Content is the leading force behind nearly every strategy today’s marketer implements. As the focal point within the digital marketing industry, it touches every channel, communicates your brand message, and has the best chance of converting a user, viewer, or prospect into a paying customer.
The data speaks for itself: Ninety percent of all organizations use content in their marketing efforts, and 78 percent of CMOs consider custom content the future of marketing. What’s more, 54 percent of the most successful marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, and a quarter of organizations now earmark more than half of their budget for content.
I could go on. Content is here to stay because it’s proven itself to be effective at driving tangible results.
So you’ve spent time strategizing, creating, and fine-tuning your content to align with your target audience. Now, you want as many of those eyeballs as possible to land on your latest creation. Posts on social, online ads, and placements on your website and blog will surely get your content the exposure it deserves. In no time, your efforts will rise above your competitors’, right?
Great Content Distribution Starts on the Inside
The truth is you aren’t the only one with great content, and you’re certainly not alone in utilizing social and online channels to drive conversions. The landscape is as competitive as ever, and consumers are drowning in media, no matter where they look.
This is why it’s time to reimagine the way you distribute your content.
Look closely at your business to find the most valuable and effective resource at your disposal. You won’t find it in your budget, your stack of marcom tech, or your partner or agency relationships.
The most valuable asset you possess is the direct connection you have with the people sitting beside you right now. That’s right — the trick to reimagining distribution is to look from the inside out and integrate your co-workers as the critical last piece of your content strategy.
The benefits of employee-driven marketing efforts reach far and wide. The individuals who comprise your company have independent, trusted, and diverse audiences of their own. Tapping into those audiences opens up an entirely new distribution channel for your content, generating more impressions and reach and resulting in more leads and revenue.
Additionally, you’ll strengthen your connection with your employees, deepening their level of engagement with the company. In the end, a more engaged and informed employee will be more productive at her job — period.
Putting It Into Practice
At its core, it really is a simple concept:
- Communicate and deliver your new content to your employees.
- Allow them to easily consume and share it with their networks.
- Track the impact of their efforts.
- Fine-tune and repeat.
It doesn’t get more straightforward than that. Savvy marketers are seeing great results by reimagining content distribution in this way. IBM, for example, partnered with thousands of its employees to generate 120 million digital impressions and 141,000 clicks for a recent campaign.
Industry experts like Altimeter are tracking this trend and recently reported it as a top priority among digital strategists. In its 2015 State of Social Business survey, Altimeter reported 191 percent growth in employee advocacy since 2013.
These numbers should prompt digital marketers to take a hard look at their content distribution tactics.
Are you exploring new methods and channels beyond the traditional paid and owned strategies? Will your company culture support a more transparent and socially active employee base? How will your executives respond, and will they lead by example?
Rest assured that there’s value to capitalize on once you can address these concerns, and your team and co-workers will be thankful for your efforts down the line.
To reimagine your content distribution strategy through an employee advocacy program, follow these steps:
- Evaluate whether — and how — your employees are currently distributing your company’s content.
- Create a short list of the employees or departments that would pilot the new program.
- Secure a technology partner to assist with the implementation of the program alongside your content creation.
- Establish some guidelines, and formalize a simple training session to help educate your early adopters.
- Launch the program with your initial group, testing it with content you know the group members will likely enjoy sharing.
By incorporating your employees into your marketing efforts, you will strengthen your culture and ultimately drive the results that you, as a marketer, are held accountable for.
This article originated on Influence & Co.