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Creating a Culture of Content — Empowering Your Employees

Charlene Li

Content marketing is hot, but it is not solely created by, inspired by, or used by marketing. Rather, content needs exist throughout multiple facets of an organization – think sales, customer services, thought leadership, recruiting, etc. The result: more and more organizations are focused on creating what Altimeter calls a “Culture of Content” (CoC) to nurture a content circulatory system that supports content creation throughout the entire organization.

This can be incredibly daunting for organizations that aren’t used to letting employees “speak” internally, let alone externally. But companies like Nestlé have executed significant and massive deployment of internal social networks to evangelize, share assets, and motivate employees to share content, not just internally but increasingly externally as well.

A new report by my colleagues Rebecca Lieb and Jessica Groopman lays out the four components needed to create a culture of content: Inspiration, People, Process, and Content.

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Rebecca and Jessica found that there was no consistent framework used by organizations to bring individual employees into a content culture. But they did uncover some best practices when empower employees, namely:

  • Encourage and empower employees to identify content needs or stories worth spreading. For example, if they are in customer support and see people frequently struggling with a device setting or if sales sees a knowledge gap that interrupts the buying process, they can flag a content need.
  • Operationalize with internal enterprise social networks that highlight content best practices, provide case studies, and solicit ongoing feedback.
  • One of the most interesting predictions in the report is that companies with a strong culture of content will make content a part of the hiring process. This is less about aptitude (e.g. a talent for writing) and more about attitude — an enthusiasm to for participation, storytelling, sharing, or otherwise contributing to the content process.

It can be hard to create this culture of content — especially if your organization is “old school” in its approach to content today. The report lays out seven success criteria that organizations need to have in place to successful create this culture of content.

  1. Customer obsession drives content.
  2. Align content with brand.
  3. Drive content leadership from the top down and the bottom up.
  4. Culture requires constant evangelism
  5. Test and learn
  6. Global must enable local
  7. Integrate across all cultural components

How many of you work in organizations that recognize the need to create a culture of content? If you do, what is your company doing to make sure that this culture is nurtured and cared for, especially when it comes to empowering employees to create content? Please share your best practices!