Laura Petrolino

How to Successfully Get Your Team Involved in Content Creation

By: Laura Petrolino | August 5, 2019 | 
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How to Successfully Get Your Team Involved in Content CreationIf you’re in charge of content marketing for your organization, continued high-quality content creation often seems like a daunting task.

Maybe this sounds familiar:

  1. You are solely responsible for all content creation. This includes blog posts, long-form content, promotions, gated content, newsletters, bylined articles, videos, social content. The list can go on, and on, and on, um … and on.
  2. You manage your content creation team. It’s a constant struggle to get all the different voices and writing styles focused, engaged, and organized into a solid and effective program. This means most of the time you just do it yourself. 
  3. You attempt to engage other people in your organization in content creation, only to get blank stares and snarky comments. If you had a dollar for every time you heard “content belongs to communications,” or they “have more important things to focus on,” you’d hire a content creation team and retire to Bermuda.
  4. You made a deal with fairies and they flawlessly create all your content for you. They ride on unicorns to deliver it to your desk weekly. It comes perfectly formatted, AP style edited, fully SEO-ed, and accompanied with a bag of glitter and rainbows.

If scenarios one, two, or three happen to you, then this blog post is for you!

It Takes a Village to Create Content

Many of the best organizational blogs are able to bring different voices and perspectives into the fold.

Of course, some can come from guest bloggers.

But they should also come from internal team members. 

Having a variety of team members serve as thought leaders on important topics helps bring increased credibility and personality to your organization.

Unfortunately, even the smartest, most cooperative teams can often struggle to produce quality content.

Especially if you want all parts of the company to take part in content creation (beyond just marketing and communications).

Communicators Know the Value of Content Creation

As professional communicators we hear the word “blog post” and we think:

And so on ….

We have an entire content checklist we follow because, for communicators, content serves a distinct purpose.

We also offer an online masterclass that teaches you how to create and distribute audience-first content that generates measurable results.

But What About Our Other Colleagues?

Now, when our non-communications colleagues hear “blog post” they often think:

  • Ugh! Write something.

Obviously, there’s a big divide between these two types of perceptions.

And because of that, some things get lost in translation that can be important both for the quality of the post itself and to help keep edit and rewrite time to a manageable level.

Not to mention the fact you ultimately want the content creation experience to be rewarding for all sides.

So how do you translate our content creation needs to our colleagues without overwhelming or scaring them away from contributing at all?

Team Content Creation: Tactics that Work

In trying to help clients deal with this problem, we’ve found a variety of tactics work best to engage a team in content creation.

Ownership

Your entire team needs to understand the purpose of content creation, content marketing, and why their involvement matters.

Content shouldn’t just be seen as an extra task.

The best content teams all take ownership of content creation.

They understand the value of telling the organization’s and customers’ stories from their vantage point.

This isn’t something that comes naturally or organically and the onus is on you as the communications pro to explain the importance of content in a way that resonates in their particular focus area or sector of the company.

(Hint: think ROI and real business results).

If you have analytics and actual data to back up your claims, even the better (hint: you need to have it).

And then after they produce and publish content, you need to follow-up with them to show the results.

Voice and Specialities

It’s best to not just say, “you need to write a blog post.”

Instead (and this comes back to encouraging a sense of ownership), work with each team member to find a specialty area they can use to focus their content creation.

Encourage them to find their own voice.

Take Gini Dietrich’s posts versus mine.

We bring different voices and general topics to the blog, but all of our posts are built upon the same basic themes and brand personality. 

This is what you want to encourage.

When it comes to your organizational voice, everyone should be on the same page, so make sure you have a personality document, purpose, and goals.

Then encourage them to carve out their own niche within that larger framework.

Topics

Sometimes the hardest part of getting started is just knowing what to write about.

You’ll probably want to begin by assigning blog topics or ideas for team members to tackle.

The more structure you can give to the vision of the post, the better.

As team members become more comfortable blogging, you can, and should, let them have more freedom.

But remember—you’re the one directing overall strategy, you are going to have a far better understanding of the content that fits best into that strategy.

Content Creation Strategies for Your Team

Your team is as individual as your content marketing strategies.

You need to find the best content creation system for you and your organization’s needs.

Putting the extra effort into providing all responsible team members a sense of ownership and a roadmap for action when it comes to content creation will go far in executing an effective content marketing strategy.

The most effective communications plans don’t just live siloed within the communications or marketing team.

They extend company-wide and work symbiotically with all parts of the organization.

Content creation is just one example of that process.

How do you engage team members in content creation?

Image by Niekonwencjonalna from Pixabay

About Laura Petrolino


Laura Petrolino is the chief client officer at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She also is a weekly contributor to the award-winning PR blog, Spin Sucks. Join the Spin Sucks   community.