November & December theme:
“Choose One Thing”
Posted in :  Brain Waves

This week I met with Marketer’s Anonymous, a savvy group of marketing go-getters who gather each month to share experiences and insight around a particularly hot topic. This month we heard from two members, Allison Lantieri from Ovation Benefits and Faith Antion from ADNET, about how they’ve been able to evolve their content marketing program beyond their marketing department.

The biggest roadblock that I see in this work is helping others in the company answer this question: “Why should I stop what I’m doing in my day job to write a blog post?”

Time and resources are also challenges but they always will be. As people, we are naturally drawn to do the things that we want to do, not what we are obligated to do. So, how do you make that happen? During our discussion, I realized that Allison and Faith have done an amazing job of creating momentum. The positive energy they generated for their publishing program attracted participation, not forced it upon the unwilling. Imagine what you could do if you were able to generate the same amount of attractive energy at your company? No more begging, pleading or convincing!

Allison and Faith shared quite a lot from their experiences, but it’s this idea of momentum that has stuck with me. If this is something you struggle with, here are some ideas and experiences that were shared in Marketer’s Anonymous:

1) Take the Mystery Out of It

Early on in the building of your content marketing program, Allison gathered Ovation thought leaders in a room and distributed articles of interest related to their industry. She asked them questions about the topics and led a robust discussion, each sharing their insight. At the end of the meeting Allison ended it by saying, “Guess what? You just blogged!”

2) Cultivate Legacy

For the leaders of  your company who are interested in cultivating the next generation of leaders, a content marketing plan can be seen as a way to groom the middle sphere of the team as thought leaders. During our MA discussion, we talked about how some leaders might see supporting the growth of thought leadership and, essentially, personal brands, as creating bait for recruiters. Yet, who wouldn’t want to work for a company that invests in their people? You might lose a few along the way but you’ll also attract smart go-getters who share the same values and cultural energy.

3) Start with the Already Converted

Not everyone needs to jump in as a content contributor right away. If you have one or two people who are already writing on their own time or who are excited about it, start with them. As their agent, coach and editor, provide them with as much support as possible to help them achieve success. Their success will be your biggest attraction point for pulling others into the fold.

4) Take Cues from the News World

Smart editors edit the story, not the person. They allow personal voice to remain intact and they ensure that all sides of a topic are presented, or at least allowed for. If you’re looking to endear your experts to become a part of the content team, show that you are there to support what they are trying to say (within the context of the company’s brand, of course), not what you think they should be saying, or how to say it.

5) Live in the Now

Look for ways to connect topics to what’s already happening or comes up in conversation. Yes, an editorial calendar is a must to keep your content on track. But, what about the issues and ideas that arise on the fly?  If you’re in a meeting and someone is hot and bothered about a topic, follow them to their desk and fuel their fire with why you think writing about that topic could be important for them and the company. Doing this will build the synapses for this formula: hot topic + my insight = share with the world right now. Even though your constantly thinking about what content to create and share, this is not always the automatic default for everyone else.

6) Communicate Everything

People pay attention to what’s being talked about. If you communicate exciting things — responses to content, new business leads from content shared, hired to speak because of a white paper, new writers added to your team, and many other wins — it will become a draw for others to participate or, equally as important, to keep the internal buzz going about what you’re up to.

7) Have A Special Purpose

I’ve listed this last because I want it to be the parting thought when you leave this post. Have a purpose. A reason to cultivate content is not that it’s the hot thing in marketing to do right now. Your content marketing needs to align with your business goals. And, if your team can see the direct connection and how their contribution is leading to success for the company and themselves, this will become the north star of your ability to build momentum.

Thank you Allison and Faith for sharing your experiences and insight. As you can see, our discussion was quite energizing and I look forward to finding ways to bring your ideas into the Fathom fold.

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Posted by: Suzi Craig
Email the author: suzi@fathom.net