You get employees and fans to create content with what’s known as “cooperative content,” and it may seem too good to be true, but it’s not!

Here’s the basic idea: By combining company-created content with employee and customer-generated reviews, stories, photos, etc., you increase the amount of content you’re able to publish and build a stronger, more loyal brand community in the process.

But can you really trust non-marketers to create content? YES!

There is a time and place for highly-polished content. However, consumers (especially millennials) increasingly prefer brands that are authentic, relevant, and relate-able. Cooperative content is a great way to get that job done!

Here is how to get this content party started.

Empower your brand ambassadors.

Who is closest to your brand? Your employees, of course! Shape a vibrant content culture in your organization by encouraging these brand ambassadors to regularly share their thoughts and talents. From blog posts to infographics, videos to slideshows, work with each employee to find a content medium that allows their message and expertise to shine. Remember, not everyone is a writer – but everyone has a story to tell. It’s your job to empower them to do so!

Look to leaders.

Does your leadership team understand the value of content? Wherever your big wigs stand, take a guiding role in showing them the brand-building and sales-boosting benefits of a content-minded organization. From growing their social media savvy (like these top tweeting CEOs) to editing or ghostwriting blog posts for them, put effort into inspiring those at the top to lead the content charge. Very simply, if your leaders value content and contribute to the output, the rest of your organization will fall in line too.

Capture community chatter.

From social media buzz to product reviews, fan-powered content can be a big boon for your brand. The key to collecting this sort of content is infrastructure. Whether hosting a photo contest, turning reviews into blog posts, or highlighting customer conversations with a social media aggregator like Tagboard, make sure you have strong organizational system and a compelling call-to-action in place to make it simple for fans to engage with your brand.

Keep your eye on the prize.

As you expand your content strategy to be more cooperative, ask yourself: Is this content relevant? Is it useful? Does it help customers/prospects make a meaningful connection with my brand? As the streams of content widen, it can be tempting to push content out simply because it is available. Instead, stay mindful of your goals with an editorial calendar, a commitment to a consistent brand experience, and a singular vision of what meaningful content for your brand looks like.

You’ve got this!

Sara Lancaster

About Sara Lancaster

Sara is The Condiment Marketing Co.’s founder and creative director. She oversees client relationships, strategic marketing plans, as well as a bit of copywriting and social media management.