For many marketers, content and social marketing presents tremendous opportunities, but also some considerable challenges. We frequently see marketers that get off to a great start, delivering engaging content and participating fully in the social discussion, but run out of steam as they realize that once you start feeding the beast, you can’t slow down. The best marketers turn to one simple technique to ensure they can keep up with the demands of their audience – leveraging the skills of their entire company. Frequently, marketers do not realize that there is a bounty of amazing content available right inside their company. When it comes to content development and social media participation, it is important to utilize the strengths of the entire team, as it is entirely possible that a relevant blog post, whitepaper or a podcast could originate from any source within the company.
Ideally, content marketers should create a team of individuals who offer different perspectives from their respective departments. For instance, a developer who has identified a new or interesting way to use your product to solve a specific business problem could be the ideal author of a useful and informative whitepaper.
Unfortunately, this subject matter expert may not necessarily have the writing skills, or time, to sit down and turn it into a finished product. We find that an effective way to tap into this source of knowledge is for your marketing team to create a list of questions for the expert then interview them either on video or audio tape. The original ideas are captured, and once transcribed, a professional writer can turn that interview into an amazing piece of content.
This method is an interesting way to get all kinds of people involved in content creation. At Manticore , we are big believers in recording, transcribing and then editing in order to create relevant, compelling content for use in our overall content marketing effort. (In fact, this blog post started from a recorded interview.)
The same principals can apply to social media engagement. Different employees in your company can be given the responsibility to represent the company in different forums based on their area of expertise. It is important to provide employees with a set of guidelines as to what is appropriate (and not appropriate) to post, but you don’t want to put handcuffs on them that prevents them from doing anything interesting around social networking. They must be allowed to help the company, utilizing the appropriate message and tone. In general, companies need to give people guidelines, provide them with adequate training, and then turn them loose allowing them the trust and freedom to make their own decisions in regard to social media outlets.
In our case, we routinely participate in the various marketing automation forums. We have a group of people with diverse talents who monitor these groups and participate in the discussion on a regular basis. These are indiviuduals that we fully trust and do not need to monitor their activity. We do not review their answers or put them up for approval. We rely on the training we provided and the choices we made in selecting these employees to represent our company in the social world.
Content creation and social media participation can be overwhelming for the marketing managers responsible for them. Leveraging non-marketing employees by enabling their participation helps lighten the load and increases the diversity of both your content and your social presence.
For more ideas on content development, see our blog post “Inspiration for Compelling Content Found in the Simplest of Places”.