I spent a fascinating day at the Fusion Content Marketing Conference in Antwerp yesterday, and the themes emerging suggest that corporate attitudes towards content marketing are changing remarkably in Europe.

Now, we know that the big corporates are hiring more and more content managers. We’ve also talked about the parallels between content marketing and employee engagement many times before (basically, good employee engagement is a result of internal content marketing – directed at your own workforce), and that promoting a strong and supportive company culture to your employees enhances productivity.

Who are your content team?

But what if you don’t have the luxury of a full content team, or you have a relatively small team and really need to get the rest of your staff involved in content production too? Well, don’t despair.

Firstly, you’re not alone. Trying to create a culture of content creation is something a lot of marketing and communications teams are grappling with all across Europe. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

Secondly – and this is the really important bit – you should be involving the business in your content creation anyway.

Yes, that’s right, your content ideally shouldn’t be produced exclusively by your content team. You really need to get authentic business voices and opinions into your outputs and those are best sourced directly from the people doing the actual work.

Of course, not everyone is capable of creating good internal journalism, but you can work with ghostwriters either from inside your organisation (if you have an internal content team) or partner with an external content agency (if you don’t). This doesn’t change the fact that the topics and titles should come from the business itself. Yes, you need to help with workshops and brainstorming sessions to populate your calendar, but these guys are the experts and only they know what will truly interest the audience.

So, how can you get business people excited to participate in your content production? Here are our top tips.

6 tips for corporate cultural change towards content creation:

1.     Help them take pride in being involved – Reward the top bloggers and content creators, big them up and show them where their work has driven traffic or conversions.

2.     Use data to educate your team – Share Google analytics and social media metrics with the team, evaluate it together in detail, and actually show them what works, what doesn’t, and why, and brainstorm together on your next set of topics.

3.     Create role models in the organisation – Senior people in your organisation should lead by example on Twitter, through guest blogs and LinkedIn activity. Make sure their efforts are shared with staff via email so that everyone sees them in action!

4.     Don’t talk marketing – Talk about the wider business, the levels of trust that you see building, and the forming of important, longstanding relationships.

5.     There’s no one size fits all – Focus on people’s strengths and don’t try and force them to do things they are not comfortable with, i.e. pair up people who prefer to write with people who don’t and have one interview the other.

6.     Use channels that your staff are already familiar with – See where they are active and feel comfortable, i.e. emails, for example, and your intranet first before replicating externally your website, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Can you change your culture and get this sort of sharing and publishing to be the norm? Yes, absolutely, you can. Will it be easy? No. It will be very difficult, and probably take quite a long time to bed in. Plan out your culture change strategy as a separate plan, and work up to smaller incremental goals one by one. It won’t happen overnight, but it will be worth the effort in the end.

Don’t have a content team or a clue of how to get started on this? We’d be delighted to help if you’d prefer to outsource this kind of content management or the daily content output to a creative content marketing agency partner.

We can also help you with your content culture change strategy, planning and implementation. This is what Southerly does best for our existing clients. We know it’s not easy, and we can help.

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more. Otherwise, happy content-culture building. And good luck!