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My husband is obsessed with the TV show Gold Rush.

I like to make fun of this obsession, the overly dramatic narrator, and some of the terminology:

  • Pay dirt
  • Sluice box
  • Glory hole

Tease as I might; I have found that I have a lot in common with these gold miners…

After establishing some clear goals for your digital marketing, and knowing who you’re talking too, it’s essential to have sources and processes for gathering, creating and regularly sharing good quality content.

This is hard.

Like most good habits, digital and social media marketing is relatively easy to get started (simply set up a website, blog, email marketing system or social media account), but much harder to keep going.

As well as developing and implementing digital, social media and SEO strategies for businesses, Scout manages social media and digital marketing updates for businesses. This involves not only knowing what is going on within a business, but what will be of most interest to its community.

This is why I love chatting to business owners about what is going on in their business; I unearth so much freaking gold!

And sometimes it is easier for an external person to spy those glittering nuggets amongst the piles of a business’s daily dirt.

Business owners, managers and employees often take what they do for granted, and don’t see just how interesting it is to others.

Won a new project? Completed a new project? Hired a new team member? Moving office? Won an award? Taking a new direction?

People like to know!

An interested community appreciate the transparency and insights that communicative businesses offer. Simply tell people what you’re doing and what you’re thinking.

Well, it’s not quite that simple, but it also kinda is.

Ideally, your businesses should have a strategy with identified goals, and the types of content you share should help support these goals.

Two of the most fundamental goals that most businesses value are:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Encourage new business opportunities

and sharing what’s going on in your business helps support both of these.

It CAN be very difficult to add content “mining” on top of you and your team’s existing roles though, which is where both external support, and suitable systems and processes help.

Here are my tips for…

Mining content “gold” in your business:

Get your team involved (but lead by example)

Your entire team should feel part of your sales and marketing team, and everyone has a story to share. So get them all on board with what you’re doing, why and how they can help. But remember that if you’re not practising what you’re preaching, they’re unlikely to sing in the choir…

And again, this is where having an external or internal person to collect and “filter” the content opportunities can help.

I have come across many staff who are scared to share content because they are afraid it is not going to be good enough, or it’s going to be shared exactly as they provide it.

I always say it’s far better to have too much content, than not enough. And to use another mining analogy, your team should focus on providing rough stones, not polished gems.

Have your team focus on providing “ideas” for content updates, not the final updates. If there’s potential, you can always seek more, or better information, and you need a review and approval process to maintain quality.

Use existing systems

For a lot of small to medium businesses, marketing is added on top of staffs’ existing roles, so don’t make it harder than it already is.

Look for opportunities to make it part of existing systems and processes, rather than something new.

If you use a shared server, Dropbox, Google Drive or similar file management system to share files, then use this for your content marketing and images.

Create the habit

Similarly to using existing systems, create the habit of seeking digital content by making it part of an existing process.

For example, if you have a regular weekly or monthly meeting with your team, have an agenda item to discuss potential content opportunities, or have it at the top of the agenda to help unearth opportunities throughout the entire conversation.

Or if a specific focus of your digital strategy is to share project updates, when reviewing the status of your projects, have a reminder to specifically ask: “what project update can we share this week?”

It can be difficult to notice these opportunities at first, but over time everyone may be able to identify their sparkle, however subtle.

Leverage healthy competition

One slightly devious tactic I find works to encourage a team, or specific reluctant team members are to leverage healthy competition amongst them.

Now, this doesn’t work for everyone, but you know your team best (or should). If you can get one or two on board helping out, and can share their efforts back with the team, others may follow.

I’ve worked with some businesses who have made digital content part of their teams’ KPIs, but again, this approach has to be right for your team.

Share results

I realise it’s a TV show, but the climax of Gold Rush is always the weigh in at the end of the episode.

The whole crew gathers to discover how much gold they mined that week, and its value.

If you just take, without giving back recognition or thanks, your source will soon run dry.

If you are genuinely focused on improving your online presence, you should be monitoring your results, so share them!

Let your team know what is getting a good response, and any specific feedback.

Yes, they may be able to see some of the response (e.g. likes and comments on a post) if they seek it out, but there is additional information, like clicks on a link, or time spent viewing a video, that isn’t visible to people without administrator access etc.

It is also beneficial to frame feedback in a way that supports further involvement, for example: “our behind the scenes updates are getting the most engagement on our social channels, so let’s keep letting our community know what we’re doing – even if we think it’s normal!”

Every business is sitting on a gold mine.

Some may be more challenging or more rewarding than others, but it is there. You just need to rally your team to help you find it – if you want to strike it rich.

Feature photo by woodleywonderworks on Flickr. View license here. It has been cropped to suit this format, and flipped horizontally for the Scout homepage.

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