Crowdsourcing your content

As companies come under increasing pressure to be visible in their industry, or to maintain healthy SEO, they have two choices: create an internal department devoted to producing web and social media content pretty much 24/7, or turn to their employees to help them.

Increasing numbers of blue chips are therefore relying on staff to help create content. Benefits include being able to position themselves as experts in their field and continue to attract the attention of customers. A number of organisations, including RAC and Adobe are de facto becoming branded news platforms in their own right in this way.

The main reason companies are doing this is so they can be seen as a trustworthy voice in their market. A platform that is clearly branded will relate the brand to the content by association. It is also a clever way of hosting your own news and potentially journalists might gather information from it for a story. It’s also a potentially effective way to get company announcements out without having to get your press releases into publications (so long as enough people are watching and reacting to it).

Much of the content on these brand news sites will not only have news about the company itself, but feature stories about its specific industry, which makes it a more credible platform than just being a press centre with its own news. Also, content written by people who are living and breathing the business has an authentic voice that money can’t buy.

Nobody knows what is going to interest customers and the industry than the very people working inside it. A business is a hotbed of stories. Staff can help identify the interesting ones, create comment pieces, feature ideas and even social media content.

It’s not a given however that every employee in every single business will be good at writing – nor are they supposed to be. Writing workshops are one way to help get members of staff on a level playing field. Another is to incorporate content creation into KPIs. Prizes can also work well to motivate staff to compete for the best blog or news item.

Crowdsourcing content within the organisation is efficient and effective. It’s worth some serious thought.

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