Creating content isn’t an easy job. Believe me, I know because it’s a big part of my role here at Sysomos. Luckily, I don’t have to do it all by myself because I’m surrounded by a ton of smart people both inside and outside our company and make sure I use their smarts whenever possible.
I’m not alone in this content creation situation. Everyone knows just how important it is to have great content, especially in the online world, these days. But don’t worry, no matter what size your company is, you’re not alone either.
Here are a few ways that you can enlist others’ help in creating content for your brand:
Ask the amazing people you work with
I’m lucky to work with a ton of really smart and creative people. From our product group that help to make Sysomos software great or our account team who help to make sure our clients have the best experience possible with us. They’re all very smart and all have their own areas of expertise in their fields that can benefit our clients and customers. That’s why I it make a consistent practice to call upon their help in content creation.
Whether you send out a company wide email or you make a posting looking for some assistance on your company intranet, there’s a good chance people in your company will be more than willing to help. People like to help, especially if they get some sort of recognition for it or will benefit from it. The problem is most people in marketing or communications don’t go outside of their departments for help, but you’d be surprised what you’ll find when you do.
Find customers/superfans and ask them to contribute
You know who else loves to help when they can? Your customers and superfans.
These are going to be the people who use and love your product. They’re probably doing amazing things with it and have perspectives that are different than yours. Even just talking to some of these people will give you new and great ideas for content or, at least, how you can shape some of your future content.
Sometimes, your customers or superfans may even want to get in on the content creation process. This could be in the form of a case study (highlighting how they are using your product/service) to a testimonial (singing your praise) to something else that’s completely different. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new ideas from others, you might get amazing results from it.
For example, we love when clients do cool and interesting things with our Sysomos software. It gives us a chance to highlight interesting ways people are using our software, plus they help us to create the content to highlight it. One of my favorite examples in the time I’ve been here was a few Christmases ago when Canadian Tire and their agency used Sysomos to light up a Christmas Tree based on holiday cheer being spread through social media. This was a great way for them to get extra exposure for their project, it gave us something cool to write about and it was something interesting that we wouldn’t have thought to do on our own.
Knowing who your customers are to hit up for some help in creating content is easy (and if you don’t know, again, ask around your company and people will know). But what about finding your superfans? If you don’t already know who they are, you can use a social intelligence tool, like Sysomos, to search them out. You can do a search for your brand or product name in a tool like Sysomos MAP and then look up who are the people that mention it the most. Like this example below, we did a quick search and were able to determine the people that mention they love their Fitbits a lot on Twitter which means they are likely superfans who may want to help the brand if they contacted them.
Can’t write? No problem. There’s other ways these people can help.
Once you’ve determined some people to enlist in your quest for creating more content, you’re bound to hear the common response, “I’m not a good writer” at least a few times. But don’t let that discourage you. Writing is only part of the content creation process. There’s a lot of ways these “non-writers” can still help.
A lot of people think that they can’t write, but they’d be surprised what happens when they actually try. Give them a little bit of encouragement to try and, as a writer yourself, offer to help them fix it up once they’ve put together a first draft.
If they’re really against writing, don’t worry, there’s a ton of other ways you could work with these people to get them to help you produce content. Here’s just a few examples:
- Make a video of them talking about a topic (a lot of people find it easier to talk about something than to write about it)
- Do a Q&A session (either written, transcribed or on video)
- Ask your customers what their biggest questions are and create content that answers those questions
- Get someone to tell you about a process and then transcribe that process into an easy to follow infographic
- Do a picture heavy editorial and ask people to submit their own photos around an event or topic
- Ask them to tell you a story and then transcribe it or record it and turn it into a visually appealing video
- Get them to create a bulleted list (this helps them get away from thinking they need to write out proper paragraphs of points)
- Make an audio recording that an be easily shared
That list could go on and on, but we think you get the point of how many different ways there are for these “non-writers” to still help you create great content.
Now stop worrying about all that content you thought you had to create on your own and go out there and enlist some help. Everyone’s an expert on something. Use their expertise.