It’s no secret to marketers that content is the key to driving results. Regardless if you’re seeking traffic, clicks, leads, conversations, downloads, or sales, in most cases the answer will reside in some form of content. That being said, a great piece of content alone won’t get you across the finish line. You will need strategies for distribution, nurturing, and tracking to ensure your prospects don’t drop off along the funnel, and remain engaged enough to keep you top of mind.
One effective strategy is to incorporate your employees alongside your content marketing strategy. Employees are typically an untapped resource when it comes to content creation and distribution. Involving them in your content marketing will not only help improve and expand the reach and impact of your content, it will increase engagement internally, giving employees a feeling of brand ownership and pride.
Here are five easy ways you can engage and incorporate your employees within your content marketing strategies:
1. Let Employees Share Company Content
The fastest and easiest way to get employees involved is to simply allow them to share your content with their own audiences. If you’re smart, you already have a social media policy in place, which outlines rules and best practices for employees in regards to the dos and don’ts of social media sharing. This policy may need to be adjusted or fine-tuned to allow them such privileges, but it’s worth the trouble. The simple ability for an employee to click the "share" button and distribute approved company content to their personal social channels can be incredibly powerful and beneficial.
2. Give Employees the Keys to the Company Blog
Well, maybe not all of the keys, but at least enough access for a guest blog every once in a while. People are tired of hearing from CEOs. They trust employees more, and are more likely to read an article from a person they can relate to. By diversifying your blog with guest posts from employees, you will expose it to new audiences and broaden your reach. Plus, think about the benefits from an employee engagement standpoint. Most employees are craving recognition and more meaningful work. By positioning them as thought leaders on your blog you’ll be putting them on a pedestal, showing them off to the public as hard working contributors. It’s a win-win across the board.
3. Encourage Employees to Create and Contribute
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying to go ask one of your engineers to pen your next white paper or start Photoshopping a new infographic. There are numerous levels of content creation, and many of them are quick, effective, and attainable by anyone in the company. What you should do is tap into those employees who are creative by nature, social, and willing to participate — on a level where they feel comfortable contributing. Company culture carries serious weight, and by inspiring and encouraging employees to collaborate and be creative, you will foster an environment that inspires people to get involved.
4. Recognize and Acknowledge Them on Social
Another easy way to incorporate employees within your content is to integrate them on your social channels when possible. When an employee (or group or department) does a great job, extend your thanks further than sending an email. By simply mentioning/tagging them publicly in a status update or tweet, your employee will undoubtedly feel recognized, and all of your followers will see you really do care about your employees and their contributions. It’s a simple expression, but a powerful way to impact how people view your company and influence whether or not they choose to work with you. Every organization is comprised of a melting pot of personalities, all of which affect your business. Don’t be shy; showcase these people to the world!
5. Ask for Their Feedback and Critiques
Once again, don’t be foolish. Don’t go asking a sales rep to review some code for your next product push. But, do ask a sales rep for his feedback on an upcoming e-book that relates to the vertical/territory he sells into on a daily basis. Your employees are smart, resourceful, and willing to help (that’s why you hired them, right?), so give them that opportunity when it makes sense. They know your business better than most, so place a high value on their feedback, even across departments. In a lot of cases we are too close to the projects we’re working on, so feedback from others can be eye-opening, and once again lets them know you truly do place value on their opinions. As you’re creating content it always helps to have another set of eyes, and that’s a great way to bring employees into the marketing mix.
The content engine within your marketing department won’t be slowing down anytime soon. We, as a culture, are now primed to expect new, engaging, and personalized content everywhere we look. We move fast, sometimes too fast, and expect companies to keep up. Brand marketers need every advantage possible to stay ahead of the curve and in front of the competition. Look around, and tap into the folks working at the desks beside you. They’ll give you the leg up you need to keep your content marketing strategies fresh, effective, and producing results.
This article originates from ClickZ