Successful content marketing has several important components that work together to attract your ideal customers.
A solid content strategy and defined goals are your foundation. Choosing the right platform to reach your ideal clients is key and then it comes down to the actual creative component. How will you, either as a business owner, marketing manager, or even salesperson, put words on the page, shoot videos and take pictures of all the stories that happen within your business?
It’s clear that creating useful content for your clients and for search engines is a big job. It’s one that should not fall on any one person’s shoulders. Of course, a marketing manager will edit and schedule content but he/she will need a legion of support to make your published content engaging, relevant and useful. The answer to that is involving your employees in the content marketing process.
Marketing today for dealerships and other local businesses means to draw and organize helpful, useful information from the “teachers” that are within the company. The biggest mistake you can make in social media and content marketing is not recognizing the wealth of knowledge and inspiration you have in your employees. They have the ability to be the most helpful and effective teachers in the world at what you do.
I’m not going to sugar coat this: It’s a huge endeavor to introduce and integrate the added job of content marketing to your already busy employees. However, with expert assistance, you can extract content from employees, even if they push back.
To begin, the key is WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). In order to motivate employees and get them excited about producing content, they must see what the payoff will be for them. Of course you can force them to do it but the resulting mix of half-baked content will be nearly worthless. Instead, help them see these benefits of participating:
- Online visibility and influence. Social media and blogs provide an ideal way to get noticed. If your employee is named in any post or online review, it gets indexed by search engines. Instruct your staff to Google themselves and then ask, “What does your online presence say about you?” Chances are, not much. Participating in the content process will change that dramatically.
- Increased sales. Nearly 80% of salespeople who use social media in the selling process outperform and outsell those that don’t. Need I say more?
- Be known as the “Likable Expert.” Those that are able to show and communicate their expertise establish themselves as thought-leaders and likable experts. Trust develops around the employee’s “brand” and through digital word-of-mouth, they become known as a trusted resource on a grander scale.
Now that you’ve got their attention, you’ll need to have some outstanding tactics to bring your employees/content producers around to the winner’s circle. As with all employee initiatives, a clear process, communicated well and peppered with certain motivational components is how it’s done:
- Provide training to help employees recognize content opportunities. This is a creative process and every idea is welcome. Seek the advice of a content expert who can walk your staff through the process from content idea to creation to launch.
- Incentivize those that perform well. This could be something as simple as a $25 spiff for the best video testimonial of the week. It can also be as rewarding as someone writing the outline to their first blog post.
- Leverage your “first-adopters”. There are those (you may have a few) at dealerships who’ve done their homework and already see the value in creating content that teaches. They’re willing to share the stories that happen to them, inside and outside of work. Leverage their knowledge and eagerness. When other employees see the “first-adopters” on board and loving it, many may want to join in.
- Never force anyone to provide content. As we touched on earlier, social media and blogging are authentic, right-now mediums. Users can tell when it’s forced and they immediately disengage. It’s best to seek out what your “teachers” are passionate about and tap into that.
Don’t miss out on your most powerful resource for content marketing: employees! Every store must now incorporate content creation and publishing into its daily operation. Leverage the power of your employees. Let them teach your prospects and customers how awesome it is to do business with you!