Content is important to your employee advocacy program but your content management needs to be sound to make it easy and effective.
While sharing quality content is an important piece of your employee advocacy program, it’s still just one piece of the whole pie. There are many other aspects to your program that you need to understand and execute well in addition to content management.
How will you get employee advocacy buy-in? How will you train your employees? How do you get them motivated and active, and how do you keep them active long-term? Will you incorporate gamification into your strategy, and what will that look like?
These are all pieces you need to account for that are very much doable and will lead to great benefits, but your content management strategy is important as well.
There are some big benefits to your employees sharing content:
Not all content is created equal. Long-form content, such as an ebook or white paper, goes more in-depth on a topic, while blog posts are shorter reads but still helpful, highlighting the major points. Podcasts and videos are both consumed differently but are both very popular. Webinars, infographics, and other types of content can be very helpful and easy to consume.
You should have a healthy mix of different types of content, but you should also mix up your sources of content. Branded content and third-party content are received very differently no matter what the types of content are. The same is true for user-generated content. People can easily think that your branded content is just you propping yourself up. But a third-party propping you up can be much more effective, while user-generated content can be much more relatable and authentic.
Aside from this, you need to know how to tackle your content management strategy for your employee advocacy program. Here are five keys to being successful with content management in your employee advocacy program.
It’s no secret that a successful content strategy needs a content calendar, but even if you don’t have one, your content management strategy needs you to focus on it. It will make your life much easier if you set aside time to do this.
Figure out your strategy, the topics you want to promote, your messaging, and how often you want to promote it. You also need to know what would be in line with your employees’ goals. Content that promotes your initiatives is great, but you can’t post that too much. Content on general industry trends and challenges are also great, and there should be plenty of third-party content out there to help you with this.
If you set aside time to plan what you want your content to cover and how often you want to promote it, you won’t have to figure that out on the spot. This will save you time in the long run, and you’ll always be ready to grab the content you like, quickly promote it, and continue with your day.
For any employee advocacy program, one of the biggest challenges and time-consuming tasks is content curation.
You need to know where to get your content from other than your website. If you have a blog, podcast, ebooks, videos, and all the rest to choose from, that’s great, but you can’t just promote yourself all the time.
First of all, you might not be able to make enough content to keep up with the demand of your employee advocacy program.
Second, third-party content introduces a different voice into your messaging, and it presents your employees as in touch with the industry.
A great way to find third-party content consistently is to find websites you like that cover your industry, sign up for their newsletters, and follow them on social media. Follow their writers, podcasts hosts, and reporters on social media too. See what content they share. This will give you steady streams of content that you can pick from to save you a lot of time trying to find something.
Third, you should encourage employees to create content too. User-generated content is very powerful. You should promote what they come up with, giving a face to your brand, making both them and your brand look credible, and presenting your messaging in a more authentic way.
Lastly, you should feature employees in your content and in other people’s content. Interview them for podcasts, videos, blog posts, etc. and invite other publications to interview the experts in your organization. This helps build them up as thought leaders, gives you content to promote, and gives other people an incentive to promote them.
Nothing makes you feel like you didn’t prepare for your content management strategy like not having any content to promote and having a hard time finding something new.
You should set aside time before this happens to find quality content you like and schedule it out in advance. This way, you’ll have a cushion of time built into your calendar. Even if you don’t schedule content out, find quality evergreen content that isn’t time-sensitive to promote down the road. Think of it as saving it for a rainy day, or your “break glass in case of emergency” content.
This will prevent a lull in your content promotion, which can easily happen during the busy times of year, the holiday season, etc. If you have time-sensitive content, that’s great, and you should definitely use it and turn it around for promotion quickly. But in terms of saving content for when you might not have anything to promote, evergreen content is very helpful.
Remember, you don’t want to push stuff out there just to have something to promote. Make sure it’s useful and quality. That is a big mistake people make in terms of content and it’s not helpful to your initiative. It’s better to put out nothing than something that is low quality and doesn’t convey the message you’re going for.
The strategy of stockpiling content also works for stockpiling people to connect with. If you want your employees to connect with and engage with more people, make a list of analysts, influencers, thought leaders, and reporters in your industry. This way, you can gradually have them connect with one person every week or so, and build connections with them.
You won’t have to find a new person every week. Build out your list, then you can gradually add to it whenever you notice someone new, and gradually suggest new people for your employees to connect and engage with.
You should survey your employees at least once a year to see what content they like and what their goals are for social media so you can adhere to them. If you can do that, they will be very active for you.
Make sure you ask them how they like the current content, what types of content they’d like to see, what channels do they like to share content on, and other suggestions they have. This will be a huge help to your program and make it easier for you to serve their needs.
Everyone in your organization who works in content should be on the same page. You don’t want some people working on a big initiative that you know nothing about and vice versa. That prevents your messaging and efforts from being consistent.
If you’re building out content, make sure your SEO team knows about it. This way they can help you draw attention to it outside of social media. But you want to know what keywords and topics they are going after so you know what content topics are coming down the pike.
For example, if I want content on measuring marketing ROI, and I don’t know that my SEO team has content on this in the works that will be out tomorrow, then I might waste time today trying to find content on that topic. Even if they don’t have that in the works, maybe they can make it happen for you and have something for you within the next week.
Stay on the same page as your SEO team for your content management initiatives, and it’ll help you both.
Content management is incredibly important to your employee advocacy program and it can be extremely beneficial if you know how to go about it the right way. If you’d like to learn more, download the ebook by clicking on the link below.
Ramin Edmond is the former Content Strategist for GaggleAMP. Outside of work, Ramin likes to run, hike, and take pictures of Boston's best views. You can get in touch with Ramin by connecting with him on LinkedIn.
Stay up to date with the latest in employee advocacy.