One of the most important steps your company can take toward expanding its online footprint is hiring a digital marketing agency. But you shouldn’t stop there.
Once you’ve seen the light—and the value of launching an online marketing effort—it’s timefor you and your team to bridge the digital divide and make sure it’s a success. After all, your hired team will be much more effective with the home-grown insights of your in-house staff.
But just how do you get your internal staff to break out of its old-school thinking and start engaging online? You have to turn your print-centric work culture into a hyperactive online powerhouse.
Educate, educate, educate
While your younger team members may be dizzyingly familiar with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, your senior staffers may not be as comfortable with developing a presence on the Interweb. Don’t worry! This knowledge gap is not uncommon and it’s probably at the heart of your organization’s decision to hire a digital marketing agency in the first place.
By educating your staff about the basics of content marketing, you can maximize your investment with your new hired guns.
Shifting your company’s print culture begins with blogs. Reading trade publications in traditional print format is fine, but there’s a wealth of new and constantly evolving information available through industry blogs. Encourage your employees to work this reading into their daily routine, and when they find ones they like, encourage them to comment. When your staff starts sharing its insights with the more influential blogs in your sector, the wealth of knowledge it shares will force the online community to take notice. Eventually, your organization will become known for its wisdom, and the team will collectively develop into a valuable industry voice—bringing your organization one step closer to digital marketing nirvana.
Your team can generate massive industry buzz about new products or services on social media sites like Twitter, but do your staff members even know how to use the platforms? Since all forms of PR have become decentralized due to the web, now is the time to capitalize on the non-hierarchical nature of the Internet by launching your company’s offerings into the Twitterverse.
Likewise, LinkedIn has become a major player in just about every industry, and the most proactive players are showcasing their insights and absorbing the wisdom of their LinkedIn colleagues. Are your team members warming to this major new paradigm shift? Are they capitalizing on it by reading LinkedIn content and brainstorming ways to get their own content shared on LinkedIn, too?
Other platforms can lead to social buzz, as well. Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest all lend themselves to great marketing efforts, depending on which ones best suit the organization and its model.
Has a senior member of your staff recently participated in an industry panel at a trade show? If so, ask your digital marketing agency how to turn his or her insights into a webinar. Turning traditional forums into online experiences can greatly enhance your agency’s digital marketing efforts and boost the success of your campaign.
When you sense resistance from members of your team, remember not to become frustrated. Resistance is a natural reaction to change. Ease the transition by educating first and allowing your team members to build on the elements with which they are most comfortable. Yes, it may take time, but it’ll be well worth the wait if you cultivate their engagement with patience and trust.