How To Delegate Content Creation For Your Brand
Your brand is a focal point for community and within that community are a bounty of contributors, whose interactions with your brand are moving it forward. These contributors are everyone from the brand managers who pilot its visual identity; to the subject matter experts who make the products and services, the brand presents as commodities in a vibrant marketplace; to the consumers who are Instagramming and Snapping about how much they love your brand. They're powerful voices and as the brand's content strategist you have a responsibility to give those contributors a voice. If you don't mind loosening the reigns a bit, this can be a fun exercise in diversifying the content your brand puts out into the world.
Imagine you're at your desk pondering what comes next in your content calendar. You might have a rhythm for publishing content and you might publish the same type of content regularly, which can be a great thing to an extent. I'll always preach consistency to you, but let us both bend a little. For the next few months, consider letting some fresh voices publish content on your channels. Here's how:
Utilize Your Subject Matter Experts
As the hired voice of a brand, you can be a conduit for the people who make the brand all that is all day long - literally. But! There is undeniable power in letting those people speak for themselves (with guidance from you, of course). There is almost always a kernel of wisdom to excite interest in your audience born out of the natural words from subject matter experts, whether they are engineers, Michelin star chefs, or what have you. I recommend giving them a direction in terms of topic, coaching them on the audience they'll be speaking to (certain people might be removed from the brand's audience and not necessarily readily able to communicate effectively), and then letting them run free. Give them a platform on your blog, or have them write an Instant Article for Facebook, or interview them live on Facebook. Brands can publish to Apple News easier than ever, especially those whose websites are on Squarespace (we design 95% of our client's websites on Squarespace). Recently, Squarespace partnered with Google's Amp Project to make blog content load faster than ever on mobile, a feature that increases the odds that users will consume your content on their mobile phone.
Empower Your Brand Ambassadors
This can get tricky because you won't have the same authority to coach a customer as you will a colleague, but the beauty of this idea is that you can give them as much, or little, room to go wild. Pay attention to the people in your audience who are celebrating your brand on their social media channels. Select a few and invite them to create content to be published on your channel first - a social media takeover! It elevates their social media standing and creates a natural reverberation point for people to share content. This is a trust-building exercise, for you and for your broader audience. Nothing builds brand trust better than strong advocacy from a consumer. Give them a chance.
If a takeover isn't in the cards, consider running a campaign where you create a series of posts celebrating your most valued customers. Think Humans of New York, but with your own branded spin.
Use Your Technology
People often underestimate the amount of work that goes into continual content creation. It takes planning, research, interviews, design, copywriting, editing, vetting, scheduling . . . and then repeat, repeat, repeat. Whether you're a one-person show or a small team, make use of technology to help organize your task lists, content, etc.
I really love Evernote. Some people don't quite trust keeping their research and content drafts in the cloud, but I am in love with Evernote (not just for its function, but its design, too!). I use Evernote's notebook feature to manage projects and within those notebooks, I use "notes" to create and archive everything from lists of URLs to white papers, to my own musings on different topics. Evernote is incredible, you can use the mobile app to set reminders, create to-do lists and keep audio memos.
If you're behind the curve on social scheduling software, I recommend investing in a Buffer subscription. Buffer is remarkable and the community its built around it is insightful and responsive. Buffer's tools will let you pre-schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. It brings order to my life and I want that for you, too!
I've been working in content creation for several years now, in one capacity or another. Although I'm trained to oscillate between brand voices, I understand the danger of creating a sort of brand echo chamber when only one person is behind the keyboard. I recommend creating a roster of regular contributors, be they people who write a monthly blog post, or can be trusted to Instagram on the fly. While the goal is always to keep a consistent brand voice, multiple perspectives ultimately lead to a strong content strategy that casts a broader net.