February 4, 2015

Find Your Unused Content and Share It

Think about all the untold stories, all of the unshared expertise, experience, and knowledge.

Think about all the untold stories, all of the unshared expertise, experience, and knowledge.

Remember summer reading lists? If you were like me, you procrastinated until late August then hustled through all of the books — barely finishing before the first day of school or even later (don’t tell Mrs. Holden). But there was one summer reading book that I couldn’t put down — To Kill a Mockingbird. I assumed I’d never hear from Scout and Jem Finch again. But hold on, Maycomb. Harper Lee is publishing a “sequel” called Go Set a Watchman, which chronicles Scout’s life as as an adult.

This story of rediscovery is incredible. Here are the Cliff Notes:

  • Lee wrote the manuscript long ago (before Mockingbird actually).
  • She assumed the book was lost or destroyed.
  • A friend stumbled upon the manuscript last fall.
  • Lee shared it with friends and finally decided to share it with the world.

This got me thinking: What unused content is your organization sitting on? You may not have misplaced that 304-page novel you wrote many years ago, but your organization likely has photos, blurbs or videos just sitting in a forgotten place — an archived file, email folder or filing cabinet. Beyond that, your team members are experts in their field, aren’t they? Think about all the untold stories, all of the unshared expertise, experience and knowledge — all stored away in their heads.

This could lead to victory in your struggle to create content! Block off some time in your Outlook calendar to dig around. Start with the low-hanging fruit: what already exists. Take old company photos, for example. They can be used for more than just embarrassing a co-worker; they’re ideal for social traditions like #ThrowbackThursday. Then dig a little deeper. Look for the things your organization is doing that showcase your expertise — current projects, products and ideas. Is anyone sharing? That’s content begging to be curated. Maybe you document how a product is made. Or you spotlight your team’s work on a campaign from infancy to final product. Give people an inside look. Start chatting and you just might find some great storytellers among your ranks.

For this to really work, designate someone as a content curator or take the initiative yourself. If no one is in charge, you’ll publish sporadically at best.

Whether it’s via a blog, newsletter, social media channels or the like, if you keep producing interesting, entertaining and valuable content, you stay in front of people. I assume you’re using a tool like Google Analytics to track website traffic — where people go and what they interact with. If you aren’t, please slap your own hand.

You might be thinking: Is this search for content worth the time? Publishing regularly to a blog, for example, may seem daunting and time-consuming. But companies that blog see 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links and 125% more leads. Sounds worthwhile to me.

Just as Boo Radley did for Scout and Jem, you can come to the rescue for your organization. Become the curator, publisher and promoter of your organization’s content — and bring your forgotten or untold stories to life.

For more pointers on how to be a better business blogger, download our essential guide for 2015.

The 2015 guide to business blogging.