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April 11, 2013

How to build Epic Content as an Organization? 5 Key Tactics Explained

by Tom De Baere
Image: courtesy of Intelsat.

Image: courtesy of Intelsat.

Successful organizations take on a content strategy as a centrepiece of their activities. It’s not an add-on. It’s strategic. Getting buy-in from the organization can be difficult, but doable. More difficult is getting people motivated to build that strategic content.

How do you get an organization to take on content as a strategic part of the business? Here are 5 key tactics that help building a culture of content.

How do you create a culture of content creation and education, internally and externally?

1. Find out what your colleagues care about?

When people do their job well, they get praised. Or get a raise. Or get promoted.

That’s what drives people.

A great way to make content creation a company wide activity is to embed it into what they care about.

  • Service engineers care about solving a customers’ problem 
  • Project managers care about delivering a project on time, within budget, above customer expectations
  • Training managers care about good feedback from trainees
  • Customer support care about how they excelled in helping customers 
  •  …

Find out what makes these people ‘tick’, and let them write it down. Let them know that you expect this from them. Help them in “airing” their personal success stories, insights and helpful stories. And if they do, praise them in public.

2. Assign specific task to Key People

time for content

Content Along the Customer Life Cycle

Once you convinced your CEO of content marketing, assign a number of specific tasks to a number of key people within your organization.

A key task is finding out what the content needs are of buyers and customers. To find out what these needs are, you’ll need people that can listen to these content needs, no matter where your customers are located in the buying cycle. I even prefer to talk about content along the customer life cycle.

That’s why assigning specific listening task to key people within the organization is key to your content strategy.

You can read more about how you can organize this “listening” in this blog post: A failproof listening method for laser sharp content marketing

3. Get yourself an A-team

Orchestrated content versus Peer-to-Peer content

Orchestrated content versus Peer-to-Peer content

The 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that people in a certain position trust people that are in the same position as they are.

That’s why I believe everyone in the organization must know the can create content for customers. I call that peer-to-peer content.

I am also a strong believer that strategic content, on top of peer-to-peer content, needs to be orchestrated and planned. This is the type of content that makes buyers and customers evolve through the buying cycle.

This type of orchestrated content can be created by an A(nswer)-Team:

  • That sets up strategic “listening initiatives” that will positively impact your business
  • That plans specific strategic content ‘themes’ around which content can be created
  • Assigns tasks to content listeners and content creators
  • Safeguards the planning and execution of strategic content initiatives.

4. Don’t be over-ambitious, but set expectations

This content will not be created if you do not set the expectations right.

You expect this from them. You expect their boss to expect this from them. Talk to them, talk to their boss, talk to the CEO.

  • If people complain they don’t have the time, make sure they get the time. 
  • If people don’t want to liberate time, get other people to do this.
  • If people don’t deliver on time, find out how you can help to speed up things.

But don’t take no for an answer. They are part of this journey. Everyone is. Get them committed, and make them part of the success.

5. Keep your Key Sources of Power active

Some people within your organization have more power than others. Those that are convinced of the power of content will need to contribute. They set the example for others. Regularly expect your Key Sources of Power to contribute: a blog post, joining an A-team meeting, or a video interview.


Do you think these things will work? Or am I forgetting something important here? Leave your comments in the comment box below !

Warm regards,

Tom De Baere