This post is one in a series of tips designed to guide small business owners through the challenges of today’s startup environment and is sponsored by Canon MAXIFY – the printer lineup designed to help small business owners increase productivity so that they can focus on everything else that matters. For more information about the Canon MAXIFY printer lineup visit here
By now I’m guessing you’ve come to realize that every organization must produce valuable, education based content in order to compete in business today.
It’s what the market expects from you, it’s how you get found, how you build trust, and how you convert knowledge into business and, of course, it’s a lot of work too. Because content creation has become one of the most time consuming and demanding functions inside many organizations, I’m always look for ways to help organization get it done in the most beneficial way.
Many firms have added content creation inside the marketing department and hired writers and journalists in an attempt to feed the content beast. While this is a logical step I believe it misses the real power of content that resides in most organizations.
The need for content has moved beyond a traditional marketing department’s ability to create because the content an organization must produce today represents the voice of an organizations strategic point of view. In other words, content creation must be part of everyone’s job.
You can’t simply hire a marketing specialist and put them in charge of the blog. Marketing, sales, service, even HR, must take part in content creation if a firm is to tap the awesome power this idea brings. In many cases people responsible for many of the customer facing functions have more insight into what customers want and need than the marketing departments often charged with sole creation of an organization’s content.
Content is culture
If content is the voice of an organization to the world then content creation is the voice of culture insider the organization. When everyone in the organization is asked to drive and create content the entire organization participates in the process of engaging customers and prospects.
This level of customer engagement from departments not generally heard from brings a greater sense of collaboration and quite often much more useful and valuable content.
Hold a content workshop
One of the best ways to get this notion started is to hold content workshops internally. This can be a simple quarterly all hands meeting where marketing and business strategy and near term objectives are presented and then every department brainstorms on relevant content they could contribute to support those objectives.
Few things bring departments together like this kind of engagement and participation. Not everyone will be enthused by the notion of being asked to create content, but many will be thankful for the opportunity and feel empowered by the invitation to contribute.
Drive an editorial calendar
The primary outcome of the content workshop is to help form a content calendar. Someone has to be in charge of the calendar and often that job will fall to marketing, but there’s no reason different departments can’t sponsor content based on monthly themes.
It’s also essential that marketing, or a task force charged with owning the editorial calendar, create training and guidelines for creating and posting content and participating in social networks.
With the low cost of high quality printers available these days, creating case studies, industry related pages and training materials has never been easier.
Canon will be spotlighting several small business owners on its social media channels throughout the next several months, so be sure to leave a comment and share your thoughts on this post using the hashtag #MAXIFY in order to qualify. If you are a U.S.-based small business owner (1-9 employees) and have faced a unique business challenge in your first year on the job, let us know! We’d love to hear what line of work your small business falls within and what you feel is the most important takeaway from this post. We’ll also be rewarding select small business owners with a prize pack including the Canon MAXIFY MB5320 printer as well as other essentials to help you run your business more efficiently. So don’t forget to leave a link to your website or social media pages that way we can see how well you’re marketing your business and get in touch!
If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business.