Do you struggle to keep up with the demand for quality content? You are not alone. Today’s ‘always on’ consumers are a thirsty bunch seeking a constant flow of new, fresh experiences. To cope, you need to create a ‘culture of content’, according to recent research from the Altimeter Group.
This ‘best practices’ report makes the argument that only when an organization has ‘content’ hardwired, can it create, produce, publish content continually. The report outlines what ‘content’ means in this context. It’s more than blog posts, white papers and newsletters. It encompasses the broadest definition of content including video, images, tweets, ads and more. And the convergence of owned, earned and paid media drives this trend.
For those of us who work in the trade, this report has few earth-shattering insights. It is an accurate description of what it takes to create a constant flow of valuable content. However, for organizations which are struggling to keep up with the demand, the report has some great insight and advice.
According to the report’s authors Rebecca Lieb, Jessica Groopman and Susan Etlinger, having a content culture takes the concepts of a content marketing to a whole new level. It means extending publishing beyond the marketing department to include employees across the organization. Subject matter experts can be found in product development, production, research, senior management, and in the front lines of customer services.
However, to build this culture an organization must have inspiration, people, process and content.
A critical first step creating a content culture is having the organization’s leadership not only on board, but at the centre of the initiative driving it. Another key component is flourishing creativity. Having many perspectives, including customers’, is important when it comes to generating new, exciting ideas. So too is the willingness to fail. Not every content idea pans out; but it’s important to take risks to find true inspiration.
A content culture needs a ‘content leader’. This individual is the key evangelist and identifies where content is needed, and which team members tend to have a content-centric mindset. The content leader will work with PR, social media and marketing teams and anyone working in a customer-facing group. Thought leadership and subject-matter experts are drawn from among senior executives, researchers and even product groups. Some organizations depend on external partners too such as agencies, vendors and researchers. Rank-and-file employees have a role to play, and can be encouraged and empowered to identify content needs or stories worth spreading.
Establishing clear processes, roles, and resources will help a culture of content thrive and evolve over time. Part of the process is evangelism, education and training, because stakeholders must understand the purpose of content if they are to embrace it.
Many organizations establish a governing body such as a center of excellence, an editorial board or steering committee to define how content is developed, curated, created and reviewed; and to establish other publishing standards and practices.
Technology underpins process. Shared access to common tools will streamline creation, curation, measurement, analytics and deployment.
That content takes many forms beyond the blog or newsletter is a new mindset for many organizations. It’s changing the way marketing departments think and work. In a content culture, marketers create and systematize the integration of paid, owned, and earned media in collaboration with departments and functions across the organization.
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