Tap this potential resource pool by giving your employees a little nudge by way of encouragement, incentives, and guidance.
Your employees can become a terrific resource for your content marketing. In the course of their jobs, they have likely acquired their own insights into your marketplace and customer behaviour. But getting them to contribute to your blog could be a challenge. Many of your employees may lack quality writing skills, or assume that no one appreciates their input.
Here are some ideas for inspiring your employees to generate content:
Provide a list of topics
Simply coming up with a good idea can be the hardest part of creativity. You can make generating content easier by providing a list of things you’d like to have covered.
Encourage employees to do research on social media platforms, other industry blogs, and competitor websites for content that needs updated information or suggests unique insights that are overlooked. Research should include consumer feedback to get ideas from current consumer interests.
Encourage creative approaches
You should give your staff the freedom to pursue topics in their own way. It’s difficult to enjoy writing if you’re required to follow a strict formula. Content creation will be more rewarding all around if you let your people explore their thoughts rather than echo your own.
It should also be clear that the subjects they write about don’t have to reflect current job roles. People will have wide interests and can do the necessary research.
Invite each employee personally
To put together the best team, seek out employees who have solid writing skills or show a flair for learning or expertise on certain subjects. Approach these individuals and ask them to take part in posting to the company blog.
They’re less likely to reject the invitation if it’s a personal request. You can be more persuasive by complimenting their skills or knowledge of the topic.
Give them some incentive
Employees may resist the idea of blogging if it isn’t part of their regular duties. To encourage participation, you may have to provide some incentive, and to be fair it should be given universally. It might be something as simple as a gift certificate, a cash bonus, or a day off.
Set content goals, such as asking everyone to contribute at least one article per month. Provide an additional gift for extra participation, but set limits so that nobody is trying to take advantage of the opportunity. Writing content should not interfere with regular duties.
You could even have contests, such as taking a vote on the best article in a given month to earn additional rewards. This creates motivation so that contributors try to improve the quality and engagement of their content.
Telecommuting options can also be a form of reward. Allowing your top bloggers the opportunity to work from home is a satisfying incentive.
Not every employee will be able to turn selected topics into quality content. Provide a set of guidelines to help those struggling with topics organise their thoughts. You could also take the time to search for some helpful resources and suggest those.
Define some general rules or create templates indicating elements such as the preferred word count, reading level, and use of images or graphics. Encourage contributors to browse your company’s blog to familiarise themselves with the format before they start writing. You might also provide some writer’s tips and resources, such as tutorials on proper grammar and punctuation.
Share the Results
If you ask staff to make a special effort for the company they’ll be very curious to know how their hard work is paying off. It’s important to track website statistics per post such as time on page, views, clicks, unique visits, and comments. This should include counts of leads generated and revenue increases to demonstrate tangible business value.
Monitoring results can identify your star bloggers and aggregate numbers to present an overall picture of results. Regular updates will maintain focus on blogging and tell you and your team where work needs to be done in improving content or providing different subject matter.
Jen McKenzie is an writer who focusses on HR, business and education.