Your Employees Are Your Thought Leaders

June 17, 2014

Content marketing has been around for many years but only recently resurfaced as a priority for brands but a common objection is that there is a lack of content. More often than not, the content is right in front of you but it just needs to be repurposed for the different channels or audiences that you’re hoping to reach. In other cases, the brand needs to humanise its content so it’s more easily relatable for its consumers. This is where your employees can help – each individual hired is already preaching and practicing the values of your organisation to make it the industry leader, so why not leverage this? [Tweet this]

Each individual hired is already preaching and practicing the values of your organisation to make it the industry leader, so why not leverage this?

Irrespective of the role they play, everyday they are layering their perspectives and insights onto the advice they’re providing to clients – they’re engaging clients by storytelling at a higher level without needing to be product specific and diving into the nitty gritty. In other words, the unique humanised content is already there, you just have to enable and encourage it.

I can already hear your sighs of doubt and frustration. You’ve tried it before but had push back left right and centre. I’ve been lucky to have worked for companies where leadership not only understands the importance of content marketing but actively practice and promote it. If yours is a more traditional company, it might take some time but there are plenty of use cases which demonstrate the impact effective content marketing has on a brand. Convincing and obtaining buy-in from management requires patience but is the easy part – the tough part is rallying up the troops who don’t have time, are worried about what they share and its repercussions or simply have nothing to write about (or so they say).

Here are some questions to ask yourself as an organisation which will help encourage your employees to become thought leaders themselves:

What do we want to achieve?
The whole organisation needs to understand the purpose and objective of this content marketing initiative before they raise their hands to be a part of it. These objectives will generally align closely with your company’s strategic goals where content marketing will be a key success driver including increasing sales, generating leads or promoting your employment brand. With these objectives in mind, not only will it be easier to obtain executive support, it’d also motivate employees to participate as it will most likely them achieve their own individual job roles and KPIs.

How do we help our clients?
The core value of your company’s solutions is what sets you apart from your competitors and also establishes a foundation for the topic areas that your employees write about. A secondary layer of ideas comes from role-centric expertise such as Sales or Human Resources. At Hootsuite, our content revolves heavily around building meaningful relationships through social which broadly covers topics like community and brand management across different social channels but we also have more Sales-centric posts on social selling or anecdotal experiences our HR team has had with recruitment and employment branding through social.

Who are our clients?
The audience you’re targeting will help shape the content that your employees produce and identify the specific channels in which the content is published. Understanding the questions clients commonly ask and offering a potential solution is a piece of content in itself. Encourage your employees to share their content on social channels in order to amplify across the appropriate networks and increase visibility.

Rather than using it to restrict what they write and ultimately stifle their creativity and voice, the answers to these questions are intended to help guide your employees when they start to create their own content. Everything that is produced will not only help the company they know and love, but it will also help them build their personal brand while positioning them as individual thought leaders in their space. This simple fact should help you motivate them to motivate themselves.

Remember. Every one of your employees has the potential to be a thought leader and a brand ambassador. [Tweet this] As an organisation, it’s important to be the enabler and support your employees.

Photo Credit: Hernani Larrea/Flickr

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