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7 ways to keep your subject matter experts feeding the Content Machine

If your company has established a blog, a few social media accounts or perhaps an independent thought leadership platform, then you have a group of employees contributing content on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. To keep the content flowing, they need to be supported as best they can.

Like any good editor-in-chief, the team leader for producing interesting and relevant content, needs to keep subject matter experts and key contributors motivated.

Content contributors are a valuable link for attracting future customers and sales and are worth engaging, supporting and motivating to the best of your ability. Here are 7 things that can be done to keep some of the content drivers, namely the subject matter experts, motivated.

1. Keep them informed

Provide magazine subscriptions: depending on your industry, signing up content contributors to relevant (or semi-relevant) publications keeps them up-to-date on issues and will help inspire possible article ideas.

Set up high quality NewsReader: Help your content contributors stay on top by developing a refined industry news feed for them to monitor daily or weekly for inspiration. Or make it even easier assign someone to monitor the feed and send relevant articles to your subject matter experts to keep them free to do what they do best – think (and write).

2. Create a fun environment

Writing content is an additional work task people are taking on, so make it a bit official by giving them additional/fun job titles like “Engineer-in-Chief” or “Geek Editor” and provide profiles on the website so audiences know a bit about the people behind the articles. In this way your subject matter experts are rewarded with greater visibility for their efforts and it will be easier for people to develop a deeper connection to your site.

3. Let outsiders help

Continuously thinking of new article topics can be tough; let readers help out by having an “Idea Drop Box” on your website where they can request articles. If you feature profiles of key content contributors spelling out their areas of expertise readers will also be able to ask them better and more targeted questions.

4. Introduce a bit of competition

If you have a group of content contributors, rank their level of activity with a “This Week’s Top Contributors” box on the site.

5. Provide examples

Providing good content to your industry without it sounding like propaganda can be tough after decades of such practice. Show examples from other industries where useful and relevant content is being provided to a sector. This should act as a sort of base mark to aspire to (and later surpass).

6. Quantity can also be good

In the busy twittersphere, sometimes more is MORE. To be seen and heard a good number of tweets should be sent (while remaining relevant, and not becoming SPAM). One way to encourage this could be by having a commission per tweet or re-tweet policy.

7. Idea flow

Consistently providing new articles will not likely be top priority for most subject matter experts acting as content contributors. An option is to hold quarterly meetings with all important stakeholders and brainstorm as many relevant areas of interest of article subjects. As well as having a sexy Excel spreadsheet outlining article ideas for the next 3 months, the team leader can send SMS reminders to content providers to help them on their way.

Some of these ideas may apply to your set up, while others won’t. The important thing is to ensure that the flow of articles doesn’t dwindle over time and get de-prioritised when other tasks come up – there’s nothing worse than a website with articles written months ago and nothing new to keep visitors coming back!

Taking the first step of establishing content channels is just as vital as planning for a consistent and reliable flow of content that will engage your community and build your company’s brand and reputation. To quote Jonathan Winch ‘in these same pages’, the online environment “demands credibility over propaganda, and expert knowledge and advice over marketing speak” – supporting and encouraging your experts to write sets you on the right path.

What is your secret tip to keeping content creators and experts motivated? Share your advice in the comments.

Guest post by Hugo Ludbrook. 

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Hugo Ludbrook

I’m Hugo Ludbrook, a guest blogger on Integrated B2B. I'm a convert and promoter of the modern B2B marketing practices articulated on this website. I believe in the value of content creation as a means of engaging with your community and industry and building a company's brand based on honesty and relevance, rather than propaganda.

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