You have a team of experts in your business. They live and breathe your brand every day, keep up to date with the latest industry trends and have lots of interesting things to say.
Yet when it comes to putting all this valuable knowledge into content you can publish and share to promote your business, they are ‘too busy’, ‘not writers’, ‘wouldn’t know where to start’.
What if you told them that content does not mean creating anything long? That Content Marketing doesn’t even have to involve writing? All they have to do is turn the conversations they are already having while the kettle boils into something the business can share.
Give your experts an easy way to get involved in your content marketing strategy
The chances are, the people in your business already share their expertise online, whether it’s through LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora or elsewhere.
They always have time for them. They enjoy cultivating their professional voice and communication style. They know how to make a point in 140 characters.
Yet, if you were to ask them to generate some blog content, they could easily turn all these positives on their heads and you’d get the familiar excuses: too busy, not writers, wouldn’t know where to start.
Time to dispel those self-imposed myths and encourage your teams to see content not only as an essential part of their job in your business, but also as a powerful representation of their personal professional brand.
1. Use likes and dislikes to determine professional content personality
We all have preferences whether it’s how we take our coffee, how we like our steak cooked or that we don’t eat steak at all. The same applies to how we consume content. Some people like to take their time over a long article, others prefer short, snappy summaries or useful videos.
Content consumption habits can be turned around into a content personality; an approach to topics, format and sharing platform that makes content creation feel familiar and even fun.
If someone is tasked with creating a piece of content that meets their own user preferences, they are far more likely to find the process enjoyable and consider their content relevant. This helps your teams to see content creation as less of a chore and more of an essential element of their work – sharing their expertise with others.
Let’s take another look at the most common excuses people use in avoiding content creation:
· No time
· Not a writer
· Don’t know where to start
Now turn these on their heads:
No time? If one of your experts says they have no time to create content, they probably also prefer consuming content that is quick and easy to digest. Suggest they create content that would take only seconds to consume such as summaries, ‘10 best’ lists or product comparisons.
Not a writer? No problem. Talk through your topic on a video, design an infographic, create a calculator tool, adapt a slide deck you’ve already used in a presentation, or show how to do something via a practical demo.
Don’t know where to start? Get each expert to write down three industry areas they want to own. Narrowing their content creation scope to a limited number of favourite talking points will make them more likely to feel confident in their opinion and delivery.
2. Where do your experts find interesting content and what gets their attention?
Creating content with a sharing platform in mind will add power to that piece of content once it’s published. If they love LinkedIn articles, they should analyse why this platform speaks to them above the others; then use that knowledge. If they are always on YouTube, either create videos for the company channel or set one up.
There are no hard and fast rules about where we access our content. Most of us have favourite social media communities or editorial sites. Others prefer to use dashboards where content is collected and presented according to defined criteria. Whichever you prefer, use it as your blueprint for content promotion.
Questions to ask during analysis:
· What grabs your attention on the platform of your choice?
· What makes you want to share?
· What stops you from engaging?
Owning a platform goes hand-in-hand with owning a topic. Encourage your teams to become experts in a narrow field. If each team member owns three topics and the relevant social media streams or groups, collectively your reach will grow in an organized, measurable way.
This approach also allows your experts to share each other’s content on their platforms in ways they know will work, broadening your audience even further.
3. Give your teams time to develop a voice
For content to get you the attention you want, it has to be good. Being an expert in a field is the start. Developing a voice that authentically portrays the expert, can be repeated consistently and resonates with the audience can only happen organically.
Only by trying, reviewing, assessing and trying again will your expert voices come through your content and really speak to your target audience. Encourage your teams to experiment with types of content until they find the formula that works for them.
The magic happens when a content creator has something clear to say, in a format they like, shared on a social platform where they are known and respected.
4. Work SMART
It’s an oldie but still a goodie.
Keep your content plan on track with some simple parameters.
Specific: Have one clear point to make in each piece of content. Better to create ten pieces of content than try to cover off ten points in a single video or blog.
Measurable: What does success look like for this piece of content in views, shares or conversions?
Attainable: Is your expert able to make the deadline? Are they on holiday? Do they have all the necessary information or equipment they need?
Relevant: How will this bring value to your users and your business? What intent does it satisfy? What hole in your current content stack does it fill?
Time-bound: Set realistic deadlines and a launch date you are confident you can meet.