SEO Plan Participation: 5 Ways to Engage Employees
Employee Content Contribution and Social Sharing is Key to SEO
In the course of delivering our internet marketing services for our B2B clients, we regularly see common challenges in executing an SEO plan in this evolving climate of change. The recent Google Panda update adds more emphasis on quality content than ever before.
The trend we’re seeing at Find and Convert is twofold. Businesses are jumping on the quality content bandwagon, but they are struggling to get their employees (their subject matter experts) to contribute content and to share content through social media. The result is the entire burden falls on the shoulders of the marketing department and that’s not a winnable war in most cases.
5 Actions to Inspire Employee Advocacy
In this blog, I’m providing 5 suggestions for marketing executives to inspire employees to contribute content and to share the content online for SEO ROI. These actions can inspire employee advocacy, which drives them to contribute content and share your company’s internal content to their own social networks. With your employees involved in these two strategies, you extend your reach, strengthen your brand awareness, and build thought-leadership.
1. Get the CEO to back you.
2. Find a head bowling pin.
3. Give lots of public recognition.
4. Show examples of other companies getting it right.
5. Dangle a carrot, not a stick.
1. CEO Support
This could be the most difficult one. But, if your CEO is vocally supportive of employee participation in your online marketing plan, it should put wind in your sails. In fact, it will probably accelerate your momentum. The best-case scenario is if your CEO blogs or regularly tweets thoughts or activities, or if he/she shares employee’s blog articles in social media. Imagine Steve Jobs sharing a blog post you wrote (if you worked for Apple). Would that inspire other employees? You know it would!
2. Find a Head Bowling Pin
Geoffrey Moore first coined this phrase in his book Inside the Tornado (great book). His metaphor refers to the impact you can have by striking the head bowling pin. It will knock down most if not all of the other 9 pins. In this scenario, if you recruit one or more well respected, influential employees to actively participate in your content marketing strategy by contributing articles and actively sharing them, others will notice. The probability of others getting involved will be much greater when influential people actively engage in the company’s content development.
3. Public Recognition
The single most desirable perk employees want is recognition. The bigger the company, the more true this is. By giving people recognition for their contribution to your SEO plan through their content, you give thanks and inspiration. Others notice this and often they want in on the “love.” Recognition can be as simple as Twitter shoutouts or publishing employee’s blog posts in the company newsletter. There are many ways to recognize employees for their social interaction and contribution to your content marketing and SEO plan. The important point is that you do it. Watch how employees will start volunteering to get involved in your SEO content plan.
4. Show Examples of Other Companies
The marketing department should communicate examples of other companies using social media with great content and engagement by their staff. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as often as it should. There seems to be a reluctance to give praise to other companies because it might be interpreted as negative by comparison to your organization. On the contrary. Recognize companies like Zappos, Ford or Cisco for their marketing prowess. Point out what they’re doing right through great content and employee engagement. Give inspiration to your employees to emulate their behavior where it may be appropriate to do so. If you point out how some of your competitors are doing it right, that can also be very effective. Just be careful how you communicate it to avoid too much of a comparison that can backfire. If possible, get your CEO to back you on the competitive example.
5. Dangle a Carrot Not a Stick
When your employees participate in your content strategy they contribute to your company’s overall marketing results. Among other things, they help produce more sales leads, strengthen your company’s brand and thought leadership, and help differentiate you from competitors. The personal branding benefits to the employee can also be very beneficial. For many employees, their participation can produce new opportunities inside the company, within the industry and in the long run in their careers. There is so much to be gained by the employee, this carrot alone should be motivation enough for employees to contribute to your strategic content marketing plan.
Inspire Employees to Drive Advocacy
I firmly believe that most employees lack an understanding of the importance of their participation in your content marketing strategy and its positive impact on your SEO results as well as their own personal brand.
These five suggestions may help you recruit employee participation as well as external business partners such as VARs to contribute content. Their contribution of content and their active sharing of that content through their social networking activities on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook will have a very positive impact on your internet marketing results.
Incorporate employee participation into your content strategy. Learn how by downloading the Content Strategy That Generates Sales Leads whitepaper today!