There is no denying the importance of content creation in the modern digital landscape. Great content can help you to attract and convert more visitors. Producing content that provides value within a budget frame is difficult to do, but what if I told you that a company with 100 employees could produce 490 posts over the next year for less than $1.00 per post?
Follow these 7 tips and you will have your own content army producing high quality low cost content:
1. Assign A Blog Editor
Before you can turn your team into a content creation army you need to assign a blog editor. If you want your employees to continue contributing content they need to know that their posts will either go live or come back with feedback for improvement.
The editor will also be needed to enforce some of the items listed below. It is important that the person you select as editor understands the company's content creation goals. This person will ultimately ensure that unique quality content is posted frequently.
2. Encourage Customer Facing Employees To Contribute
Your customer facing employees (think sales and customer service) have more client interaction than anyone else in the company. They know what issues clients are commonly facing in addition to what information they need to facilitate a conversion. It is vital that you receive contributions from this segment of your business. In order to get them on board you need to show them how it will make their lives easier. As it relates to the sales staff quality content creation will attract more leads. Those leads will also be more educated and come with a higher level of trust for your brand. For the customer service staff addressing common issues and concerns with quality content can reduce the number of calls they receive.
Unfortunately this particular segment is often too busy to write. Or they are apprehensive about their writing ability.
(To learn how to turn what's in your head into actual content, click here)
If this is the case start by letting them know that their posts do not need to take several days to write. If they pick a topic they are knowledgeable about they can write a quality post in 1-2 hours. You have a blog editor in place and they will worry about spelling and grammar plus provide feedback to the writers on areas they can improve the post (NOTE: Ruud the SEP blog editor suggested I add this paragraph. Proof that the system works. Keep up the great work Ruud!). As a fall-back you can always have more avid writers interview customer facing employees and use the information gained to create some great content.
3. Make It Mandatory
Every company has mandatory work requirements; so why are so many companies afraid of making blogging a mandatory function?
Start by letting employees know that this will become a requirement of them. Create a list of topics that you would like to blog about so that they have an easy resource to select from. Setting a minimum of 2 blog posts per year in a company of 100 people will generate more than 4 posts per week for you.
By setting a minimum of 1 post per quarter in the same company you will be able to post more than once per day. Setting automated calendar reminders for all of your employees helps to ensure deadlines are met.
Let employees know how much time they should spend writing a post. A great baseline is 1.5-2.5 hours per post.
Personally I like to spend my first hour writing the post and getting all of my ideas on the sheet. I then spend roughly 30 minutes cleaning up. This include purging out ideas that add no value to the post and ensuring that the post is logical from start to finish. If a post requires a lot of data to back points up you can add 30 minutes to an hour for research time.
Make it clear that these are just guidelines. There is nothing wrong with writing a post faster or slower. The important metric is quality.
4. Create A Blogging Group
Book a recurring meeting for those who are interested in actively contributing to the blog. This will provide time for likeminded people to collaborate and drive the content strategy forward.
A group of 10 people meeting twice per month for one hour will easily contribute 120+ blog posts in a year.
For these people there is no need to set a minimum contribution amount. They will actively add content at a rate much greater than those in a mandatory pool.
5. Recognize Employees Who Contribute Exceptional Content
When an employee creates a great piece of content or contributes frequently you should swing by their desk and let them know that you appreciate their hard work.
If a piece of content is particularly strong consider sending out the link to your entire company and acknowledging the contributors efforts.
This type of motivation will help encourage all employees to write better content and contribute more frequently.
6. Create Some Healthy Competition
Pitting departments against each other can by a good thing in some instances. Consider challenging your departments to produce more content. Offer a reward to the department that generates the most posts, words, likes, shares and/or leads with their content.
Publishing the results quarterly will help to light a fire under some groups.
Do you think your marketing department would feel good about losing a blogging competition to the accounting department?
7. Incentivize Employees For Contributing
There is nothing wrong with a little grease in the wheels. Offer a pizza day every quarter for employees who contribute at least once per month. How about 1 extra day off for employees who contribute a minimum of 25 posts per year? Get creative with it. A little extra incentive never hurt anyone.
You already have the resources to create a content army. You just need to put the pieces in place. Now I promised that this blog would show you how to get 490 posts from 100 employees in 1 year for less than $1.00 per post. Here is how that becomes possible:
Assuming that you assign a minimum of 2 posts per employee for the year and you incentivize the blogging team and frequent contributors with quarterly pizza lunches this system will work:
- 10 employees join the blogging group and contribute 150 posts per year = $240.00 For Pizza Parties or $6.00 Per Employee
- 10 employees want to partake in pizza day every quarter and they contribute 120 posts per year = $240 Per Year (Same as Above)
- 30 employees are driven by the competition/motivation and they contribute 120 posts per year (twice the mandatory minimum) = $0.00
- 50 employees contribute the mandatory minimum for a total of 100 posts per year = $0.00
- That gives you a total yearly blog count of 490 which equates to more than 2 posts per business day.
Turning your employees into a content creation army using the 7 ways listed above can help you add 490 posts over the next year for less than $1.00 per post. What are you waiting for? Start typing up that memo right now!
P.S. This post was written during a Search Engine People blogging team session. #PracticeWhatYouPreach