Content Mining: Extracting content from within your organisation

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 48 seconds

Despite content marketing becoming more and more prevalent within the digital marketing industry, creating content that is fresh and engaging is getting harder. More than 78% of companies are creating more content than last year and that trend continues to outgrow the disciplines budget which means marketers may need to look introspectively to meet their growing demand. Thankfully for many, a handful of potential content creators full of industry knowledge and experience exist within your own organisation.

content mine

Unearthing knowledge and participation from people inside the company is nothing new, but it is certainly underutilised by digital professionals as a method of creating customer facing content. It’s not surprising that one of the best places to find and create genuinely useful content is from within your own organisation using the expertise and the sheer content potential of the employees in your company; after all, who knows your product better than your own staff?

Sadly this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Handling people, politics and process is rarely a simple affair. To help you here are 5 tips to engaging your internal workforce and mining their knowledge for content marketing.

Explain why it matters

Remember that although they work for your company, their goals and objectives may not be the same as yours. Show them the benefits for them personally as well as the benefits to the business as a whole. People generally are pretty responsive if they know why they are being asked to do something. Make sure they understand the impact they will have and they’ll be much more willing to help.

Mention other employees who are participating in your content efforts; especially if you have a senior manager involved to help get buy in from others.

Share their successes

While it’s natural for us as marketers to promote our content externally, sharing internally with staff allows you to highlight the successes of your efforts, put a spotlight on your contributors and entice others to join in.

For those looking for guidance on how to do this, The Social Employee by Cheryl Burgess is packed with very real and very relevant case studies from companies (Dell, AT&T, Southwest Airlines, IBM, etc.) who have successfully embraced this knowledge sharing ethos as part of the corporate culture.

Offer guidelines / ghost write

In the initial stages you’ll find that those first few contributors are those you’d expect; the leading industry figure or the extroverted professional, but to really tap into the potential lurking in the business you have to dig deeper.

For those that are a little nervous, using structured guidelines can help them to come forward by giving them a framework to work to and an understanding of exactly what is expected of them.

For others, perhaps those more senior, time will be a limiting factor. Here you can offer ghost writers to take their recorded conversations and create a narrative for them. This allows you to generate content based on the experiences of senior staff without sucking up their precious time.

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Repurpose all the things!

You’ll be surprised how much insight and useful information that can be found on a company intranet. Slide decks created for internal presentations, or simple reports on market trends can be a hub of ideas for content. We’ve started doing this internally at Gocompare.com to repurpose our press releases into handy infographics and social titbits that extend the life of the information exponentially.

Always check with the original author that the information is correct, up-to-date and allowed to be re-purposed for external use though. The last thing you’d want to do is publish something that could create a roadblock for future content.

For more examples of how to repurpose content for new audiences I’d suggest this article from Wordstream.

Gamify and reward

One way to encourage your work colleagues outside of the digital team to participate in content production is to introduce a little healthy competition. From simple leaderboards to more robust reward schemes there are a number of ways to add a competitive element to the process. Doing so, can not only improve initial uptake in the programme but can also help sustain content efforts from individuals.

Hopefully some of these tips have given you some ideas about how you could unearth content producers that can breathe new life into your content marketing strategy; all the while engaging, motivating and rewarding the people at your organisation.

How do you gather additional resource internally for content campaigns? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

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Andrew Isidoro is the SEO and Social Media Manager at Gocompare.com, one of the UK’s top price comparison websites based in south Wales. He also works regularly as independent consultant for small enterprises in Wales.

State of Digital

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Facebook Tests Changes to Ads Within Instant Articles

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Facebook is considering changes to advertising within its Instant Articles iPhone feature after some of its partner publishers balked at restrictions.

Jack Marshall of The Wall Street Journal reported that Instant Articles publisher partners including The Washington Post, The New York Times and Little Things feel that the social network’s “strict guidelines” for advertising within Instant Articles are costing them ad revenue.

Examples include limiting publisher partners to one “large banner” ad of 320 pixels by 250 pixels for every 500 words of content, Marshall reported, while the same articles would usually contain three or four of those ads on the publishers’ own mobile sites.

Marshall also pointed out Facebook’s prohibition of rich-media ads within Instant Articles, as well as the fact that ads in Instant Articles must be packaged with other inventory across publishers’ websites and other properties, prohibiting them from putting a premium on Instant Articles ads.

Product manager Michael Reckhow preached patience, saying that the social network is working with its publisher partners and testing potential changes, and telling Marshall:

It’s early days with Instant Articles, but one of our principles from the beginning has been to work collaboratively with our publishing partners to understand their needs and shape the product. We’re currently working closely with publishers to understand how their advertising in Instant Articles compares to the mobile Web so we can deliver results, while maintaining a great reading experience for people. We’ve made numerous improvements to the advertising capabilities over the past few months and will continue to iterate based on publisher feedback to improve the product.

Washington Post chief revenue officer Jed Hartman told Marshall:

You have to analyze many factors to determine the monetization potential. You have fewer impressions per page view than we presently do, so you have to balance that, and you don’t have all the animation we can sell on our own site.

The assumption is that if you’re giving someone a slicker, faster, more convenient way of engaging with content, then you’ll have strong consumer demand and increased socialization, and that will lead to a bigger audience.

And Little Things co-founder Joe Speiser told Marshall:

The hope is that Instant Articles gives publishers way more traffic to make up for the lower monetization potential. It all comes down to how Facebook prioritizes this in News Feed. We’ve seen them prioritize video, and if they do anything similar with Instant Articles the numbers could go through the roof.

Readers: Have you experienced Instant Articles yet? What are your thoughts?

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