Creating a Culture of Content
Once you've acquired a new business, how can you support its success right off the bat? The answer could lie in your content marketing strategy.
So you've gone through the exciting, sometimes stressful, process of buying a business. You’re officially the new owner and can now turn your attention to running your company and making any needed strategic adjustments to maximize profitability.
Based on the most recent marketing statistics and expert opinions, one of the first things you need to be concerned with is creating a “culture of content” within your organization.
What is a culture of content?
No doubt, you’re already familiar with the concept of content marketing: creating and distributing valuable content in order to educate, entertain, and engage your target audience, guiding them down a predefined sales funnel known as The Buyer’s Journey.
The concept itself isn’t exactly new, but it’s exploded over the last decade as cheap and easy access to digital content publishing tools and the proliferation of social media channels have combined to make it quick and easy for nearly any business to become a media company of sorts. As a result, consumers have come to expect the companies they work with to provide them plenty of solid information on which to base a buying decision, and they tend to be suspicious of — or completely overlook — companies that fail to do so.
Additionally, well-planned and executed content marketing can vastly improve your website’s search engine rankings, promote positive brand image, encourage current customers to serve as evangelists for your brand, and attract new customers who may have never previously heard of your company.
The idea of a “culture of content” takes this basic concept to the next level by internalizing the principles of content marketing and trying to ensure they permeate every aspect of the organization. According to Marcus Sheridan — a former swimming pool salesman turned vocal proponent of content marketing after it successfully helped his family business survive the 2008 economic downturn — removing “the massive silo effect” between departments in an organization and getting everyone involved in the content marketing effort is vital to sustainable success.
This holistic approach to content marketing — the culture of content — can have long-ranging positive impacts on productivity, lead generation, revenue, and profit, while also boosting company morale and employee engagement.
In other words, it can be the secret to long-term success for your newly acquired business.
How to create a culture of content
As the term “culture” indicates, accomplishing this goal goes far beyond laying out some ground rules for your employees to follow. As a new owner, having inherited a skilled and experienced — but, potentially wary or disgruntled — workforce, it’s going to be challenging to make this happen. But, the potential benefits far outweigh the effort involved, as succeeding can not only help the business in general, but can smooth employees’ transition into working for you and melding more effectively as a team.
Here are some key tips to help create this culture of content in your new organization:
Embrace content marketing yourself - As an entrepreneur, you may or may not be a natural marketer, but you certainly understand the vital role marketing plays in business success. Understand that, in 2017 and beyond, “marketing” and “content marketing” are essentially synonymous. Learn all you can about it and keep yourself abreast of updates and best practices as they evolve.
Involve everyone in the organization - Regardless of what department they’re in or their level of experience, everyone in the company has expertise and/or a unique point of view that can benefit from the content creation process. Educate them about content marketing and encourage them to share ideas freely as you begin building out your strategy.
Break down silos - Traditionally, internal business departments have specialized goals and skill sets, and there’s rarely a need for those to overlap. However, when it comes to creating and sustaining a successful content marketing strategy, those silos need to come down. Specifically, every department needs to understand and accept the fact that they are now part of the marketing and sales team, and that they are all working with those teams to increase revenue and profit through content marketing.
Integrate content into the sales process - Although the term content marketing seems to indicate its efficacy stops when a lead is generated and handed off to sales, in practice, that’s never an optimal situation. Salespeople can and should have a wide range of content available to them to nurture and guide leads through the sales process as well. By working together, Sales can inform Marketing’s content, which should improve the quality of leads they generate, and Marketing can inform Sales’s content likewise.
As a new business owner, you want to do everything you can for the long-term success and growth of your newly acquired business. Creating a culture of content could very well be the secret to that success.