Organizations, businesses, and marketers all have a common goal in mind: to build brand awareness.
One of the most efficient ways to increase brand awareness is to include your employees in the content creation process. You can use your employees to humanize your brand and connect with your audience in a more meaningful/effective way.
Employee engagement is one of the key elements to a successful content creation (and content sharing) strategy.
Why In-house Creation is Key to Your Brand Awareness Strategy
Content matters, and for many businesses, there’s a wide breadth of engaging and relevant content topics waiting to be written about.
What’s not uncommon, though, is for business to hit a wall when it comes to maintaining a high level of creativity about topics. On top of that, being able to generate and produce great content.
In other words, they run out of ideas.
When it comes to brainstorming topics for a business blog or any online content, one of the biggest resources you have access to are the ideas of your “front line” employees. Those who directly interact with your customer on a day to day basis.
Customer service representatives know exactly what’s going on with the customer, and can provide real life examples of issues the customer is facing. That includes: what they struggle with, want, and are currently happy with.
For example, if your customer service representatives are getting a lot of phone calls about how to return an item ordered online, consider this:
Write a blog post titled, “How to Return an Item Ordered Online.” Provide straightforward and explicit instructions, and you’ll find that your customers will thank you.
Your employees aren’t just key when it comes to brainstorming ideas, they are also important when it comes to actually creating content.
They are able to connect to the feel, culture, and atmosphere of your place of work unlike anyone outside of your organization. By incorporating those elements into your blog posts, it will automatically make them more authentic and on-brand.
Try featuring employee “guest” posts on a regular basis. They are the subject matter experts (SMEs) on your team, and readers will typically trust them more.
Finally, in-house creation is important for building brand awareness. When employees feel more engaged in the process, they’re more likely to share and promote the created content with others.
How to Engage Employees in Content Creation and Distribution
Talking about the importance of engaging employees is a lot easier than actually doing it. However, by taking a few key actions, you can begin to involve your employees in the content creation and distribution process.
Communicate With Your Employees About Why the Content Strategy is Important
The first step to engaging your employees is to communicate with them why their content is an important part of the brand awareness strategy.
The majority of your employees probably aren’t as obsessed with a great content marketing strategy as you are. In fact, they might not even know what it is, or why it’s so important and even beneficial to their own professional careers.
Motivate them by highlighting their breadth of customer knowledge, and communicate their value in participating. Make it clear to them that audiences are more likely to engage with a piece of content when it’s authored by someone they know.
During this part of the engagement process, make sure you also educate your employees about your content creation, style, and brand guidelines. By talking about your brand and what it means, you’ll inspire them to live by and take ownership of your brand’s goals. When employees feel connected to the brand they’re promoting, they’re much more likely to offer up their participation and engage in creating.
Host Monthly Brainstorming Sessions
Your brainstorming sessions don’t have to be monthly, nor do they have to include all of the employees in your company. But, regular brainstorming sessions that include those front line employees mentioned earlier, are critical to inspiring them and keep everyone on task.
This will also help validate their ideas, purpose, and worth as members of the content creation team. Most would also be thrilled at the chance to take an hour or so away from the monotony of their everyday tasks in order to be a little more creative.
Provide Specific Instructions, Directions, or Expectations
If your employees aren’t trained in how to share content once an article is published, tell them exactly what to do. Each time something is shared on your company blog, your internal staff should be amplifying it. Send an email to them with information on who authored the content, the title, a link to the article with social share buttons, as well as some mocked up tweets they can easily copy and paste without thinking too much.
Offer Incentives for Engagement
Your employees are human beings. Reward them for contributing high-quality content. Based on the metrics of your choice: a number of topic submissions, social shares, traffic, time on page, etc, praise those who really make an impact on your content strategy and growth. The prize can be anything from a gift card to an extended lunch break.
Make Changes to Your Strategies as Necessary
The last thing that you need to do is assess the output of your efforts.
Make sure you are tracking, measuring and evaluating the time and resources you are investing in engaging employees in content creation and distribution. You can make adjustments to how you are using internal content methods as a part of your brand awareness strategy as necessary.