Marketing (with inbound in particular) is in a state of constant evolution. The most effective practices today may fall short of what’s possible five years from now, which explains why inbound platforms like HubSpot are always introducing new service offers.
However, the heart of inbound will never change: the content you create is everything. Challenges with content are also likely to stick around within the marketing sphere for the foreseeable future, one of the most note-worthy being the challenge of team buy-in. Getting your entire company involved in content creation helps add variety and additional insight to your content, some of which is only possible when subject experts involve themselves.
Management and the content you distribute
In most marketing agencies, those with the most experience (the true subject matter experts) are the management team. Often, the strongest content on a given subject comes from the mouths of the an organisation's leadership; this applies to content creation for any industry, whether it’s writing for your own company or for a client. Buy-in from leaders in the organisation can be invaluable when it comes to creating memorable, well-informed content.
While copywriting specialists and marketing consultants can churn out high quality content to convert desired audiences, something special happens when industry leaders (like your management team) get involved in the content creation process. Namely, people take more notice.
Your company's leaders will often carry the greatest weight within your industry, and it’s this repertoire that audiences will immediately think of when, for instance, seeing your CEO’s name on a blog post. This recognition does more than just generate more click-throughs; it shows that your entire marketing team is invested and fully immersed within your industry. The best inbound marketing strategies are those that actively involve management in all aspects, whether it’s redirecting campaigns for industry trends or giving insight in a featured blog post.
However, therein lies a major roadblock many inbound marketing professionals run into at some point; how do you keep management actively involved in content creation, with all the other tasks filling their schedule? Writing content consumes a good chunk of time, so how do I convince my management team that it provides real, measurable value for our business?
Proving the value of content
Involving management in the content creation process is about more than getting an extra spin on standard content, it’s building your brand through trust. It establishes credibility and and puts the thought leaders in your business in direct contact with audiences.
That being said, there’s a fair chance your company's executives have a different mindset than you on things like marketing and blogging. Sometimes, the best way to get management involved in producing content is by providing incentive that resonates. How consistently does your leadership team produce content compared to competitors, or even others within your company?
Strategies to get the ball rolling
Bringing these types of things up, which address management’s role within your industry, will do wonders in rekindling their content development efforts. If a competing company’s CEO is blogging on a consistent basis (even if it’s as little as 3-4 a month), consider bringing up the competitor’s blog in conversation; do this especially if one of their posts connects in all the right places and goes viral.
Watching another company’s blog take off, while theirs remains stagnant, is often all management needs to start taking their content development more seriously.
You can also try using a bit of healthy competition within your own company to motivate subject experts in the management team. Try to have your boss keep up (realistically) with the content schedules your writers or marketing team maintain; see who more consistently meets content deadlines, and who falls behind. Many times, management staff will grow more motivated when competitive deadlines work their way closer.
An alternative strategy is having person in your marketing team dedicated to taking the fall for missed deadlines. When higher-ups in your company see that another in their company will have to cover for their lost ground, they'll often feel greater obligation to see the task through on their own time. Nobody wants to spend lunch covering for another's tight schedule, but doing so will motivate those responsible for content even further.
Throughout your company, one of the best ways to get creative minds churning is by having leaders in your business collaborate directly with the marketing or content team. The insights management can provide during content sessions can spark new ideas for content and reignite stagnant strategies.
The takeaway here is motivation. To get the heavy-hitters in your business fully invested in creating content and getting their voices heard, you’ve got to first highlight the value of that voice. Then, you can use strategies like those above to get management’s content gears turning the way they should be.