In the 2000 hit movie Cast Away, FedEx executive Chuck Noland, played by Tom Hanks, is marooned on a tropical deserted Island and left with only his smarts and savvy in a daily fight for survival. But beyond his smarts he was somewhat fortunate in that he had more than just what resided on that island to help him get by. If you recall, several FedEx boxes washed ashore, as well. Inside of many of them it turned out there were items that turned out to be extremely useful and which aided him at different times (I remember him opening the ice skates and thinking, perfect, just what Chuck needs on a tropical island.) But just about every single item played a role in Chuck’s survival.
Now imagine the same movie, with all of those boxes washing ashore, but instead of opening them, Chuck decides to make a fire on day number one using the unopened boxes as kindle… or maybe he just never pays attention to them and they wash back out to sea.
You the viewer would probably be laughing and yelling at the screen, “Hey Chuck, what are you thinking?” Just as silly, many of you reading this are doing just that with your content strategy.
Let me explain.
There you are, you and your content strategy, set out on a mission to not just survive, but to thrive. You may have figured out the subjects your audience wants, and you have a few flashy ideas and new media types to add some neon or sizzle to whatever you build. You have done the equivalent of cutting down a few trees, tying logs together with some twine—really making the use of many of your resources. But you ignored the boxes. Could this have been easier?
So now you’re thinking, what are these boxes to your content strategy? Easy. They’re your human capital, the talent and knowledge found throughout your company. Everyone in your organization who could potentially contribute—and more importantly connect with—a group you are looking to do business with can be considered a box – one potentially filled with valuable resources to help you on your way.
And they are not just your marketing and sales teams, but they are your operations team, your finance people, and even your admins. They all come with some level of expertise in something from somewhere along the line—which leads me to rule number one and two for human capital management (HCM) of content marketing:
- Everyone in your organization is a subject matter expert (SME) for something and…
- Everyone in your organization is a subject matter expert for something!
Yes, I know what you are saying, “Dan, you realize you just went from Cast Away to Fight Club!” I know what I did. But what I also did was bring the world of HCM into the Content Marketing conversation—which is odd when HCM to so many means nothing more than a succession pipeline, performance management system, or a tool to help find an employee who can speak fluent Farsi in order to help close a large deal.
But a true handle on your human capital means you have an inventory on who has an expertise in anything (past or present), where you can possibly rely on additional social amplification, a Q&A for a blog or eBook… you name it! For example, I typically blog about small business, and have a good handle in my day job of the industries I need to cover. But tomorrow, say I get access to a solution that perfectly suits beauty salons, which is an industry I have yet to aggressively target. I need to build an email, maybe some display ad verbiage, a webinar or eBook—I can go with what I know – repurpose generic non-personalized small business content, or perhaps even spend valuable dollars to go with a 3rd party to get industry data quickly. Or, I can go through my HCM inventory and discover that Wilson in accounting, who already knows our own business, turns out has a former expertise running small beauty salons—I could do a simple Q&A with them, maybe invite them to blog directly! Wilson!!! (See what I did there?)
Your human capital content management inventory might actually steer you to producing your communication differently from the outset, and could potentially save you from overspending, or better yet, might help you produce more QUALITY than just quantity and in a more timely manner using expertise that knows you and the potential client.
An HCM connected Content Marketing strategy done simple and right can be the equivalent of Chuck opening FedEx boxes and finding they contain a shiny new outboard motor, a GPS system and fully functioning connected satellite mobile phone… which probably would’ve got Chuck home a little earlier perhaps leaving the dental work he needed to a professional and not a pair of ice skates!
Happy hunting everyone!