If you spend time on content creation, I would bet money that you’ll be able to relate to this story.
You put a bunch of time into writing what you believe is a pretty money blog post. You give the topic a lot of thought, research, write multiple drafts, edit, have someone else take a look at it, and then publish. You aren’t the type who is going to publish something that is just “okay” … you, like me, will only publish if you really feel you have a valuable takeaway for your reader — a piece of remarkable content.
A day or two after you get that bad boy published, you spend some well-deserved time at the water cooler and the subject that you wrote about comes up. “Oh,” you say, “did you get that from my post this week? I just wrote all about the number of squirrels in marketing.”
Silence. And then maybe, “Right, I did see that,” from the person who finally cannot stand the awkwardness anymore. Your colleagues did not read your post. On your own company’s blog. The blog that is designed to demonstrate thought leadership and educate your audience, at least this week, about squirrels in marketing.
Admit it, you’re a little sad and a little angry when this happens. How can your co-workers all truly be behind this company if they don’t know what it’s saying to the audience each week? And why don’t people think it’s important to read all this stuff you spend days creating? Is it your fault? What are you doing wrong??
There are probably a whole host of reasons your colleagues don’t read your content. Some of them you can fix, some you can only work on.
Here are some of those reasons and a few tips to get your co-workers to engage.
Your posts are very technical. This one I understand. We have lots of high-tech clients here at Right Source, so we frequently have to create content about very technical subjects. Maybe your audience is engineers. And they want their content to be detailed and technical. And if that fits within your overall marketing strategy in terms of addressing the audience, then you’re doing the right thing. That level of detail might be exactly what all those engineers want, but the likelihood that it will be interesting (or even comprehensible) to the non-engineer is slim. BUT, that doesn’t mean what you wrote isn’t a useful tool for your sales colleagues.
Solution: Give your colleagues a high-level overview of each post and its value in the sales process. Create a regular email for sales. Give them a link to your post, but also a two-sentence overview in layman’s terms on what the post is about and how you think it would be helpful to them (as it applies to your company’s specific products or services). Make sure to include how the post addresses the pain point(s) that you’ve identified for this audience.
Your content truly IS boring. This is a bigger problem. Lackluster writing, bad topic choice, or lack of depth means that your content probably isn’t interesting to anyone. You better fix this and fast.
Solution: Be less boring. I know it’s kind of “duh.” But really, marketer, your job is to make even the MOST boring piece or subject interesting. Just because a post needs to be technical doesn’t mean your intro paragraph should contain formulas. Engineers are people, too. They relish an interesting, opinionated, or funny introductory paragraph as much as the next person. Your colleagues might actually get to the problem you are presenting to the reader if the intro is actually engaging.
Your colleagues don’t realize that reading what your company publishes helps them, too. It’s possible that the folks who work with you don’t really think they need the advice you are giving to those engineers, right? They aren’t engineers. They are sales people or finance people or HR professionals. But what they do need to know is how you are speaking to your audience, what topics you are talking about, and what your company’s position is on those subjects. They should be brand ambassadors who all know your company’s story and are excited to tell it. Reading your content not only helps them stay up to date on the important topics and trends in your industry, but helps them become more invested in and loyal to the great company you work for. And to go one step further, when they share that content, they help grow their personal brand, too.
Solution: Educate. This is content marketing but for your internal audience. You have to help your colleagues along a bit on the journey of professional growth. Maybe you send a short internal newsletter each week or month that includes not only the great content you’ve created (and some suggestions for how to use it for clients or prospects), but also an occasional update on marketing progress and professional development (sharing the company’s content makes you look good on social media, too, fellow employee!).
Everyone thinks they’re too busy. Many times, this is the default answer. Your blog post or eBook or case study is not part of most of your colleagues’ daily grind, and reading/sharing it doesn’t make it to their to-do list. It happens. And it makes sense: Finance and HR probably aren’t at the top of your to-do list, right?
Solution: Address the three points above — consistently — and people will start to see the how great that content is and the value in sharing it. But if you have a little bit of budget hanging around, an incentive doesn’t hurt either. Put the names of the people who shared your content each week or month into a fishbowl and regularly choose a lucky winner to receive a gift card or something fun.
If your corporate team isn’t reading your content, don’t be sad, marketer. Take action. Keep creating that quality content, but remember that your content marketing strategy needs to focus on those inside your company as well as outside. For more help creating high-quality content that engages your audience and gets read (and shared) by your team, check out our interactive eBook, “How to Create Remarkable Content.”