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How To Create A Company Culture of Content Marketing
So your business may be new to digital marketing, you've heard about all the value that content and SEO can produce and want to get in on the action. You've done your research or hired a professional to handle it for you and you've taken the plunge and decided that its embrace social media and blogging as part of your content marketing strategy, but you're not seeing the results.
So what do you do now? Give up? Move to paid advertising? Relook your content strategy? First of all, you need to relax and not be too rash with your content marketing decision making.
Content marketing is a long tail game and takes a time and plenty of commitment. It's really one of those things where you're rewarded for the effort you put in. Content marketing should not be a one-man band but the whole company needs to get involved.
Content that connects you with customers
Your content marketing efforts can only be effective if you know how to connect with new customers and demonstrate your expertise. To do this you first need to set up a platform to showcase your content. You have set up detailed profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, and make sure that your website is ready for new content and is search engine optimized.
Perhaps you've even identified a resource to help you with your online marketing. Now it's time to roll out your strategy company-wide and get participation from all your teams and employees. By getting participation from your people, you can help create brand evangelists who will work tirelessly to forge lasting relationships with customers and prospects.
Creating a company culture of content marketing is a great way to connect with your customers and become a thought leader in your industry, but it is extremely challenging to get all of your employees to participate. It's critical that you put a structure in place to encourage your team and make sure they're working together in the right direction. These five focus areas will help you create that environment.
1. Lead from the top
The first step is making sure that the leadership at the top of the company has complete buy-in to your content marketing plan. The CEO, owner or board of directors all need to understand what the stated goals and purposes are to your marketing strategy.
More importantly, they need to lead by example and have, for instance, active Twitter accounts, contribute to the company blog regularly as well as leverage their contacts in PR, media and publications to help amplify and syndicate your content efforts.
If you need to do some convincing, consider creating a presentation and highlight the following points:
- Demonstrate how employee social media contributions can be used for lead generation
- Present case studies of competitors and how they're using social media and employee participation, in particular.
- Show how the company is currently using social media, and how opportunities have been missed due to the old strategy and lack of participation
2. Agreement on social etiquette
Next, you need to have a Social Media Policy in place so that everyone is on the same page both with the company and personal social media and internet activity. Don't assume that everyone will know what is and isn't appropriate.
Highlight which networks the company is going to be active on and how your employees can help build your brand. Of course, you also need to cover how employees should and should not participate in social networks personally. Your employees deserve to understand that their actions, even on their personal accounts, can be construed to represent their employer and so care needs to be taken to avoid potential issues.
Once you have your employees on board, it's very easy to improve your organic reach on Facebook as they're all too happy to share your content, participate in online discussions, provide recommendations and leverage their personal social networks with the company.
3. Introduce a rewards program
What are the benefits to your employees for participating? That needs to be clearly communicated, and should be more than just "it's good for the company." Your teams are busy, and it takes time to create LinkedIn profiles or Twitter accounts. They need to understand the value of creating personal brands, as well as how important it can be to mould your company into a thought leader in your industry.
Additionally, remind employees that social media is about being social. While that can mean that it's fun, it also means that it's about networking and creating connections. From a business perspective, that means creating connections and fostering relationships with potential clients and partners.
This can be both good for your business and individual employees. Of course, the most effective benefit you can provide is actual, tangible incentive, though money may not necessarily be the best choice. You can reward your employees in a variety of ways including recognition or flexible work hours. Street Smart Disciplines has some other great ideas for improving employee performance.
Pro tip! You could provide each employee with a unique ID and use this in conjunction with UTM tracking to track traffic, leads and sales from employee social and content activities.
4. Provide Staff with Training
Once you have the proper leadership and your people understand what's in it for them, it's time to provide the proper training. This is perhaps the most critical part of the process, as your people need direction on how to be active on social networks, what to blog about, and more.
Training needs to include:
- Social Network profile creation assistance
- Blogging tips
- Brainstorm blogging topics
- How SEO plays into content marketing
5. Point of refference
Finally, there needs to be a single individual (or team for larger companies) who is in charge of your blogging and social media presence. Perhaps that's you, or maybe that's someone else, but all activity needs to be funnelled to a single point of contact. This will ensure a measure of quality control, as well as free the rest of your people from having to learn more technical details than what they need.
Your Social Media Manager will be the spokesperson for your social media strategy. Employees will use that individual as the go-to person for questions or concerns. That person will also be responsible for coordinating additional training, social media events and new content strategies. This person doesn't have to be an expert, just willing to learn and help everyone else in your organization.
Be content with your content marketing efforts
Content marketing isn't easy, if it was, everyone would be great at it and reaping the benefits and even with the most seasoned team of SEO's, content writers, social media marketers it will still take time. But when you have everyone in the business working as a collective and singing off the same hymn sheet, driving your content marketing efforts will become a whole lot easier.
If you want to know more about content marketing don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us