By Jeff Kline

Blog

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The next series here at Jeff Kline Online is all about content creation. Upcoming posts will discuss why your chamber's digital content should be engaging, educational and entertaining. You’ll also learn how content can drive traffic through your website and to conversion points. 

But first, before we dive into what content your chamber should create, you must understand how to generate it.

The loneliest number

Three Dog Night said it best. One really is the loneliest number – especially when you are the sole manager in your chamber’s content creation process.

Chambers of commerce often times try to employ just one person to manage their entire online presence – and not just the website! This person is also responsible for the blog, Facebook page and Twitter account. The outcome is often the same – an overworked employee and an underwhelming chamber website from a single perspective.

If this situation sounds familiar, I suggest you try crowdsourcing your content creation. In order to enable crowdsourcing of content you need to have a content management system that has work flow capabilities.

Work flow allows you to accept content from many contributors, flowing from the author to the editor, who makes sure that the content is appropriate and well written. It then flows to a publisher for final approval and is set up to be automatically published and taken down on designated dates.    

 Crowdsourcing & user-generated chamber content

Instead of putting all the work on one person, use crowdsourcing to instigate chamber-wide contribution. By publishing user-generated content (UGC), you will not only save your lone content manager a ton of time, but you’ll also provide your readers with diverse perspectives. 

I suggest using an online forum or email list to share your chamber's content creation needs. Send requests to your executive committee and all of your members. In fact, your entire local community can be a “crowd” from which to “source” user-generated chamber content. 

Be sure to publicly recognize individuals who choose to submit content. This can be as simple as adding a byline to their piece, thanking them in a news release or tagging them on Facebook.

Crowdsourcing your chamber's content creation ideas

Be creative when deciding what types of user-generated content you would like to receive from your community. Here are a few ideas (inspired by clickz.com ) to get you started:

  • Allow local businesses and organizations to submit events to your community calendar. 
  • Request that your chamber members fill out profile pages, and display their information in a member directory. 
  • Invite local bloggers to write guest posts addressing various issues in your community. 
  • Ask members to share customer testimonials. Use this content to enhance your member-to-member discounts page. 
  • Encourage local business owners to interview their customers. Publish the interview as a series of blog posts. 

Before you put any of these content creation plans into action, be sure you have designated one member of your chamber as the head content manager. This individual should be responsible for making sure all crowdsourcing efforts support your online marketing goals and publishing schedule. 

Share your thoughts 

Do you have a great crowdsourcing tip you’d like to share? Have you had previous success with this technique? What were your biggest challenges implementing your content creation plans? 

Leave a comment below or send me an email!

 Accrisoft for Chambers

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