14 Nov Fostering a Culture of Content Creation
We talk a lot about content on here: Managing it, promoting it, and most importantly, creating it. It has to come from somewhere right?
For a company looking to start a blog, move to an inbound marketing strategy or just beef up its website, who creates the content and how they are convinced to do so is often a major struggle. Yes there are writers out there who can learn your market and create content for you, but for an ongoing outlet such as a blog that constantly needs fresh material, it can be most beneficial to have internal experts share their expert knowledge as it evolves.
How do you make that happen?
Creating a company culture, or changing a company culture, to one that values content creation, takes time and internal champions. Here are my few pieces of advice:
Open it up to anyone
Creating content shouldn’t be just for the marketing team. Yes, we are smart, but especially in the technology sector, there are thought leaders throughout the company that should be heard.
However, some of these folks don’t write for a living so setting some guidelines and making sure that content goes through an editing process before going live is crucial. At this stage you can not only edit the content so it’s grammatically correct and easier to read but make sure it’s on message for the company and follows appropriate style guidelines.
Encourage different formats
Long-form written content is great for a number of reasons but not everyone is comfortable writing a whitepaper or a dissertation. Give folks options to write shorter articles or create videos, infographics, podcasts, etc. There are easy-to-use (and sometimes inexpensive technologies) available that can facilitate all of these things.
Extending an offer to help new writers or providing training sessions/writing workshops to help get content creation started can work wonders. Often, people have a lot to say but are held back by thinking they are poor writers. Helping folks, especially in tech, develop this skill not only can help further their career but can help you get the content you know exists in their head onto “paper”.
Lead by example
In my opinion, this is the number one thing a company’s leadership can do to instill a culture of content creation. We all know the adage “don’t do what I do, do what I say” – well, actions speak louder than words in this case. If a company wants to instill content creation into its employees’ behavior it has to start at the top. If the executive team is making the time to prioritize content creation for themselves, the rest of the company will take note. In fact, all aspects of company culture happen this way – from the top down. Employees will model executives’ behavior and will also realize what is not a priority for them.
Show workers how it benefits them
Creating smart content and linking your name to it increases an individual’s personal brand ten fold. It’s great to point to during reviews and to use as a venue to showcase knowledge on a particular subject – not just to the boss but to customers as well. The marketing team knows all this but the rest of the company might not.
Make it a competition
People are naturally competitive. Or, maybe that just us here at SpeakerBox. But, creating a game out of content creation is a great way to get people into it.
We used to have a competition to get the most views per month on our blog posts. Jonathan dominated it. But, we all still tried every month to beat him and it was a real celebration when we did.
Our competition was very broad and simply counted general views. But the focus could be narrowed to: who brings in the most leads, the most views on a particular topic, or who gets republished or recognition elsewhere.
Reward, reward, reward
Who wouldn’t make sure writing a blog post got on their monthly to-do-list if they knew there was a reward coming for them? Adding an incentive, especially in the beginning of this effort, is a great way to get workers excited about getting their content created.
There are many ways you can structure the reward system. It can be cash or prizes for the most prolific writers, the ones who contribute within set time guidelines, the ones who garner the most views, the ones who are most “on topic”, etc. Whatever matters most to you, or is causing the most headaches, create an incentive to change the behavior. Oh, and make sure you award the prizes publicly, so everyone else gets the hint!
Highlight the results for the company
Here at SpeakerBox we do this often. We use software that keeps an eye on folks coming to our website and we can see if a new client originally came to us by reading our blog. It makes the entire staff feel good to know that we contribute to bringing in new business even if we aren’t directly involved with the business development process.