Many businesses consider their people to be their most valuable assets. And with good reason: your people are the creative spark that drive innovation, solve tough problems, and turn up day after day to make your business better. They own your customer relationships, drive the strategy of your firm, and have unparalleled levels of knowledge forged over years of mastering their craft.
But if your people just turn up and do their job every day, your business is missing out on a huge opportunity. Harnessing their collective wisdom, distilling it into chunks of value, and sharing it widely represents not only a huge business opportunity, but a powerful platform for you to nurture the future leaders of your business.
Enabling your people to produce their own content, share their brightest ideas, and build their own audiences can take your business, and all of its people, to the next level. It’s truly the tide that rises all boats.
The leaders of tomorrow are already in your business: they’re the ones sharing killer insights in meetings, or who view business challenges through a strategic prism that nobody else seems to appreciate. As a leader, your focus should be on attracting, nurturing, and retaining that talent – and as we’ll explore, a content strategy is a powerful way to do that.
But how do you do that? What type of content should you create, and what impact can committing to content really have on your people and company culture?
Good questions. Let’s unpack them.
What is Content?
The type of content you produce can be almost anything – and you should experiment with different mediums. Here at Hire a Writer, our favorite is written content, but you can build a Youtube channel, start a podcast, or get into public speaking. Written content is the largest field though, and you can consider articles, web pages, brochures, blogs, press releases, lead magnets, buying guides, and more as forms of written content.
The medium is important, but what’s more important still is the quality of the content you put out there. And that’s where your employees come in. They’ve got valuable knowledge nobody else does, and often, you’ll find that they’re more than happy to share it.
Wait –– Where Are My Employees Getting the Time for This?
Look, I get it – your employees have got day jobs, whether that’s running marketing campaigns or managing product teams. They might not even be great writers. That doesn’t have to hold you back. Find a trusted strategic partner who’ll work to deeply understand your business and build lasting relationships with your people. We’ve got more than a few – check them out!
The best content strategists build a rapport and capture the essence of your people’s thoughts in a 30 minute call. They distill this down into a form that incorporates your brand’s voice and connects with your audience. And they’ll even help you promote it, with assets like social media copy and email campaigns.
The net result? Well written, insightful pieces of content, created in less than an hour of your employees’ time. Put the processes in place to scale that, and you’re looking at a strong content creation operation that’ll provide untold value to your audiences.
Content as a (Company) Cultural Canon
Getting your employees bought into producing content creates a powerful flywheel effect that takes your culture to new levels.
Intrinsically, all of us human beings like to know we’re being valued. I’m sure you do lots to value your employees: you compensate them well, provide great benefits, and create meaningful career paths for them. But putting trust in your employees to create content adds another layer to this relationship, creating a meaningful bond that goes beyond the scope of your traditional transactional employee - boss relationship.
Great content receives public validation – and lots of it. Praise comes internally from teammates, and externally from your audiences. When employees know they’re valued, they’re happy. They know their ideas are important, and that people care about what they have to say. Beyond the motivational benefits, effective content acts as a conversation starter; sparking novel ideas, opening the door to new relationships, and unlocking innovation.
A comprehensive content strategy also serves as a powerful knowledge retention mechanism. People move jobs all the time: whether that’s changing roles internally or jumping ship to a new company. But instead of their years of knowledge walking out the door with them, it lives on in the content they’ve created. That’s an invaluable intangible asset for any business.
Thought Leader = Business Leader
Given time, and with the right strategy, employees that consistently create great content will build their own audiences. These audiences can grow to meaningful sizes, and they’ll be made up of the people your business cares most about: customers, vendors, partners, and more.
Now, this isn’t an overnight process, but with the right level of commitment and quality content, your employees will become thought leaders: the luminaries of your industry who help set the agenda, drive innovation, and inspire others. That’s a huge net-positive for your employees and your business.
Audiences translate to opportunities. Doors you never even knew existed will suddenly open – to new partnerships, customers, and more. It’s a huge opportunity for your people too: they can represent your business on a new stage, transform the way you market your products and services, and turbocharge their career trajectories.
These thought leaders and audience builders represent the future leaders of your business. Identify them, nurture them, and provide them with clear paths to leadership responsibilities. Closely align their priorities with the priorities of your business – you’ll be able to go much further together than apart.
Sold? Let’s Get Started
Content is strategic endeavour and the overarching strategy, as well as the execution, needs to marshalled by someone who *gets it*. This person deeply understands the firm's strategic direction, is aligned with key value drivers, and knows what matters most to customers. It’s intangible, but trust me, you’ll know it when you see it.
You may well have that person in-house. But if you don’t, the team at Hire a Writer is here to help. Need some guidance? Get in touch – we’d love to talk!