there’s no one else who comes to mind before me. When influential people think of you often — and first — good things are more likely to happen.
- Influencers and partners. Identify partners and influencers with whom you have strong relationships, and ask them to share certain articles. They’ll be happy to do you a favor, and they’ll reach out when they have one for you, too.
Don’t let content remain your company’s hidden asset. You have the content: Now it’s time to work on the strategy. Use these tips to transform your company into a content powerhouse from the ground up, using employees, tools, and processes to amplify the benefit from each thought leadership piece you promote.
This post originates from Forbes