One of a business’ biggest marketing challenges is providing enough unique, helpful and/or entertaining content for social media and email. An even bigger challenge is motivating employees to create content.
Content is the cornerstone to successful social media and you’re not the only one having a hard time adapting to it. It’s difficult to create content when you’re busy operating a business and focusing on sales. One of the keys to overcoming this difficulty is to modernize your culture and implement programs to motivate employees to participate in the company’s content creation.
Why should employees create content?
Employees bring a fresh perspective to the company’s voice online. The company’s marketing and advertising are expected by consumers. Today’s buyers are doing their own research. They want to build connections first, and are looking for educational or interesting material that doesn’t read like a sales pitch.
Content created by employees and shared to their networks stands out and is less invasive to current buyers and even potential buyers. Plus, employee content builds new awareness to buyers who may not realize your brand existed at all.
Over the years, I’ve seen top-performing content on social media that has been off the cuff posts by employees.
Challenges are ahead but are worth it
Is it challenging to get employees to buy into the value of participating in content creation? Yes. It’s painful for both management and their team members to work a new concept into their daily operational duties, especially for those who sell and don’t make a living unless they sell something.
However, now that customers are Googling salespeople, it’s crucial that each salesperson learn the value of creating content that customers crave. Today’s car buyer’s journey begins online. When salespeople have established themselves online, and provided assistance with quality content that helps them get found in search, this instills a perception of trust.
Building rapport is key to sales. With every customer online, it makes sense to build a program to motivate employees to create content that spotlights your organization.
Cultural and operational shifts
Let’s face it, the car business has been in need of some shifts for a while – and that’s a good thing. Becoming more customer-centric increases sales and fortifies reputations.
These shifts need to come from the top. If management doesn’t buy into the idea of modernization, employees won’t either.
It may be time to define your vision again. We’ve been through a crazy time and it’s not over. Things have changed and taking time to reestablish company goals and define the direction you’d like to see the company take will enhance your arsenal for survival.
Being able to consistently redefine and communicate your business’ “higher purpose” is the secret to modernizing your culture. Companies that do this will make sure their ecosystem understands the larger world they operate in and how they fit into that world. Then, they activate their employees to tell authentic and personal stories about how they contribute.
A marketing manager may often find themselves in the role of teacher and coach. A social media manager may provide guidance to others on how to create content, how to share it on social media, and how to build their own professional online presence.
True modernization craves owners and executives who embody this spirit – living and breathing the notion that your brand is more than what you sell. I always encourage management to participate in content creation to set an example for the team. This can be anything from sharing ideas to actually being in front of the camera in video content. The point is to engage but feel comfortable and enthusiastic while doing it.
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Employees must develop their “digital fluency” to improve customer rapport.
To accurately reflect their staff’s changing work experience, savvy retailers have begun to implement an entirely new working environment – the digital workplace.
The digital workplace.
The digital workplace (or digital dealership, if you will) encompasses all the technologies people use to get work done in today’s consumer driven retail environment – both the ones in operation and the ones yet to be implemented. It ranges from your HR applications and core business applications to e-mail, instant messaging and enterprise social media tools and virtual meeting tools.
By integrating the technologies that employees use, the digital dealership breaks down communication barriers and transforms the employee experience by fostering efficiency, innovation and growth. This positions your organization to meet the needs of the customer head on, without skipping a beat.
The key to success lies in the effective implementation of a digital workplace strategy capable of driving true cultural change.
Adapting to the shifting retail landscape is challenging.
There are many moving parts and they’re moving more often than ever before. Running concurrent processes smoothly is paramount.
The need for the traditional components of great customer in-store experiences is still prevalent:
- Happy, helpful employees
- Clean, welcoming environment
- Respectful interactions
- Overall delightful experience that customers can’t wait to tell others about
Creating quality content customers crave
Create an atmosphere where employees are educated on what quality content is and how to recognize opportunities to capture it.
The social media success blueprint stems in quality content. What is quality content? Simply put, it’s information that’s important to and attracts buyers. The good news is that your employees hold a wealth of information that buyers want to know.
Modernize your culture by implementing a content creation process between your marketing manager and your employees. Salespeople who have their own social media should be especially included.
- Provide a way for content submission. A specific work email address or a Google Form both work well.
- Describe what you’re looking for. Explain the various content types that can be submitted and appropriate themes/subjects.
- Share ideas on how to stand out on social media.
- Offer links to tutorials or even training on automotive social selling.
- Enlist a point of contact where employees can direct questions.
- Update content guidelines regularly based on the feedback you’ve received on the process.
How to Motivate Employees to Create Content
One of the most difficult digital retailing endeavors is figuring out how to motivate employees to share their ideas and participate in content creation. Motivating employees starts with recognizing that employees don’t necessarily do things because you ask them to; they do things because they perceive a benefit that compels them to do what you’re asking.
Culture can instill pride and ownership. Motivation happens in an atmosphere of working toward a common goal where everyone has a stake in the outcome.
The following tactics are useful in most every condition your business may be in. Try these maneuvers to motivate employees to participate in content creation:
Incentivize the process
- Encourage salespeople to make introduction videos. Introduction videos help your salespeople stand out from their competition, engage customers quickly, and build rapport.
- Gamify it! (a little competition always stirs things up). Start a monthly or weekly competition for best content contribution. Every submission gets an entry so the more content employees provide, the more entries they get in the drawing. Draw names out of a hat at the end of the month. Offer cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
- Offer a prize (or day off?) for every positive review from a verified customer.
- Hold a monthly contest for the most creative customer testimonial video. Choose three managers to be judges.
- Recognize online influence. An employee influencer is someone within your organization that can positively impact the way external or internal audiences view, interact, or form opinions about your organization.
Provide ongoing education
Many employees will remain apprehensive about creating content for their organization for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing on social media. Ongoing training is essential.
- Provide a social media policy that spells out company guidelines to alleviate apprehension. Make sure employees are aware of just what they can create and share. No employee will want to be responsible for a social media crisis.
- Hold training workshops or online training to communicate the latest strategies, highlight the many benefits of content creation, and introduce new technologies.
- Coaching: Actively encourage employees to create and submit content. Many may lack the confidence and belief in themselves to post anything of value. It can be a daunting process to submit suggested content to your employer for fear of rejection.
I recently spoke with a training director at a large auto group. They survey their sales team every year on what they want to be trained on. This year, the overwhelming response was social media. Implementing effective, up-to-date digital training like automotive social selling keeps your team’s production at high levels.
Digital retailing is here to stay and training is a key component in staff adoption and adaptation to the traditional dealership operations model. Retailers can often spend their budgets on training that doesn’t stick, is outdated, or doesn’t change their bottom line.
Today’s web is noisy and crowded. One fantastic way to stand out is to create content that customers need and want. These building blocks I’ve shared with you will help motivate employees to create content. This is an opportunity for you to make a big impact on buyers.
Do you sell cars? Want to sell more? Grab your Ultimate FREE Guide to Social Media for Car Salespeople 👉 HERE.