How To Create A Content Marketing Culture At Your Company
Contributor Arnie Kuenn provides step-by-step guidelines to getting company buy-in for content marketing.
Creating a content marketing culture at your company can be quite the obstacle. Making even the smallest of modification to company policies and procedures can be extremely difficult, so how do you go about changing the entire company culture?
For most, creating a culture of content will require a shift in mindset from the top down – starting with the executives, and ending with each and every employee across departments and teams.
When you’re seeking such a dramatic shift, begin your campaign with senior management.
Convince Your Boss
Management must be on board to drive the cultural shift and successfully change the mindset of the rest of the company. Because of this, the first step in creating a content marketing culture is convincing the boss to invest in content marketing.
When pitching higher-ups on content marketing, focus on the following:
- Pitch Personalization – Personalize your pitch to your executives. Try to explain content marketing in a way that relates back to their personal interests. Talk to the CFO in financial terms, the CMO in terms of marketing objectives.
- Education – Educate the executives on what content marketing is and what it can do for your business.
- Objection Handling – Come prepared with rebuttals to common content marketing objections, including upfront cost and ROI.
- Competitive Situation – Showcase what your competitors are doing with content marketing. Explain how you can fill the gaps and present the same information better.
- Strategy – Lay out your plan from beginning to end, including timelines, implementation, content creation, promotion, and measurement.
Get Everyone On The Same Page
Once you have management buy-in, take the necessary steps to make sure everyone is on the same page with your content plans.
Explain the purpose of your content strategy. Why is the business getting started with content marketing? What are the business goals and objectives toward which you’re working?
Additionally, be sure to share the content marketing process. How will you brainstorm ideas? What does the creation process look like? Where and how will you promote your content?
Sharing these details will help each employee understand their role in the content marketing process, as well as the “big picture” going forward.
Invest In The Vision
As soon you roll out the company’s content marketing vision to your employees – put your money where your mouth is and invest in the vision. If you truly want to transform the culture at your company, you will need to provide the tools and training your employees need to succeed.
Also, consider investing in new hires – a content leader or better, a content team, to manage the content process. This team will serve as your internal spokespeople for content by illustrating the value of content to the rest of the company.
It should be responsible for content strategy development, ideation, and content creation. Additionally, the team should be in charge of cross-department coordination, and continually developing creativity internally.
Though your marketing team will have to work hand in hand with the content team in order to achieve success with content marketing, employing a team to focus specifically on content strategy and creation has its advantages.
Not only does having a content team tell your employees you’re serious about making this culture shift, but it ensures your content strategy won’t fall by the wayside or get put on the backburner.
Enable & Encourage
Though your content and marketing teams will manage the process from content strategy to measuring ROI, every single employee should be able to and encouraged to participate in the content process. Start by including different teams and departments in brainstorming sessions.
Some of your employees spend more time with customers than others, but each one can bring something to the table. Through these brainstorming sessions, you will you gain new perspective for content ideas while the collaborative environment can be great for team building.
Also, encourage employees to contribute to content creation, and let them know that it’s okay to spend work time doing it. Provide guidelines so the content will be closer to meeting the standards necessary for publishing, but also have members of your content team tasked with editing employee-generated content.
Staying “on brand” through tone, style and voice is important, and your editors can ensure that content created by colleagues fits the bill before it’s published.
Reward Top Participants
Not feeling appreciated is the number one reason Americans leave their jobs, so employee recognition needs to be a high priority. Fortunately, your content culture may create more opportunities for employee recognition. Make it a point to reward your top content performers – first and foremost by recognizing their accomplishments in front of their superiors and peers.
This can be done in many ways – perhaps in a company-wide meeting, or even in a “company announcement” type of email. Be sure to highlight the content created, and any results – traffic, social metrics or ROI – to further showcase the value of content and possibly inspire others to contribute, while giving your employee the credit deserved.
Practice What You Preach
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, creating a content marketing culture at your company starts with management. To successfully foster a content-focused culture, higher ups need to participate and lead by example.
Sure, some employees will participate without needing much convincing, but others will mimic what others are doing – especially upper management.
Like hiring a leader or team devoted to content, C-suite-level participation also sends a message to other employees – this “content” business is here to stay. When some of the highest-ranking managers start participating in content creation, others will certainly follow suit.
Creating a content marketing culture won’t be easy – but it can be done. From getting management buy-in and investing in the vision to enabling, encouraging and rewarding employees who contribute, successfully shifting the mindset across an organization will take perseverance and a lot of hard work.
While you shouldn’t expect the employees’ mindsets to change overnight, following the above steps will help put your company on track to fostering a culture of content in no time.
How did you create a content marketing culture at your company? Share your story in the comment section below.