As I sit in a plane and return home from what was another amazing Content Marketing Workshop experience I had with a Salt Lake City company yesterday, I wanted to discuss a subject that seems to vex so many businesses when it comes to establishing a blog and content marketing plan that not only work, but work fast in terms of building a company’s brand, increasing leads, and elevating sales.
The following system is one that I’ve been using over the last year, with tremendous results. It has been further refined with each client, including three that I’ve launched over the last 30 days. Although the system is best set up for companies with five or more employees (I’ve done this with companies from 5 to 200 employees thus far), the principles herein absolutely apply to “solopreneurs” and small partnerships as well.
Here goes: The 11-step plan to create a prolific blog and culture of content marketing
1. Management buy-in
I know, this can be a toughy. So much so, it’s the No. 1 complaint I’ve been getting from marketing renegades, and it’s also something I’ve written quite a bit about in the past.
But when it comes down to it, unless management is REALLY on board with creating consistently great content and “gets it,” your blog and social media efforts will likely fail. I say this out of much experience because with my individual clients, there is an extremely high correlation between management buy-in/involvement and the rate of content marketing success.
2. The “Why” Workshop
You’ve seen me write about this in the past, but more than ever I feel incredibly strongly about what I call the “Why” Workshop. Centered upon Simon Sinek’s principle of using the Golden Circle to establish a deep-rooted culture within organizations, a “Why” Workshop for content marketing addresses three major questions when it comes to content marketing/ social media:
- What is it?
- How is it done in a way that gets results?
- Why are we really doing this (from an individual and company perspective)?
I’m going to be writing more and more about how Chief Marketing Officers can do these in-house workshops themselves, but I can tell you that if done properly the results are profound and lasting, and about a thousand times more effective than a CMO or management member sending out an email to all employees saying: “Blogging and social media will help our company, which is why we are asking everyone to write blog articles going forward.”
If you’re looking to doom your company’s content marketing before it ever even gets going, just send out one of these letters and wait for the flurry of articles to hit your inbox the next day.
Oh, and one other thing about the “Why” Workshop: When management tells everyone to stop what they’re doing and then takes the time to bring as many employees together as possible in a setting to learn the what, how, and why of content marketing, employees sense that what is getting ready to occur is more than “just another program.”
3. Everyone participates in the content brainstorm
I love this activity, and it’s one that I’ve seen work incredibly well many, many times. Without going into too much detail, this is what I suggest:
- Divide employees into groups. Depending on the number of participants, groups of between 5 and 10 employees tend to work best.
- Assign one or two members of each group to be scribes/recorders.
- Tell groups their task is to come up with as many consumer/client questions as possible in 10 minutes. Whoever has the most questions written down at the end wins. (Note: When I say “consumer question,” I mean any question a consumer would type into a search engine assuming they had a problem/need and were looking for an answer.)
Although this activity may sound a little silly to those that have never watched it in action, I can assure you it’s amazing. By the end, employees are starting to catch the vision of how consumers think, how easy it is to come up with content ideas, and the power of synergy when all employees are “content producers” of one shape or form.
And to give you a feel for what to expect, most small groups will typically render a minimum of 20 questions for every 5 minutes of brainstorming. Going forward, these questions will now be the titles of all your future blog posts….Continue Reading
Source: Content marketing Institute