While producing content is obviously great for driving traffic to your website, increasing your SEO, and educating and informing your readers, it can also be extremely beneficial for your employees. When businesses create content, it’s often with consumers in mind as their target audience, and while this is great, it doesn’t have to mean that your own employees can’t benefit. Why can’t content speak to both customers and employees and/or be included in your employee newsletters?
Since employees are the ones who have the closest relationships with consumers, you definitely want them to be educated about what’s going on in the company and in your industry. Below are some ways entrepreneurs can use their resources in order to ensure that their employees are learning from the content that the company is producing.
Instead of just assuming you know what your employees still need to learn about the business, why not ask them? Have them compile a list of questions they have about various aspects of the company and the industry. In some cases, some of these questions are coming right from consumers and employees want to know how to better answer them. Once you’ve received everyone’s lists, compare them to see if there are some common concerns and inquiries, and start from there. The content you’re producing should answer their questions in detail, and will hopefully act as clarification for both employees and customers on certain topics.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Companies have been producing content for quite a while now, and the idea of employees learning from these articles is nothing new. Use your connections in the market to see what has worked for other businesses. Reach out to them and ask them which content ideas have been most popular with their staff, and why. Then, adapt the ideas to meet the needs of your employees. Every business is different, so while it may not work to take the same exact idea from someone else, chances are the root of the idea is good and can be changed a little to work with your own employees.
In addition, it never hurts to ask for feedback. If something doesn’t seem to be working, don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions...and then learn from them!
Email marketing works great for customers, so why not try it for employees? If you don't already have an employee newsletter start by picking a new topic each time (perhaps from the list of questions the employees compiled in #1) and explain it further in an email to employees sent every other week. The timing and frequency of this campaign is key (just like any other email marketing campaign); if you send too many, employees will most likely disregard them and your message will end up in their junk folder. But if you take the time to find content that is meaningful to them, and you don’t inundate their inbox with it (which is why we suggest emails sent every other week), they’re more than likely going to take the time to read the message and thus learn from the content provided inside.
When talking about how an employer can use their toolset, this is maybe the best option. Everyone likes a little variety in their day, so if you sense that your employees are getting burned out from written content, consider bringing in a guest speaker to work with them. The more personalized the presentation, the better, so it’s a good idea to tailor each speaker and each presentation to a specific department. Plus, employees will be more engaged and probably feel more comfortable asking questions in a smaller setting. Again, the key is to make the presentation meaningful, so before you go hunting for someone to speak, make sure you know which are “hot topics” for your departments: what are they confused about, what are they interested in, what do they want to know more about? And then try to find a dynamic speaker to address their concerns.
A great way to engage employees is to involve them in the process of producing content. Ask for volunteers to guest post on the company blog on a topic that is meaningful to them. It’s important that you don’t force anyone to do this; not everyone considers himself/herself a writer, and if you force someone to post who isn’t interested then they’re not going to learn from the experience. With that said, there should be plenty of people willing to give it a shot, especially if you tell them that they don’t have to worry about grammar and editing. They should just focus on the message they’re sending, and you can have someone else take care of the proofreading. This will not only help them get the most from your content, but their peers as well.
If you create a schedule for your posts (whether it be through Trello, Google Calendar, or something else), employees will be aware when hot topics that peak their interest will be written, and they can be sure to check them out. This will be a time saver for them since they probably don’t have a ton of extra time to constantly be checking the blog for new content that’s interesting to them. They’ll also appreciate your consideration of their time, and hopefully reward you by making sure to read the posts that engage them. Setting a schedule also encourages collaboration; if a department head sees that an article will be written on a topic that is important to him/her, they can make a plan for each employee to read it and then create a set time to discuss the content together. This would be much harder to do without some kind of advance notice.
Hopefully now you can see the benefit of including employees in on your content marketing. Not only will it improve their knowledge of the business (which will then translate to the customers), but it’s a great way to engage them and make sure that the content you’re producing is meaningful to everyone and your company continues to move forward together as a team.
So how are you going to make sure your employees are learning from your content? Do you plan on utilizing any resources not discussed above? Is there anything you would add to the list? Comment in the section below!
Image Credit: trello.com