by Imran Tariq
Co-Founder and CEO of Webmetrix Group
These days, contentmarketingis considered a crucial aspect of any company's advertising efforts. Yet, for a new startup with a limited budget, trying to find a way to craft compelling blogs, social media posts or infographics can seem overwhelming.
Where will you find the time (or the budget) to craft quality content?
In reality, content marketing doesn't have to be something that a startup's lone advertising employee has to handle completely on his own. When the entire team gets involved, it won't only become much easier to produce content marketing materials -- you're also be more likely to generate engaging content that strengthens your brand and helps you attract new customers.
Here's how you can get everyone to contribute to your content marketing:
1. Share information as a team to safeguard time.
Quality content marketing often isn't overtly promotional -- instead, it seeks to share useful facts or information with a brand's target audience. Collecting that data can be a time-consuming endeavor for a marketer, yet quite often, there are others within the company who already have access to the needed information.
Encouraging the sharing of knowledge can dramatically speed up the production process. According to IDC, knowledge workers spend on average 2.5 hours a day -- about 30 percent of their time at work -- searching for information. If everyone has access to the same information, it will improve efficiency and cut down on wasted time.
2. Look within for a bit of technical savvy.
Building off the first point, while content marketers may have the skills to write a cohesive article or design an attractive infographic, they may not necessarily be fully aware of what their target audience does or doesn't know.
In these situations, getting expert input from other members of the team can go a long way in ensuring the creation of quality content. Staff can use their technical expertise to provide input on the type of jargon that should be used on social media, fact check articles or even offer guidance as to how "in-depth" content marketing materials should be.
Such assistance will ensure that content marketing materials are accurate and relevant for their target audience, resulting in much higher engagement.
3. Make ideation a communal responsibility.
Your fellow employees may not have the right background for writing an article or creating digital graphics, but this doesn't mean they can't contribute great ideas for content. After all, the reason they work for your startup is likely because they share many of the same interests as your target audience!
Informal brainstorming sessions, be it in a private conversation or online through a Google doc or Slack channel, can provide great opportunities for "non-creative" employees to share their ideas. As your team gains confidence, they could even start creating content themselves by writing guest posts or assisting with social media!
4. Interview employees to "pull back the curtain."
Not everyone may feel comfortable coming up with ideas for a content marketing campaign, but this doesn't mean they can't be involved in the content production. Online audiences crave behind-the-scenes looks, and by interviewing a fellow employee or highlighting what they do in a video or on social media, you can go a long way in humanizing your brand.
As Brett Relander, managing director at X1 Sports Nutrition, explains, "Allowing your customers and clients a look at the nuts-and-bolts of your business processes is an opportunity to share with them stories of success, failure, joy and despair. Both you and your audience learn about each other, creating opportunities for collaboration."
5. Share work-related experiences with others.
As part of showcasing a behind-the-scenes look at your brand, encourage other employees to share photos or stories about their work via social media. This makes it much easier to highlight your brand personality through a more informal (and much less expensive) form of content marketing -- especially since many individuals have more online followers than a newly launched startup.
You can also curate this content for your own accounts. Of course, you need to encourage sharing by helping other staff members understand what they should (or shouldn't) post.
Katie Levinson, a product marketer with Credit Karma, recommends, "Make sure your employees have a clear understanding of what brand voice means in general, and how it applies to your brand in particular. Let them know what kind of content the company encourages and discourages sharing."
6. Encourage everyone to promote content.
Especially in the early stages of a startup, it can be difficult to get your content to reach a wide audience. This is an area where a company-wide effort can make the biggest difference.
With Facebook's newsfeed changes, many people might not see your brand-owned content at all if a friend doesn't share it. Encouraging the entire staff to share your content marketing through their personal social media accounts can be a great word-of-mouth traffic-builder.
Great content marketing requires a lot of work -- but it doesn't have to leave you feeling completely overwhelmed. As you use these tips to get everyone in your startup involved in this crucial task, you'll be better equipped to get the results you want from your content marketing efforts.