Need to re-think my content strategy. Any help would be great!


(Jordan Schwartz) #1

Hi all,

I’m not sure if I’m looking for advice or just a platform to vent, so here goes :slight_smile:

I manage the content strategy and engagement efforts for an “internal” community in my organization. The audience are consultants that work with us for 6-9 month long contracts. Once a consultant gets accepted for a job, they get “exclusive” access to this community, it’s only open if you’re employed with us.

The main goal of creating this community was to address the needs of and common complaints from our consultants: more transparency and insight into their contract end date, easy access to their pay and benefits resources, and an inside look into all of our open jobs (the idea is that they will continue working with us after their one contract ends because it’s easy for them to call their recruiter and apply for another job). Overall, we’d like their experience with us as contractors to feel holistic and seamless.

A secondary aspect of this community is the content. And it’s a farrrr secondary. Enter: me. I was hired to build out that content strategy. Think:

  • Email journeys
  • Original articles (written by myself as well as other thought leaders)
  • Re-purposed articles
  • Consultant written articles (this is future state)
  • Responding to consultant comments or questions

Here’s my problem: My goals and what I was hired to do is secondary to the company’s goals for this community. I feel like my wants are not being heard from an operations standpoint and the content is somewhat falling flat. There is little (to no) engagement on anything I post even though we have tens of thousands of consultants who have logged in and joined as users. The community aesthetic is geared towards the job/contract resources for the consultant and the content isn’t super easy to find or user friendly. It takes several clicks to even find articles or groups.

I’m having a problem getting users logged back in to engage and interact. The only time they feel inclined to log back in is to get their W-2, check their pay stub or apply for a new job.

Does anyone have any experience being asked to help with “growing” an organizations community but also feel like the resources/support they’ve been given hasn’t enabled them to do their best work?

P.S. I actually used this community for inspiration when creating a “re-engagement” email and the email was a huge success! The open and click numbers were out of the control! The problem? People were clicking into the community and then there was no engagement. Nothin’. Feeling super helpless right now!

(Emily Cowan) #2

I feel you, @itsjordanobrien! It’s frustrating to spend time and energy creating content that doesn’t seem to move the engagement needle. In my experience, it rarely does. At my old job with had an amazing content team that was cranking out article after article but rarely did any of this content generate engagement. Instead, it was more of an outreach tool - good for a social share where (the hope was) new members would come for the content and stay for the conversation. That was a public brand community, though, not an internal community.

You do have the benefit of a baked-in audience of consultants who use the community to support their work within your organization. Is it possible to spend more energy on driving community participation and allow the content to be more member-driven, i.e., pulling together “tips” articles from various posts asking about a similar topic, or turning particularly meaty posts into guest columns?

I manage a closed community as well, and my content strategy is geared toward turning member engagement - what little there is, anyway - into lasting assets whenever possible.

(Joel Rangelle) #3

Are you worried …

  1. That your job is in danger because your position is being pushed into oblivion?
  2. That your job is secure ans you’d like to get more engagement and organizational support on your content?

If it’s #2, then I would encourage you to completely change your perspective. One thing that I’ve picked up from reading all of the “indispensable” motifs from Feverbees articles is that your true customer is not the consultants. They don’t matter at all. Your one and only true customer is the rest of your organization, regardless of your job description to help consultants. So …

  1. Stop thinking about what consultants could benefit from. Ask how or why your organization can benefit from content articles and help THEM draft content to push to consultants.

  2. Create more touch points between key people in your organization to your community. I know you were hired for content, but honestly you’re really an intermediary between your community and your organization.

  3. Find another company that actually executes and is fully aligned with a content strategy.