Your Money’s No Good Here: Keeping Content Marketing In-House
The word “content” is being thrown around so casually in our industry. Most people agree that brands need content to stay in front of people. But that “content” has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere should be from inside your company. (This is especially true for professional services companies, where people are often hired for their personality and expertise.)
Yes, I believe that you should write it yourself.
Truth is, if you want to excel at content marketing (or social media) you’re going to have to spend time making it. You can hire marketing agencies for strategy and larger campaigns, but the day-to-day content, the blogs, the newsletters will be so much better if they come from your people.
Sounds easy, right? So why do so many companies outsource content creation?
They’re all going to laugh at you.
Most professional service firms are pretty much the same. They’re interchangeable. This scares the hell out of them. They think that anything they could possibly write is already so well known within the industry that it’s just common knowledge. It isn’t thought leadership – just thought.
If you’re thinking about it this way, you’re thinking too much about your peers.
Write for your audience.
Write about those common questions you get asked over and over again in client meetings. Write in the form of advice to difficult clients. Write about easy stuff, like projects you’ve completed. Write to the people who are going to hire you, and ignore the rest.
Content marketing is about discipline.
Since writing, or blogging, or social media – or whatever you want to call it – isn’t in your job description, it can be easy to feel that it isn’t part of your job.
The phrase “part of your job” constitutes what is expected from you each day. If an organization wants to create a strong digital marketing presence, they should make it part of everyone’s job.
Have a standing, 20-minute meeting once a week to talk about content and who on your team is going to do what. Hold each other accountable. If a person doesn’t do what they’ve committed themselves to, then the writing will double next week. I highly recommend the book The 4 Disciplines of Execution for some simple advice on how create a culture around getting things done.
Make time for it.
People are busy. We get that. Content creation has a tendency to take a backseat to the day-to-day responsibilities that people are hired for. There’s an easy way to make it more of a priority.
It starts at the top.
Your leadership should be doing a lot of content creation. They have the most knowledge of anyone in your company. People will listen to them too, both inside and outside your walls. When your leadership team starts making content, people in your company will see it as more of a priority and start contributing. People outside of your company will be more likely to read your content, too, since it’s coming from someone who’s had a lot of success in the industry.
It’s worth doing.
The purpose of most professional service websites is lead generation. Changing your company culture to make time for content marketing (and some best practices for lead generation on your website) will start to prove the worth of content marketing. Plus, having a team of people that contribute to content on a regular basis shows leadership, authority and personality in your industry and can elevate your image with clients. You’ll start to find that your team is better prepared to answer questions from clients, and more open to developing their knowledge about the industry.