Getting your staff on board with your content curation and marketing efforts can be a daunting task. Many business owners get so wrapped up in “we need to start a blog” that they forget that it takes more than just a few social media postings and a dream to make their content campaigns successful.
And I see it time and time again: leaders trying to eke out content from their staff who are reluctant because they are too busy, resistant or don’t realise how much they know and how much of what they know is beneficial.
Everyone knows content curation is good for content marketing. However, finding content ideas can be a struggle. That’s where your staff comes in. Whether you’re looking to write content in-house or want someone to manage your content, you need the buy-in from everyone to ensure that content really reflects the absolute best of the business. And no one knows the industry inside and out like your staff do. Furthermore, they often know how customers and clients think better than top-level executives.
And your staff are so busy working on their core roles that contributing to content could be an extra burden for them even if they get taught the brilliant benefits of content for the organisation.
In this article, when I talk about content, I’m explicitly talking about content articles/blog posts. But this information can be applied across all your content marketing.
Set a goal
Both you and your team members should know how, when, where, and why you’re going to promote your work online in advance. Without goals, both short-term and long-term, it’s difficult for employees, foundational partners or board members to understand what you want from them when it comes time to add content curation into your daily routine.
An extra tip is to plan so far in advance that you can give staff plenty of warning when you might expect something from them, which alleviates the pressure and burden.
Build a content calendar
Your content calendars should act as guides that list everything you’re planning to post online and what content needs to be created. Rather than just telling your staff when they can post content, it’s essential to tell them what’s coming up to know what types of content or products they’ll need to market beforehand.
Communicate with partners and team members
Communication is vital for getting everyone on board with content curation. Without open communication, people will feel like they don’t understand where their role fits into the process. Or why it’s even necessary that they are involved, especially if their role is in bookkeeping or business development or engineering!
Estimating content marketing efforts can sometimes be complex since you don’t always know what types of content will resonate among your audience, especially when you start out. It’s easy to get carried away and over-promise results that content curation won’t be able to deliver on. Avoid this pitfall by not promising more than you can provide.
Having said that, content curation can help you reach new target audiences or share content in a way that wasn’t possible before. If you keep your expectations reasonable, it’ll make it easier for team members to understand the process without feeling overwhelmed or confused at any point along the way.
Highlight the benefits
Explain the short and long term benefits to them clearly. If content is already a part of your content marketing strategy and you’re looking for content contributions from other staff, explain how content writing will directly benefit them. You could say how it improves search rankings, boosts their online presence and helps with internal communication.
If you are winning more clients or customers with the help of content, then be sure to share the rewards and the recognition with them because, without their contribution, it wouldn’t be happening. Staff bonuses or staff members awards are great ways of doing so.
One of my favourite things about content is that it acts as an extra staff member or customer service operator (which I discuss more in my copywriting book) in that it will answer a whole heap of common questions that your customers or clients have and prevents your staff from having to repeat themselves and spend time in meetings and on phone calls with them. Essentially, by spending an hour or two on a few pieces of content, they could save hours and hours throughout the year. Be sure to highlight that as a benefit for staff!
Hire a professional
By hiring a content marketing professional, like a freelance copywriter, you can streamline the process. A professional will know precisely the right questions to ask your staff and mine juicy nuggets of content without spending hours and hours doing so. Plus, they can write the content in alignment with the most up to date copywriting and SEO principles.
How do I convince my employees?
It’s unlikely that your employees are going to volunteer to help you with content curation and writing. It would help if you made it clear that their efforts will directly benefit themselves, their colleagues and the business as a whole. You don’t have to use fear to motivate them but, instead, use positives and possibilities to inspire their thinking beyond their role. Offer them the perspective that content writing is one hundred per cent an opportunity (not a burden), and show your employees how content can help them progress their careers.
Once they see how helpful content is and how this will add value that directly affects them, they’ll be much more receptive when making requests for content contributions.
Here are my final tips:
1. Ensure there’s a system in place so everyone knows who owns the content and clear formatting for who should contribute when. This might mean delegating shared responsibilities amongst team members or maybe changing content marketing responsibilities. A spreadsheet will do, but there is great software out there.
2. Sometimes, content is a support system for other priorities, so make sure content isn’t taking too much of the team’s time. If necessary, try to incentivise content contribution to free up their time or consider hiring a content marketer who can do this full-time instead.
4. Draw on staff experience and knowledge where appropriate but always credit them publicly either with a link that includes their name and social media profiles or by recognising and thanking them in internal meetings.
5. Other ways to encourage content contribution from staff could be running a content writing competition or offering rewards, financial or time off.
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