You’re likely well aware of the potential benefits of implementing an inclusive content marketing strategy. You’ve seen how it can transform a brand, and now you’re itching to put the channel to work for your organization.
However, your colleagues are likely less enthusiastic about this approach—if they’re aware of it at all. An inclusive content strategy often entails involvement across the entire organization and additional investment from up the ladder. Your coworkers may be resistant to extra responsibilities, and your higher-ups already have a budget that’s stretched thin.
There’s no denying that selling your organization on content will be tough, but the results make it well worth the effort. So, how do you champion this idea and convince your company to embrace content?
Become an educator
You likely understand how powerful content can be because you read blogs on the subject, pay attention to the latest innovations in the industry, follow thought leaders on Twitter, and, if you’re nerdy like me, probably even talk about it with friends in your spare time.
In other words, you’re sold on content because you’ve been educated about it and have potentially seen its merits in action. One of the best ways to sell your organization on this marketing tactic, too? Teach them about what makes content worth caring about.
Once you’ve got buy-in from leadership, set up training workshops and practice what you preach by creating content that supports the interests of the organization you’re working for on platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, or your company’s blog.
Ongoing education should be a strong part of your future strategy that’s agreed upon across your organization.
Recruit your coworkers
Convincing key decision makers to invest in a content strategy will be a lot easier if they sense that other employees are on board. Before you start attempting to educate your boss or draft a plan, talk to your most trusted colleagues first.
Begin with those you are closest with in your department and tell them about why you want to focus on building out a content marketing strategy. Show them the research you’ve compiled, your plan to approach content, and examples of content you’ve produced in the past. This way you’re not bossing them around; rather, you’re asking them to be your ally.
Once you’ve received the stamp of approval from your department, you can begin spreading your message further. Depending on how your organization is structured you can go about this differently. You could float the idea in a memo or bring it up in your next marketing meeting and have your supporters back up your suggestions.
Selling people on your plan might go slowly at first, but if you’re persistent and methodical with your pitches, you should begin seeing results. Fighting inertia is incredibly difficult, and winning over your entire company all at once is virtually impossible unless you’re part of the leadership team.
However, convincing people individually allows you to slowly turn the tide. Eventually the momentum will start to tip in your favor, and that’s when you move on to the next step.
Create a content strategy
In theory, creating a compelling story can help any brand, but each organization is different—and their individual content strategies should reflect those differences.
Now that you’ve convinced your team members that content has the potential to help your organization, you need to figure out what your complete strategy will look like.
Take charge and draft a plan for implementing content across your organization, and then invite others to collaborate and give feedback. Encourage people to take ownership of certain tasks and share how their unique talents can impact your overall plan.
This strategy should illustrate your goals through proposed content, the audience you’re trying to reach, and the topics and types of content to best reach them with. It should also demonstrate the ROI of your proposed content marketing efforts as it relates to required budget changes.
You might also want include potential partners in your strategy brief to show you’re thinking long-term and have the ability to scale your strategy if all goes well.
An abstract plan might have been good enough for management to sign off and implement, but showing that your strategy actually has input and buy-in from other members of your team is a surefire way of influencing approval.
Pitch your strategy to leadership
At this stage, you will likely have a plan you’re proud of and confidence that it can succeed in a big way. Now is the time to bite the bullet and schedule a meeting to present your idea to the key decision makers in your organization.
Make sure your presentation conveys a few things. First, it’s important to sell content itself as a marketing channel that can help your organization effectively reach your audience in a non-disruptive way. Include data points to support your argument for investing in content, like the fact that content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.
The next step will be to show that members of your organization support your proposed content strategy and that they are ready, willing, and able to make content work.
One fear an executive might have when considering whether they should sign off on your plan is the potentially unfavorable reception of additional responsibility that will be conveyed upon workers. The fact that you’ve already sold some of your coworkers on content means your boss won’t have to worry.
The last step will be to show that you have a fully fleshed-out plan that is ready to implement with little more than their feedback and approval. Not only do you believe that content will work to drive results for your organization, you’ve also already determined how it will operate.
While there are no guarantees and every organization is different, following these steps should help maximize your chances of championing content throughout your company and cementing yourself as the content innovator at your organization.
How do you plan to spur interest in content at your organization? Share your thoughts on the subject below!
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.