At this point, everyone has realized that successful digital marketing rests ultimately on effective content marketing. Even if you have a great strategy and big plans for your digital marketing, the challenge comes down to one thing: having enough content. If you’re working with little to no budget (like I often do), the key is to empower your employees, and maybe even external brand/organization advocates, to create that content.
I was recently asked by a marketing director at a nonprofit about how to manage content contributors from across an organization. This was a challenge I had to tackle (and continue to tackle) at the nonprofit where I work, so I thought I’d put together some practical tips that can make content marketing viable even if you have a small budget or small staff.
The challenge can be addressed in three main categories: Content Development, Workflow and Publishing.
To get started:
1) Identify potential Content Contributors
Who at your company has their finger on the pulse of your customers/donors? Who is in the field hearing great stories that you could share on web, email and social? Who’s behind the scenes doing work that your customers would love to know about to feel part of the action? Who seems to already have a knack for photography, video or social media? These are the folks you want to approach to be Content Contributors.
2) Outline content types
While you don’t want to limit the creative ideas from Content Contributors that you might not ever think of on your own, you do want to establish basic content types: testimonials, success stories, photos, video, etc. Determine which content types fit best with both the social platforms you are using and with the type of media your audience consumes. One tip: digital video is by far the best format if you can do it well.
3) Establish themes for content
Again, you don’t want to limit the potential content your contributors might create, but outlining general themes that go along with your overall brand message and/or current marketing campaigns will help the content be more focused and will give Content Contributors some basic parameters and a good place to start.
Once you have employees from across your company cranking out good content, you’re going to need a way to manage that content. Especially in the beginning phases (but probably always), the content will need to be reviewed. You will also want to give Content Contributors feedback so they can continually improve the quality of what they submit.
Two tools that would offer the capabilities for managing the content workflow and communication are Slack and Huddle. Slack is free…and their promo video alone will likely make you want to sign up right away.
There are plenty of other tools out there too, but what you need is a streamlined, efficient way (i.e. not via email) for you or your team to manage and review content and give feedback to contributors.
Ideally, you would have a social media or digital marketing manager who can manage all posting and scheduling of content. If you don’t have that luxury, you can break those tasks up between a couple trusted team members (most likely already in your marketing department). Whoever fills that role can make sure content aligns with your business goals or campaign goals and make sure the content is optimized specifically for each channel and audience.
Another option would be to have one manager oversee multiple social media contributors through a tool like Hootsuite (which is affordable and allows for permission levels and approvals) or something a little more fancy like SproutSocial.
You can supplement original content by curating and sharing industry news, keyword-related stories/info or any type of content that would interest your customer demographic. My personal favorite tool for content discovery is Feedly. There are plenty of other great tools out there that help you find relevant content to share including Klout and Postplanner.
Hopefully these ideas will help get your content generation machine going. There’s plenty more to talk about – from setting meaningful KPIs to responding to customer needs and interest based on data and behaviors – but those are other topics for another blog post.
If you want to chat to learn more or are interested in digital marketing consulting, contact me!