Content marketing has grown to become a dominant player in the online marketing blend of recent years – a 2015 report by the Content Marketing Institute discovered that 88% of B2B marketers now use it – but is there a better way of doing it? Is a more effective, dynamic and eye-catching form of content marketing possible?
One idea is to widen the field of content producers. At present, content marketing relies heavily on executives to produce copy; to share their insights as the business creators from the ‘C-suite’, those who are ‘in the know’. But do they really have enough time always to produce as compelling content as possible, being the extremely busy people they are and among the most difficult to pin down? And, for that matter, are they the only ones in the know?
What about internal leaders within organisations? Surely they’re capable of offering different perspectives, coming up with new spins on old themes and covering entirely new topics? What about content marketing by internal leaders?
It’s likely that if and when businesses realise it’s a good idea to spread around content contribution, the quality won’t just improve, referral traffic will rise and conversion rate grow too.
But how do you know who to call on to create content? Who are these ‘internal leaders’ you can turn to? Content creators are spokespeople for their organisations, but they don’t talk up products or services as much as ideas and lessons learned. They pass on wisdom that helps build a brand by validating that brand through sharing respectable and trustworthy insight. They should help the company’s marketing team engage the audience and drive sales leads.
The type of ‘internal leader’ or ‘spokesperson’ you’re looking for then is someone who’s thoughtful, naturally, but also regularly prepared to pass on what they’ve learned to their co-workers; someone who’s as co-operative and caring about the company and the brand as they are knowledgeable. Narrowing down the best content creators depends too on whom the marketing team find a good fit, as well as whose content resonates most with the desired audience.
These new content spokespeople don’t necessarily have to literally write the content, though – after all, one of the big advantages with marketing of this nature is that the marketing team retains overall control. These spokespeople are contributors; they’re not going to be able let slip a mis-quote via this form of marketing. In short, they’ll always be on message. One way you might want to get the most out of their contribution is by gathering it via a Q&A process – this can generate and produce the personal expertise and stories you want to capture, which can then be pulled together into topics and edited as content articles, approved and published.