If you’ve ever talked to me or maybe even just read my blogs, you’ll realize very quickly that I am pretty obsessed with inbound marketing. I geek out about it with co-workers, clients, and yes, even the occasional date. I get so excited because I see how well inbound marketing works. Don't get me wrong, when I look back on my inbound marketing journey - it hasn’t been all champagne and birthday cake (or whatever your personal sweet spot is).
Applying inbound marketing can be difficult and does take time. The part I think that is the hardest for most businesses is consistent content generation. Even in an organization where everyone is passionate about inbound, websites, and technology and understand the importance of blogs, it can be difficult to find time to create content. What are you supposed to do when your staff or faculty could care less about actually contributing to your blog or creating advanced content?
Here are some ideas for getting that precious content for your inbound marketing program:
Explain the Value of Content
As inbound marketers, we often forget that not everyone understands the importance of content. Sometimes staff members won’t contribute to your blog simply because they don’t understand how it helps the company (and specifically them).
Setup a time (maybe a lunch and learn) to address employees interested or willing to contribute blog articles and take them through the benefits of content creation. Explain how it can increase website traffic, lead generation, and customer conversion. Explain how it can make customers more loyal. Explain how it can be an aid to your sales and customer service teams. Once your staff and employees understand the benefits of content, they may be more willing to help.
Create an Editorial Calendar
Even after explaining the benefits of blog articles and advanced content, I’ve heard of a lot of reasons why people don’t contribute to content creation in companies. Some don’t know where to start. Others don’t know what to write about. And some people even think that they wouldn’t be a valuable contributor. The best way to solve these types of problems is to create an editorial calendar.
Sit down and create an editorial calendar that includes:
Brief description of the topic (2-3 sentence)
Who is to write the article
When it is due
By writing out an editorial calendar, you are showing your staff or faculty they are valuable contributors, what you expect from them, and when you need their completed assignment. It also might be helpful to give them tips for blog writing, like typical word count and tone. Let them know they can always bounch ideas off of you and ask for your feedback - make it as easy as possible for them to contribute.
Don’t worry. My suggestion is completely legal. Sometimes people just need a little motivation to help you out. That’s where the concept of bribery comes in.
In return for staff writing blog articles each month, you could provide some sort of incentive. The key is figuring out what would be deemed as valuable to your staff.
Here are some examples of incentives:
Starbucks gift card
Amazon gift card
Free happy hour/cocktails
Extra time off (even if it’s leaving an hour early)
Find out what most of your employees or faculty would prefer as a reward and start with that.
Sometimes your staff is too busy to write articles or maybe their strengths don’t include writing. In this case, you can interview your staff. Get a voice recorder (or download an app), record a google hangout, or even just use a video recorder. Depending on the format you want the content to be in, you can transcribe the information from the recording, you can put the recording against slides, or even upload the video recording.
Regardless of the format you choose, be prepared with the topic, questions you’d like answered, and tone you’d like your staff member to have.
And If All Else Fails...
If you’ve tried all of these options and it still hasn’t worked, you can always hire a ghostwriter or online marketing agency to help you create content. If you do your research and hire a great ghostwriter or agency, they’ll be able to match your company’s tone and write as if it were a staff member of your company.
When it comes to content creation, where there is a will, there is a way. Keep trying different techniques until you find what works for your company. When you figure out that technique it will be well worth it.
Lynton is a HubSpot Elite Partner that provides certified knowledge and tools to grow your business through integrated inbound marketing, including lead generation strategies, website designs and development, and CRM integrations.