3 Ways to Get Your Organization to Own Content Development

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3 Ways to Get Your Organization to Own Content Development
3 Ways to Get Your Organization to Own Content Development

“How do we keep our content engine fueled?” This is a question I hear from every organization. Once the content beast is awakened by your PR, lead gen, and social media activities, it's an insatiable beast. The daunting task of feeding it relevant content seems never ending, especially if your company is like most places where content creation sits on the shoulders of just a few people. The key is to engage the rest of the organization in contributing good content. It needs to be part of everyone's performance evaluations, and they need to be held accountable for setting parameters and deadlines. They also need to be inspired and motivated to create content.

Step 1: Change minds. Create habit.

The reason why few people create content is that only some of us believe we are creators, thought leaders or that we can “write.” Many of us shrug our shoulders and think “I have nothing to say,” “I can't write worth a darn,” or “I am not creative.” You can overcome many of these obstacles by getting people to understand that they actually do have a lot to say. I remember a quote from a blogging-101 session where the speaker said, “Just write down what you know.” Once you do that, you shockingly realize you know a lot. That knowledge is valuable content! We all solve business issues daily and see that quite possibly many others are having the same struggles. If your clients find what you do or say to be valuable, wouldn't others?

Once you give an inspirational speech to your teammates in this vein, suggest that they get in the habit of carrying around a notebook or a special app that holds ideas for posts and articles. Urge them to get into the habit of asking themselves after every internal meeting or client conversation if there was anything discussed that could make for good content, and to take note. Have them share all that good stuff at the next content strategy meeting. This leads me to my next point.

Step 2: Be organized. Be disciplined. Be relentless.

Content creation can be like herding cats. Assign a point person to own the editorial calendar and plug in people's ideas as they come. Have that same person hold contributors to their deadlines, and have them set up monthly content strategy meetings. Those meetings are a good time to look at metrics, assess relevancy, share ideas, and refine the plan. Poor execution is where a good plan falls apart. Creating content needs to be part of everyone's job. If it feels like a fluffy, internal, not-part-of-my-job-description task, it will be put on the back burner. There needs to be accountability, performance expectations, best practices and a code of conduct around content creation so that everyone understands what is expected of them, and that it is taken seriously.

Step 3: Inspire.

Assure your teams that content doesn't always need to involve heavy writing. Some people hyperventilate at the thought of penning an 800-word blog post. But in reality, content can come in the form of a short Vine or Instagram video, an infographic, a SlideShare PowerPoint, or a Camtasia tutorial. You can have every talent at all levels feed the beast with all kinds of content. Create a list of ideas, and then create small mini-briefs on each idea with a set time frame of one to three hours. Keep copies of these thought-starters organized according to tactic in a small “inspiration box.” When someone is feeling blocked or has some rare free time to spare, they can refer to the inspiration box for ideas and deliver content to you within a reasonable timeframe

Flora Caputo is a VP and the executive creative director at Jacobs Agency in Chicago. Flora has worked on a number of major CPG brands, including Quaker, Kraft, Kellogg's and Cadbury

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