How to get the rest of the company to contribute content

Posted August 13, 2020 in
Content Content
This is something content managers come up against time and time again—they need collaboration from the rest of the company to create content, but it's often something that's pushed aside as "the content manager's job" in its entirety.

True- content managers do a lot of writing and creating content, but for a company to form a culture of content in following a They Ask, You Answer philosophy, everyone needs to be engaged in the effort in some form or another.

At IMPACT, it's set in stone from the get-go in our employee handbook that everyone contribute at least 1 piece of content per month. And yet we still have a rockstar Content Team ( Liz Murphy , Ramona Sukhraj , and John Becker ) who crank out TONs of content themselves. Still, there are numerous ways we get the rest of the team to contribute, whether by interviewing them, or talking through potential topics and ways to structure them to help the non-writers still get the best content across the finish line.

A few of my clients, notably AES ( Bri Stauffer ) and W.S. Tyler ( Ronnie Brown and Daniel Rosbottom ) have created some great processes for trying to get the rest of the team to contribute to content efforts. ^^Would you all be willing to share a bit about what's worked for you, what challenges you've run into, and how you're working to solve for those roadblocks?

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Bri Stauffer
I've tried a few different tactics to get others involved in content this year.

To start, I hosted a 'content power hour' where everyone in the company focused one hour of time on expanding a content idea they had. I learned a lot after that first power hour - mainly that some people are comfortable running with it without much guidance, while others really need more structure and coaching to help them see how their expertise can help create content. 

Because of this, I did a lot more work on the front-end to prep everyone for our second power hour. I created cover sheets for individuals (or pairs) to give them direction with specific prompt questions for them to answer during the hour. That resulted in what I feel was a much more productive time for everyone across the board. It also gave a few people the opportunity to collaborate with people they don't work with on a daily basis.

The power hour was a great exercise, though took a lot of work on my end to coordinate so much all at one time.

Recently (the past 2-3 weeks), I've spent more time listening to conversations and asking others on the Revenue team (marketing, sales, customer success) what our clients are concerned about and asking.

Based on those conversations, I'll prioritize which topics/questions we should tackle and then draft up an initial cover sheet. Then I'll share it with our internal subject matter expert (SME) and the person who shared the question to get their input on the outline, what should be expanded on, and anything that I may have missed. Then the writing occurs, either as a first draft from the SME or myself, and then we continue on with the editorial process.

This flow seems to be working really well. I think that's because many of my teammates find it easier to see the end goal when there's something on the page. Not everyone can take an idea and just start writing, so I've found I can be that bridge between "here's the question" and "here's our answer."

Overall, it seems that my initial idea of having others create a content sheet and outline only worked in certain cases. Our process will continually evolve and I'm excited to see where it takes us :)
Jolie Higazi
Super actionable advice, thanks for sharing that,  Bri Stauffer  !
Ronnie Brown
Here at W.S. Tyler, we began our new content creation journey by redeveloping the marketing and sales team. We started by integrating a videographer and content writer to manage our content.

We learned that getting the rest of the company to commit to content creation is harder than it seems.

Once we developed a content creation routine within the marketing department, we noticed that we were going to run out of ideas without the help of the other departments. To combat this, we created a topic generation team that consists of one representative from each department.

Once a month, we all sit down to discuss what’s happening in each, questions customers are asking, and topic ideas. We have recently started to kick off the meeting by sharing some metrics on HubSpot. 

This helps illustrate the impact content generation has on company growth.

To facilitate this meeting, we also created a virtual suggestions box where anyone can enter customer questions and topic ideas. Our IT department created and pushed a desktop shortcut on every computer to make this process as easy as possible.

We also have a 2-month rolling content calendar put in place to show due dates and who is responsible for all content.

Currently, we post two blog posts and one video weekly. Our goal is to increase this number as we continue to fine-tune this process.
Jolie Higazi
Thanks so much for talking through your process,  Ronnie Brown  ! I'm so glad things are continuing to move forward on this.

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