Content Creation: Can't someone else do it?
One topic that became central to the B2B Summit last month was content fatigue. It seems that, every time I go to one of these events, the “number of marketing messages somebody sees in a day” has doubled, and traditional advertising and marketing channels are becoming less effective by the week.
Buyers are becoming jaded, your attempts to get through to them are working less and less, which is probably why “80% of content is crap” was such a well worn phrase during the day too. But the messages are often fine; it’s just the credibility behind those messages that is the problem. So how, as a marketing department, can you have a more authentic voice in your marketing?
One answer that came up was one that worked for Homer Simpson: “Can’t someone else do it?” My friends who are tasked with churning out content pieces on a loop viscerally beamed at the idea, and it does make sense. Plus it got Homer that Sanitation Commissioner’s gig, so there’s that.
Allow me to steal this statistic to make my point. The three most credible people in the eyes of your buyers are:
(Cheers Tomorrow People for this slide, which I have stolen wholesale)
(1): Established industry experts
(2): Technical experts
(3): People in the same boat as them
While sales, marketing, and the CEO, are much further down the list.
This means that the best source of engagement on social channels are your employees (industry and product experts) and your customers (who your prospects can empathise with). For example, Cisco employees have 10 times as many followers as the corporate account, so you should make sure that you produce the right content for your colleagues to want to share.
The best content you can put out is written by those on the ground floor. This is impossible to fake, as the insight, practical assistance and tone of the content will not come across authentically.
“Ah, this is obvious” I hear you cry. “But, how did we get these geniuses to take time out of their busy days to even distribute content for us, let alone write it?”
This is indeed where things get tricky. Not only are they time poor, but they may not wish to put their name to corporate messaging, or prefer to use social media for personal interests and keep their work life separate.
The good news is that marketers are trying. As the B2B Content Benchmarking Report pointed out, around two thirds of marketing departments “encourage” other departments to help.
So how do you get the most out of other departments?
If you have only one expert in your company, then you may struggle with this one, but gamification works on social. Create a leaderboard. Have prizes for the winners. Make sure to have long and short-term goals, to keep the early adopters interested while creating breeding ground for newcomers to prosper too.
You may also need to hold their hand along the way. Create easy how to guides on getting started on Twitter and LinkedIn. Add in regular hints and tips emails to keep them interested, while always explaining the value of personal branding to the individual, rather than focusing on the value to the business.
You should also make it personal, as the better your working relationship, the better the content. Visit these teams regularly and help them with the writing process. Offer to produce visuals and graphics to supplement their work.
One surprising note in the statistic I opened with was that the CEO was so low down in terms of credibility – the reason being that CEOs are often impersonal on social media.
So use your experts, they will know where the story lies and it will sound more authentic coming from them.
So I ask: what else do you do to convince your experts to share their insight? Is CSR important? Is it cost? Are they boring? Let me know!