One of the largest untapped marketing opportunities is the failure to engage co-workers in the content marketing process. When was the last time your sales department wrote a blog post? How often do your engineers share your content with their personal network?
There’s a tendency for marketing departments to “own” all of content marketing. Other departments don’t think they can contribute, and don’t know how they can contribute.
On top of this, marketing departments are guilty too. They don’t always know how to engage other departments, or worse, don’t see the benefit. Here are the two big things you’re missing out on.
1. Better content
Your co-workers are knowledgable and have insights your audience wants to hear. They have a different perspective than you because their expertise is in different subject areas. You will get some surprising content!
Consider your sales department for a moment. They listen to the needs of customers daily and understand their problems intimately. This is a great way to create original thought leadership content around what sales has learned.
What about your VP of Product Management? She could write about how a product was built and the people behind it. The content has the potential to be a real story!
Also, your co-worker’s content might be more likely to form a real relationship with your audience because it comes from a human voice rather than a marketing voice. Trustworthiness comes when an audience can attach a real individual to what they’re reading.
2. Increased visibility
Your co-workers also have their own network. They have their own friends on Facebook and colleagues on LinkedIn. Having your co-workers share and publish content on their social networks extends the visibility of your content. If you’re just starting out, their reach may be even greater than your own.
Whether it’s content they wrote themselves or content they’ve contributed to, employee shares have more credibility.
“While only about 2% of employees reshare the content their companies share, they’re responsible for 20% of the overall engagement (views, likes, comments, and shares) that content receives.”
– Daniel Roth, Executive Editor at LinkedIn
Your colleagues are your best brand ambassadors. When they share content, it builds up brand reputation by sending a signal to their network that they are happy and proud of your organization. Content marketing doesn’t need to be limits to marketing and sales – it can also assist with recruiting.
Sold? Here are three things you can do to get started quickly!
1. Get them excited!
Your co-workers have to want to contribute. They need to understand that their insights are valuable to people inside, and outside the organization. You want to learn from them and you want to help them share what they know with the rest of the world.
This is Motivation 101! You’re communicating that you know their value, and you want to help the rest of the world know too. A published blog post in their name helps them build their personal brand, as well as the organization’s.
2. Give them some background
It will be helpful if you can be clear with your expectations, and why you’re asking for their assistance. Do they know who your audience is? Do they know what you’re trying to accomplish? Are you looking to show the world how awesome your company is, or are you teaching an audience about a specific subject? A quick primer on content marketing will likely be appreciated.
Your co-workers also need to understand the power of their own personal networks. They need to know they can reach friends, colleagues, and classmates by sharing content through their own channels. If it’s content they’ve helped author, they should be proud to share it with others they know.
3. Hold their hand
Most of your colleagues in other departments aren’t going to have a marketing or writing background. You shouldn’t be demanding perfection. Instead, they should know you’re here to help, and will “massage” their work if needed.
Writing content is likely to be outside the scope of their usual tasks. Ask them to commit to a low contribution frequency such as one blog per quarter.
You need to help them unlock their own insights. Have frequent dialogues to get their creative juices flowing, and prompt with possible topics:
- What do you love about our culture?
- What are five ways you’re helping customers?
- Why did we add a new feature to the product?
I suggest you start with co-workers who are already highly active on social media for personal use. They’ll likely be the easiest to get buy-in from, and will encourage others to contribute as well.
If you leverage your entire organization, you can build a culture of marketing. Wouldn’t that be something?
John is the Founder & CEO of Wriber. He’s passionate about entrepreneurship, high-tech startups, thought leadership, content marketing, and artificial intelligence. John frequently volunteers his time at the University of Waterloo to help young entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. He’s also a faithful Toronto Maple Leafs fan, frequent Redditor, and lifelong learner.