How (and Why) Include Your Whole Company in Digital Marketing
Have you been looking for ways to breathe a new life into your marketing strategy?
Have you been desperately trying to get your marketing strategy to deliver better results?
Here’s what you need to do: Get help from your whole company.
Why involve non-marketing employees into your marketing activities?
Depending on how this marketing collaboration is going to work for you, you are likely to discover many more ways it benefts your company. In my experience, it’s always these three:
Identify internal talent
When it comes to digital marketing, organizations tend to look for skills and talents from outside. This makes sense because those new hires bring their experience, so there’s no training required.
But think about this: Your current employees know your product best. Many of them have direct experience talking to your clients. Including them into your marketing means working with people who can relate to your client best, people who care because they love your company.
If there’s one thing in digital marketing that can win over big budgets, that’s customer centricity. If you want your promotion to work, focus on your customers. And no one can do that better than those people who genuinely care about your customers.
Motivate your team
Feeling included can do wonders to your employees’ morale. In fact, being able to exchange ideas, work on projects and see results will probably motivate your employees like nothing else.
Motivation fosters inspiration and creativity, and those will boost the performance of your digital campaigns, provided you are going to be open to (often crazy) ideas and experiments.
Get fresh insight: Foster trust and innovation
When it comes to new ideas and experimentation, those are key in our marketing industry because nothing is actually evolving at such a fast pace as digital marketing does.
Social media platforms come and go, yesterday’s popular SEO tasks can get your site in trouble today, there are new tools popping up monthly, and their old trusted tools losing relevance.
Digital marketing landscape fuctuates and unless you keep bringing in new tactics and technology, your today’s tactics may stop working tomorrow and you will have nothing to replace them.
New ideas are born in collaboration, and that’s how your digital marketing strategy will keep innovating.
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How to involve your employees in marketing activities?
When it comes to involving more people into any project, there’s always one problem to resolve: Time.
Your employees’ time is being paid by you, and once they start spending that paid time elsewhere, this is an additional expense.
On top of that, all people are different. Some of them can balance all kinds of different tasks and still get everything done. Others are always behind, so adding more tasks on their plates may get them too overwhelmed.
You don’t want your company to start struggling because every employee does nothing by marketing, but you cannot also leave certain people behind and invite those that are better at prioritizing and getting things done.
There are several effective ways to solve this puzzle, and it is essential to get this determined prior to inviting employees into your marketing strategy.
You can try one or a combination of the following solutions:
- Position digital marketing as a reward to those employees who complete projects on time. This will encourage other employees to catch up.
- Provide a merit increase to reward those employees that find time to participate without leaving their priority tasks behind
- If your budget allows that, determine the amount of time everyone is allowed to spend on your digital marketing projects. It could be 10% or 20% of their work time, and it could work similarly to how Google implemented it. Tools like TeamSense can help you determine the best amount of time you can allocate for your employees to spend on side projects.
You will likely need some type of software to help your clients keep track of their time and get better organized, especially if you are managing a remote team.
For distributed teams where some people can be overseas, you will need to come up with convenient and affordable methods of communication which can include a virtual phone line, a dedicated Slack channel and an instant messenger. You can also set up sharable schedules using Google Spreadsheets (which are free).
Finally, there’s a great collection of productivity tools to choose from, so just pick one to get yourself started.
Once you figure out your control-and-reward strategy, let’s see where your employees can help:
Which marketing tasks can benefit from cross-company efforts?
Brainstorming ideas for your content is the first obvious task your whole company can contribute to. This is not just about your blog content: Let them all brainstorm on your email marketing content and email subjects, come up with lead magnet ideas, knowledge base topics, etc.
Make sure to collect some input from your customer support and/or sales team because they will inform your content team of common questions and struggles your current customers are dealing with. These should definitely be part of your content strategy.
Your brainstorming meetings can be in person, virtually, or even in typing. It’s best to have a good mix to make sure even your shiest employees have an opportunity to contribute.
Social media and viral ideas
Social media is one of those channels that require constant creativity and experimentation in order to grow organic following and engagement.
It often happens that a business social profile can go through the roof once a creative intern takes it over.
It is fun and can be gamified. You can set up some kind of a quick contest rewarding an employee whose social media update generated the most engagements. And it’s not just engagements, of course. At our company, we had all sorts of small bonuses to reward employees whose social media updates would:
- Send a lead
- Get re-shared by a celebrity
- Generated the most comments, etc.
Once you get a bit comfortable with those little contests, extend those to cold emailing tactics, for example, reward emails that bring a link or journalistic coverage/mention.
Finally, those that do best at balancing their actual job with helping your marketing efforts can be rewarded even further: Give them freedom to come up, set up and promote their own little projects.
Giving people freedom to create something from scratch is the best way to empower your marketing strategy with innovation. Feeling your trust and responsibility, those people will do their best to create something useful and market that to their best ability.
Those side projects could be single-page sites they can set up on their own, a separate “linkbait” project, a virtual event they can create, promote and hold.
Let them experiment with WordPress and alternatives, find new tools, experiment with new social media platforms, etc. The point of this exercise is to master new technology and try new ideas while creating something useful for the company.
Digital marketing is ever evolving. Without fresh insights and excited employees, your digital marketing strategy will quickly become stale, focusing on a single tactic that seems to be working, until it doesn’t.
Opening up your marketing efforts to other people in your company and letting them help will innovate and diversify your tactics, as well as get your whole company united around one common goal, i.e. your marketing results.