Content Marketing Institute found that up to 55% of B2B companies plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2015. Despite growing popularity and general understanding of this concept, the biggest challenges faced by marketers are still related to consistent production of engaging content. Shockingly, the biggest source of knowledge, valuable content, and understanding of clients’ needs – the Internal Resources – remains unnoticed.
Content Marketing Strategy
CMI stated that only about 35% of B2B companies have a documented content marketing strategy, but up to 83% have some sort of form of strategy in place. That is good news as marketers begin to understand that running effective campaigns requires structure when it comes to producing, delivering, and managing of content.
Without knowing your objectives and best tactics you may not even see that you’re being inefficient. The content you’re producing might not be as engaging and compelling, therefore your campaigns may not be as effective as your competitors’. In other words, you might be throwing your resources down the drain.
Consistent producing of engaging content is by far the biggest challenge content marketers have been facing for the last few years. But it’s not the only one. Others include securing the budget, tracking its ROI, producing variety of content, or finding trained content marketing professionals. Img 1. Challenges that B2B Marketers Face – CMI 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America
If you take a look at your own company, I’m sure you’ll find these problems true, we’re all dealing with them. And it’s even more unfortunate as most of us want to increase the amount of content that we will produce in the upcoming year.
There is yet one thing that could help in this process but it often remains unnoticed. You have your internal resources that are already in place. Your employees who know pretty much everything about what you and what your clients are dealing with. And I don’t mean just the Marketing Department. It’s the Sales, Accounting, Customer Service, or even the IT Department.
They may not be the best writers yet, but they definitely know the stories behind your company and would love to share them. And if you have your own content marketing team on board, it shouldn’t be much of a problem to get them to interview the other employees or edit their articles.
You might even be surprised as some of your non-marketing colleagues probably have their own blogs or just find pleasure in writing, but never got the chance or time to express themselves to the world.
Why use internal resources to delivering engaging content?
There are many reasons why you should leverage your internal resources to produce valuable content. As you’ll see from the list below, many of them are not related to your own perspective i.e. these are what your employees gain in exchange. So let’s go through this list – the sooner you do it, the sooner you can get back to your office and start a revolution!
1. Your employees are experts when it comes to your product
Who else knows the product better than yourself or your employees? The answer is – no one! They have to deal with it every day, know exactly how it works, how one can use it, or what are the workarounds if something is not working 100% as it should.
2. They know, first-hand, the clients and their needs
Dealing with clients every day provides you with great insights into how the end user makes use of the product and what are the difficulties they encounter. This is obvious for your Customer Service Department, but it’s not only these employees that are regularly in contact with your clients.
Look at other departments such as the Accounting, Sales, Legal, Compliance, or HR. They all are in touch with your clients and answer their questions and concerns. Taking our own Email Service Provider example – the employees know what kind of regulations need to be met to use the service, how one can register and protect the database, or what are the questions that come to the user’s mind when first approaching the platform.
3. Happy employees will be your best brand ambassadors
This is probably the most important reason of all. Asking your employees to write an article, give a presentation, go to a conference, or take part in a webinar isn’t only about you. Of course, you’ll get great insights and more content to publish, but most importantly, you’ll give them a chance to express themselves.
One of the important things in using your internal resources to produce new and engaging content, is about changing your employee’s everyday routine, and giving them a chance to speak up. Everyone likes a little change every now and then, writing an article or presenting at a job fair does just that.
Your employees will be happy that you value their word. By turning them into authors or speakers, you will also give them a chance to build authority in the industry. It may even make their regular job easier as they will get the chance to show their side of the story (e.g. explaining what clients should include in their brief, prior sending it to the designer).
Moreover, your team will be happy to share the content they have produced with their social networks, thus increasing your reach and brand awareness. If they are proud of what you’re publishing they will become true advocates that not only get you recognition amongst marketers but also new potential employees and customers.
Last but not least, such projects will narrow the gap between your internal departments, who often have different goals and interests. They will get a better understanding of what others are doing and how they can streamline future processes to make their cooperation more efficient.
What you have to do
Promoting the production of content internally has several amazing benefits you should keep in mind when you come back to your office:
- Producing more engaging content – your employees have the expertise and know your clients’ needs
- Increasing web traffic – authors will happily share and spread the word about their work and build their own authority (even by as much 380% according to Marketing Sherpa)
- True brand ambassadors – employees will be happy that they are being recognized as valuable and that they can share their story with the world
- Understanding the common goal – different departments will get the chance to learn that everyone has, after all, the same business objectives
Keep these points in mind and once you return to your office figure out a way to encourage the creation of new content pieces amongst new groups and departments. Offer them additional incentives for joining the project, and set aside time during their normal working hours for writing so that their precious time with their family and friends is work-free.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out this free Content Marketing Essentials for 2015 Guide that we’ve prepared for you! There’s plenty of valuable information and examples waiting for you, so get your coffee and a note-pad ready. You’ll definitely want to write this down and present to your team when you’re back in the office.