Ask any top-notch spy just how they got to be so dang good at sleuthing and they’re likely to cite experience as a top factor. Sure, they might have studied at the finest spy school, or interned with all the best super-secret spy organizations, or may even been an apprentice to Spy McSpyman, who we obviously all know to be the best spy in the history of all spies. But, at a certain point, being a great undercover agent is all about trusting your gut and making moves based on instinct and past missions.
The same could easily be said for us content creators, too. You have a wealth of personal experiences that can help to influence and inform the written materials you share and doing so will only help to sharpen and brighten your work. This means better client engagement through more relatable and interesting content. And to go even further, you can easily start to take advantage of the even larger supply of experience found on your team. By encouraging employees to share their own stories relating to your company mission, you can continue to draw from a growing pool of experiences. But how exactly do you get started?
Let’s take a look at some real-life and concrete steps to trusting your experience and fueling your brand’s content marketing efforts with all of those in mind.
Why Stories Matter to Your Customers
Whatever your business does, it fits into the lives of people in different ways. You might be providing a product that makes people’s lives easier or more interesting. You could be creating a solution for problems or difficulties in a specific industry. Regardless of how or why clients and users are coming to you, they want to engage with you at a personal level. Your company should have its own voice and its own personality, and the content you post and share should always reflect that same vision. In short, it should sound like it was written real people, with real experiences and perspectives.
When our campaigns tell rounded stories about certain types of people, or certain problems you solve, they become useful and speak directly to the pain points of the reader. This concept of telling a story with your marketing could extend to articles of any size. Some of your pieces might be really focused—like a blog post that explains how to best complete a certain task. Others might get much further in depth on a larger subject matter, such as with a white paper. But all together, each piece of a campaign should capture some genuine part of who your company is—a collection of people who not only know your business inside and out, but know intimately how your business can impact the lives of customers.
Why Your Team Might be the Best Source of Stories
What gets your team out of bed in the morning? What is it about their positions with your company that make life fulfilling or interesting? Maybe you have a medical supply company that’s helping individuals with diabetes take control of their blood sugar levels. Perhaps you’re running a tech startup that can help small businesses with affordable and intuitive logistics. Or maybe it’s more of a one-to-one service, such as a student loan debt consolidation company, in which you’ve got team members working with individuals. Whatever the mission or size, your employees are like a huge squad of undercovers just waiting to provide you with intel and stories directly from the field.
Customers want to know that when they work with you they’ll be able to feel welcomed and a part of something that they can relate to. By encouraging your team to share their experiences in your content marketing, you’re helping to make certain these written pieces provide a strong connection to your audience. In the case of the medical supply company, you may be able to find unique stories from technicians or researchers of how a new testing device helped a patient improve his or her health. Or with the startup situation, your engineers may be able to offer great blog topics on how your tech impacts different industries at large. Even the customer service team at the student loan company scenario could give great insights into the lives of clients who have gotten out of insurmountable debt by enrolling in the consolidation program. Whatever your company, your team is going to be able to help you write better content by sharing their stories.
How to Work with Your Team to Get Their Stories
There several easy methods to start encouraging your staff to share their experiences. The first and probably most direct way would be to simply ask different departments to collaborate on a few experiential blogs. These could be anything from detailing a client experience, such as with a case study, to a more general piece about why they feel strongly about working for the business. However, it’s understandable that employees—particularly those who don’t write a lot—may not feel comfortable penning a blog with their name on it. Another idea is to have your writing team interview people from different backgrounds and job titles to get a better understanding of how their work plays a role with customers. Again, this option could possibly be off-putting, especially if employees think they’re being interviewed for their own job. Perhaps the best option is to work with each department to brainstorm topics for content, and then have your team of writers do what they do best.
All of these paths have their own respective pros and cons, but the truth is that any way you can get your team to share stories means a big win for you content marketing. These pieces aren’t just ad copy meant to be plastered across bland billboards; they’re pieces of you and your company. They should reflect what your company cares about and why you’re doing what you do. Without question, turning to the people who interact with clients, create products, or keep the proverbial ship afloat for their own personal experiences is the best possible way you can do so.