Apparently, 61% of the most effective marketers are meeting with their content teams regularly. But imagine if other teams in the company were involved in content? How could that increase effectiveness?
One of the most inspiring examples of a company using the creative power of employees outside of the content team is Johnsonville, the Wisconsin-based sausage maker. The company asked its employees to help tell the brand story, and more than 100 employees responded to an open call. One of the results: Several awesome commercials were created, such as “Regular Speed Chase” by Brett and “Jeff and His Forest Friends” by Jeff.
Each spot is still making waves on social media. The company also shared the process, its executives’ reaction, and more through its blog.
Just think of the creativity, fresh perspectives, and advocates you could have if everyone in your company were an unofficial member of your content marketing team. Here are six ways to get started.
1. Start a dialogue with leadership
Make sure company executives are on board with the idea of involving more employees and are willing to promote your plan with department leaders as you test different solutions.
Every department of your company needs to realize the benefits of content and understand why it should be a collaborative effort. Set up a meeting with the department leaders to explain how content can:
- Help every department (e.g., help close sales, be in sync with customer service, build ROI, assist HR)
- Strengthen employee loyalty and create a positive work atmosphere because of the chemistry of enthusiasm
Talk to department leaders separately to determine how much time they can allocate for their team members to participate in content creation on a monthly basis. Discuss the possibilities of rewarding employees’ contribution and enthusiasm for content marketing efforts through bonuses, exclusive event passes, free trips, internal recognition, etc.
2. Invite employees to collaborate
If members of other teams, such as sales or customer support, have ideas and would like to make something of them, give them the opportunity.
Ask if they have anything they are interested in making for the brand. Consider giving them the chance to write something for the blog under their name or even to record a video.
Encourage the leaders of different departments to invite their team members to contribute content and participate in other content marketing activities (e.g., brainstorming, sharing). Here are a few ideas to help implement collaboration across the company:
- Promote the opportunity in the company-wide newsletter by inviting employees to participate in corporate content creation. Include a survey to better understand company employees’ hobbies, interests, angles they may be interested in covering.
- Introduce internal communication tools that make it easier to get more employees on board.
One of the most inspiring examples of big companies encouraging content collaboration is the IBM Redbooks thought-leadership program. IBM invites its employees to contribute to the site and offers blogging training for employees. The efforts resulted in over 2,000 blog posts from over 500 employee thought leaders who regularly contribute to company properties.
3. Ask for ideas
Not all employees want to create something, and that’s OK. Your whole company collaborative process can involve non-creators, too. They can provide ideas in an informal way. While brainstorming is one option, I am not a big fan of brainstorming at formal meetings. In my experience, most people shy away from contributing ideas in a group environment. They prefer to share ideas through other mechanisms after they have time to think.