Every digital property has (at least) one thing in common: content. Blank websites and apps don’t get much traction. But creating content is hard. It takes time. At The Combine, we’ve learned very quickly that new fresh content on thecombine.co is our best source of inbound traction. That’s a simple insight from Google Analytics. What we’re doing about it may or may not be unique, but it’s certainly new to most of the people in the organization. Here’s the gist:
Everyone on the team must produce content.
Sounds simple, but, as I mentioned before, creating content is hard. Most people – regardless of how smart, successful, active or any other great adjective – are not used to creating and sharing content on a daily or weekly basis. As I used to tell my digital marketing students, “Not everyone can be David Cummings and blog every single day for 8+ years.” That one will stand for quite a while. Here’s how we are able to produce content from everyone’s brains.
Require it. Part of the culture we’re building is that everyone moves the team forward. The Combine is a “go-to-market” organization for corporate innovations, so we must all be moving the ball in the same direction. No, it’s not part of anyone’s comp (yet), but everyone benefits from fresh, new content pulling our audience into a conversation.
Make it a fun competition. Every Friday, we show a simple graphic of whose content is getting the most clicks and reads.
Make it easy…ok, easier. Since most people are not adept at creating content, I hack their brains and other stuff they’ve created: Power Points, white papers, previous experiences, speaking engagements, videos…whatever. Think about it: for every powerpoint slide you make, you’ll talk for 3-5 minutes, which is the ideal time to read a simple blog post. Ergo, each slide is a blog post.
Encourage it. Kinda goes outside of the “require it” component, but the simple fact is that everyone – EVERYONE – has a story to tell. Everyone can teach someone something, and that’s what blogging really is, or has become. Each blog post is a capsule of you teaching a very specific thing that you know to an audience. What do you know that you could share with someone?
Teach it. I’m an English Major and a grammar nazi and I’ve written more than 2,000 blog posts over the last 3 years. It comes naturally to me, so I teach my colleagues how I do it, little by little, until they develop their own style, pattern, cadence, and ability. It’s a muscle you have to exercise to make it strong. Until you know how to flex that particular muscle, it’ll be very difficult.
Invite others. One solid source of great content is simply an outside perspective. There are a LOT of people out there talking about “corporate innovation”. That’s where we play, though we play differently by spinning out co-created startups. Getting others to talk about their good and bad experiences in the corporate innovation space makes our approach that much more appealing to our audience.
Our goal is a new blog post every day from someone on our team or a colleague of our team. We’re getting closer, and building the team’s ability to crank out content.