By Joe Meloni One of the most beautiful things about the Internet is its ability to give a voice and a platform to people who didn’t previously have access to the spotlight. This idea rings true not just in today’s landscape of news, blogging and social media, but also for any brand’s content marketing strategy. Ask any successful CEO about his company’s most valuable assets, and he will likely start with his employees. Good leaders know how to spot the right team members, and those team members should be featured prominently in your content marketing efforts. According to Wordstream, time and resources rank among the biggest reasons companies struggle with content marketing. The solutions are right in front of you. They’re sitting next to you in meetings, the lunchroom and every other part of your office. After all, the foundation for a great brand isn’t built only on quality products or a good team of marketers – it’s the people that make up the brand’s identity and voice. A content marketing strategy encompasses a number of channels, which may include blogs, social media, visuals, e-books and contributed media articles. Each venue requires a different delivery and a tailored voice to appeal to the right audiences, and one of the most effective ways to harness that voice is to empower your employees to become content creators. More voices help humanize your brand Content marketing helps companies show off their chops in a number of ways. A wide range of voices developing content can help your brand demonstrate partnership and support for its customers and community. Your customers want to hear ideas from your brand’s project managers and software developers – the individuals who know your product inside and out. Giving authorship abilities to employees throughout your company can help show your customers new faces and perspectives. Empowering a wide range of internal brand advocates also helps promote a companywide commitment to industry expertise. Expanding the pool of workers responsible for content creation can also alleviate some of the bottleneck that marketing and writing teams sometimes experience. Recently, Forrester reported that less than half of the people on a marketing team participate in content development in more than 70 percent of companies. When more employees and internal voices are equipped to contribute to an overall blogging or content strategy, the company’s overall marketing ROI can get a boost. How to expand your author pool So, how do you get your whole team involved? Let employees know your potential contributor pool is inviting, open and valuable. Your blog’s ability to feed the company’s sales funnel correlates directly with posting frequency – HubSpot reports that 89 percent of companies with a blog that helps acquire customers post new content multiple times each day. Testing this statistic within your own customer base and sharing the results with your team can help encourage new authors to enter the blogging pool. When your employees know they’re welcome to contribute insight to the company’s overall voice, you’ll help reinforce their worth on the team and demonstrate your company’s commitment to transparency and creativity. Beyond your team, guest blogs from your customers or other strategic partners can offer fresh perspectives for your readers. Inviting guests to publish through your platform can also demonstrate strong relationships with your customers, which will appeal to prospects browsing your content. Different voices appeals to different buyers Before many companies make a purchase decision about a new product or service, a handful of decision-makers need to be convinced. Even if your brand is already on the radar for those individuals, before closing the sale, they’re conducting extensive research about your team, your competitors and your industry. In fact, Google found that the average customer checks more than 10 pieces of branded content ahead of any purchase. And when a CIO sees a blog from a software developer about a specific pain point he struggles with, the content will likely appeal to him more than any article bylined by a marketing associate. Every customer persona you’re targeting should be able to find a voice within your content that speaks directly to her. You built a team diverse in skills and background for a number of reasons. Letting each of your employees contribute to your brand’s story makes it stronger and expands the appeal of your content. Transform your blog to boost Web traffic and engagement.
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