Using Your Company’s Stakeholders To Create Great Content
Internal stakeholders are one of the greatest resources that tech marketers have for creating compelling content. Engineers, C-level execs, project managers, technology managers or security specialists are just a few examples of internal stakeholders within your company who can help you develop outstanding content.
2nd Jul 2020
By following a few simple guidelines, it’s easy to develop these key resources within your company – while also keeping the reins firmly in hand – to both elevate your marketing collateral and strengthen the resources you have to put before your target audiences.
Educating about the process
As a group, most people with an engineering mindset don’t typically understand the marketing process or even the marketing lexicon. They can sometimes be a little sneery about the whole process. But remember that engineers generally do want to understand how something works. If you explain what something is, who it reaches, how it benefits the business and the typical results from an activity, the cynicism generally will fade.
A key first step to building this relationship with stakeholders is to create a simple plan for content creation that can be easily shared. The plan might be as simple as an email, or you might develop a short slide deck that outlines the content creation process and the role of stakeholders in that process.
A good starting point is to explain the different types of content that you’ll be creating with the input of stakeholders. This doesn’t have to be encyclopedic; instead, the point is to establish that there are many different reasons why you might be reaching out for their input, and you want them to understand that not all content is created with the same purpose.
So, for instance, you might provide one-sentence explanations for bylines and/or thought leadership, press releases, white papers and case studies, to name a few. Providing a quick explanation about each type of content will educate stakeholders about the many different reasons you will be contacting them, while also providing you with a bit of control over the process.
Explain what you need
It’s also helpful to outline exactly what you need from stakeholders to successfully create content. In some cases, you might need something more like a brainstorm or a download on a particular topic or technology. In other cases, you’ll be asking for something as simple as a set of eyes with technical know-how to edit copy that’s already been written.
Whatever the case, be very clear about what you need from the stakeholder, while also reiterating the importance of and appreciation for the stakeholder’s input. One thing we’ve found especially helpful is to outline questions in an email ahead of time. While questions will vary according to the type of content needed, a safe bet is to make sure you cover the 5 Ws and 1H. So, for instance:
- Who will use the technology?
- What does the technology do that’s new, different or important?
- Where is the technology used today? Where might it be used in the future?
- When is the technology available?
- Why is it important?
- How does it work?
And remember that as you reach out to stakeholders for input, you should encourage them to send documentation – sales presentations, webinars, internal product descriptions – anything they have to better explain the topic.
Extend the relationship
We have found that sharing tangible results from marketing activity will keep them engaged and ready to help in the future. It might be as simple as sharing resulting media coverage with them and explaining how many people in the target audience have been reached. Or it might be sharing the number of downloads of collateral from prospects. The goal is to demonstrate that it’s not fluff – it’s business, and their contribution plays an important role.
When you invest time into developing content (and relationships) with key stakeholders, the result is more insightful and useful content that delivers better results. We have seen this many times over with our clients. When stakeholders understand the value of marketing, they are more engaged with the process, and the business sees tangible improvements in business prospects as a result.