Many companies rely on one individual or a small group of individuals to handle all the marketing efforts for the business. In order to be effective, marketing – especially in the realm of content marketing can take a great deal of time. Is this really the most conducive way to handle marketing?
Obviously, it can work, but relying solely on one individual to write, research, publish, and promote probably isn’t the best use of effort or time. This is exactly the reason more companies are turning more towards team marketing efforts. Sure, you may have a core person or group handle the main components of marketing the entire organization, but better ideas and more ground can be covered when the entire team gets involved. Can you say #squadgoals?
Why Marketing Should Be a Team Effort
As a company grows, the need for better content increases. This doesn’t necessarily mean more content, but rather combined content. In other words, content coming from one person may not scale the entirety of the business. Meaningful content needs to be a group or company perspective.
Individuals can have fragmented perspectives. Regardless of how creative they may be, it’s easy for someone to become stale. For example, a member of the marketing team will gain ideas and read content within their field. So what happens when someone from the sales team starts to collaborate with marketing? They bring in a whole new set of ideas, simply because they keep up with content in their realm. As you can expect, new ideas are formulated quickly. That marketer now has a fresh pair of eyes, which can help with creating out of the box ideas.
When there are more people contributing ideas, it can typically lead to a boost in creative content. Not only will that content be more creative, but it can span to a wider range of people. We all know that marketers subscribe to other marketers, so salespeople probably subscribe to other salespeople. Meaning your content will have a better chance at standing above the rest because the content will be more fulfilling and it has the potential to reach more people.
How Our Team is Collaborating
The marketing team here at Referral Rock is pretty small. It’s a one to two person job, most of the time. Since our team has been expanding, we are really working out ways to get involvement from everyone since there are so many benefits for team marketing.
Obviously, we aren’t trying to push max marketing effort onto other departments, we are more interested in getting less troublesome engagement. So, we decided to research some ways that allow the whole team to get involved, without having to be too heavy. These other departments have a ton of other things to worry about. So, our intent is to not add more to their plate. It should be noted that even though we would love marketing engagement from all our team members, they don’t have to participate in these engagement activities. We know it can be a stretch to get people to talk about work via social media, as it just simply may not be something they are comfortable with.
Anyway, we have narrowed down our list to be reasonably cognizant of everyone’s time. Which means we have thought of ways to get people to collaborate, without them having to completely go out of their way or really do too much at all.
1. Updating Public Profiles
So this is a big one. The internet is a wonderful thing, it connects people and businesses. It allows people to find exactly what they are looking for, without much effort at all. This is precisely the reason it is so important for everyone on the team to update their public social profiles. Now we’re not talking about Snapchat or Instagram, though if a team member wants to mention they work here at Referral Rock they can (we like links!). We’re more so talking about sites like LinkedIn or AngelList, where it is valuable to both the team member and the business. It helps the team member prove their skills and it acts as an ad and promotes awareness for the business.
Not only does it act as an ad, but it helps establish trust. When potential customers, employees, or business partners are looking for a specific company, they will probably feel more comfortable with a company that is attached to more than one person’s profile. A business that never has anyone talking about it, linked to it, or following it, can come off as a fake business. Which, really doesn’t help leverage the business in a good way.
The best part is, most employees or team members will already have a few public profiles, and they would gladly update their information. It’s a simple task, that can really help out business.
We’re asking our team members to update their LinkedIn profiles and AngelList profiles. Other social profiles that we’re trying to get team members to update their Twitter and Facebook profiles. These all seem to have high value and we figure these are the top four for helping establish Referral Rock the best. We’re not forcing team members to update their profiles, but we’re simply suggesting it.
2. Internal Content Suggestion Box
As it turns out, we have a pretty smart bunch on our hands. Plus, everyone has a unique view, which means killer content ideas are basically oozing all around us. This is exactly the reason we have decided to create a content submission process. Well, we’re still in the process of combing out the details, but we have a general idea covered.
We plan on making content creation a more collaborated effort. So when ideas for future content is contributed, especially from other departments, there is a better understanding of what the intent of the article actually is. We all know how frustrating it is to have a lack of communication on a project. If ideas are not thoroughly shared or instruction isn’t given, then it creates friction and a whole lot of confusion. Which produces less than favorable content, and no one wants that.
So we have created a new submission strategy. We have recently begun to use Asana for tracking tasks and projects. We decided to create a project dedicated specifically for article and content ideas and suggestions. Originally, we thought about using a form, like Cognito Forms (which we also use), but since we are already using Asana daily, it made more sense to use it for tracking ideas as well. Rather than having someone from another department add their idea to our article content spreadsheet, ideas will first be added to our new project “requests and suggestions”. We think this will help us tremendously in task collaboration.
wanted needed a new way to track content suggestions
Now, someone can easily suggest an idea and provide additional notes to help explain the idea. Plus, the idea can be assigned to a specific person, aka someone on the marketing team. This person will be alerted and can then proceed in the most fitting way. Rather than having ideas and suggestions getting lost in translation along the way, all content ideas can be easily organized and filed.
Sometimes, it’s better to get an ‘expert opinion’ which is exactly why discussing content ideas with other departments is essential to making good content. Think about it, each person in the company has something they could write about in their niche when you mix that with marketing it turns out to be a gold mine. They can put an interesting spin and perspective on a topic, and the article will be more relevant and informative for readers.
We really want to change the process of content writing within the company. This way content being created is representative of the original idea, and with collaboration and idea building the article has a much better chance of being a great piece. If people in other departments contributed with content, then it’s a surefire way to get more people involved in marketing. It only makes sense, right?
3. Guest Post Introduction
We’re not talking about the traditional type of guest posting. You know, where you reach out to other business and ask to write an article for them. We all know there are a ton of businesses who accept guest posts… Which is why we wanted to focus on using our resources. Okay, let me better explain. Everyone in your business has a tie to some sort of outside source. Some sources may be associated with a blog. So, what if your team members could help land you a guest post spot, or help you become an article contributor for another blog. Do you see how beneficial that would be? Content marketers often worry about SEO and link building, and landing a guest spot on an outside blog is just good business all around.
Luckily for Referral Rock, our team members know a few good sources who have agreed to let us contribute some articles. The best part about guest posts is that it’s actually good for everyone. We get to build links, they get some more content. The main takeaway, don’t be afraid to ask about connections. Or, if you’re a marketer looking for guest post opportunities, don’t be afraid to reach out to coworkers and ask them to introduce you. You may land yourself a few guest posting opportunities.
4. Social Media Conversation
This is probably one of the best ways to get everyone involved. After creating killer content, you need people to share it with. Our content is typically shared via the main marketing blog and main social media sites. We really want to expand content outreach, which is why having teammates share it on their social media profiles could be helpful.
Luckily, all of our team members have a presence on social media. So spreading the word via social media shouldn’t be too hard. However, we also know that some team members may not be interested in using their social media profiles to discuss work-related items. Which is totally fine. So when we mentioned this idea to everyone, we made sure to explain that we wanted them to share the big things that they are proud of, accomplishments that happened with their help, or content that they find useful. We don’t want them to bombard their friends and family with too much Referral Rock news too often.
We do know, however, that if our team shares content on social media, we have to potential to reach hundreds of more people. Meaning there is the potential for new prospects. One of the main focuses will be to drive people to our Facebook or Twitter pages – which will then hopefully provoke someone to visit our website. Remember word of mouth travels quickly, so we’re hoping this helps us out.
Make sharing easy!
To make things easier for the whole team, we decided to come up with a few optional canned messages for sharing. This is especially helpful for our sales team, who happen to be very busy people. We know that engagement increases when something is made to be easy. Which is true in multiple facets, as all content should be easy for the entire team to find. It should be noted, that salespeople enjoy personalization. So don’t be offended if you see some altered messaging.
Another way to get people on board with sharing is to make sure you’re not asking for too much. We want to avoid making this a chore. Don’t pressure your fellow team members for too much. Suggest that sharing their favorite article could be super beneficial. You could also explain that it could lead to new likes and shares (potentially creating new leads).
It’s also important that our team shares the right messages with the right audience. Here are some canned message ideas we’re thinking of deploying. Remember getting team members to share is completely voluntary.
- Hey, guys, we just posted this awesome article on [fill in topic], I think it could be really helpful to anyone in the business of [fill in type of business].
- Our business just keeps growing. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check us out on Facebook [provide link], we’re always posting new content.
- Hey, everyone, I’m in the business of referrals, which means word of mouth is pretty important to me. I’d really appreciate it you liked my company on Facebook! [include link to profile]
- I started working at this company, and I’d appreciate if you checked us out!
- I know you don’t hear too much about what I’m doing at work, but we just did/published this awesome thing. Since I helped on the project I wanted to share it with you all.
5. Email Signature Marketing
Remember we want team marketing to be easy for everyone. We want people to help out, but we don’t necessarily want them to go out of their way. We didn’t want to make this whole team marketing thing a chore, and we certainly didn’t want it to become just another task on their to-do list. So, we were looking for easy ways, that the whole team can be involved, without having to put forth much effort. That actually produce results. So we brainstormed ideas for easy marketing. Emails… that’s what we came up with.
Okay, not necessarily marketing schemed emails, but rather a small portion of the email. The email signature, though at the very end, and quite small, is seen by every single person who opens an email. Bingo, this could be an epic and easy way to get the whole team involved in marketing.
Everyone knows that an email signature contains all the general ‘about me’ information from the sender. What if a signature can do more than that? Imagine if an email signature could drive brand visibility alongside being a virtual biz card. Well, this is exactly what we plan to do. Every one of our team members can be a marketing genius by providing a link to their readers in their signature.
How we’re going to use email signatures
Luckily, we came across some pretty cool software options, including Sigstr. Basically, Sigstr will allow us to create an email signature that doubles as a marketing strategy. How so? You see the marketing team will create an image that will display under everyone’s email signature, and when clicked it will take the reader to a specific landing page. The cool thing is if we ever want to update the image, link, etc. we can simply edit and save. Once the updates are made and saved it will automatically change in everyone’s email signature. Since our team is so small, we may try to take the idea of Sigstr and try it on our own. Well, at least initially. Sigstr would make it really easy for the team though. As it would be a set it and forget it type of ordeal.
That’s how we got the ball rolling
We’re still testing out these team marketing strategies, but we’re fairly certain that it will lead us to ‘victory’. Another good rule of thumb is that good communication is key. Since our company is rather small, it’s pretty easy for us to get together and discuss ideas. Regardless of how big or small your company is, having planned meetings can be super beneficial for team marketing. Plus, it can keep everyone on track and in line with the company goals. Also, emailing the team your goals can help kick things into gear.
What are some ways your business has implemented team marketing?