As the Director of Global Digital Corporate Communication for Avery Dennison, my focus over the past year has been to successfully deploy a content and social media strategy that focuses largely on activating content through our 25,000+ employees around the globe. We approach our social networking content the same way an editor would their editorial strategy. The timing couldn’t be more perfect with 90% of all organizations using content in their marketing efforts.
The overall program, which we’ve branded as Get Social, attempts to educate, train, and mobilize our workforce on the power of content and social media. Our story focuses on five key pillars of success: innovation, sustainability, culture/heritage, community investment, and careers at Avery Dennison. Many might wonder if content marketing applies as much in the B2B space. Our answer–Avery Dennison is a B2B organization, so from experience, I can tell you it applies–and in a big way. How so? 86% of B2B marketers use content marketing. Jump on the bandwagon or be left behind.
My hope is that this article on the Avery Dennison approach to social media content will give you a new perspective to develop your own strategy.
Content marketing and social media are changing the way we connect and communicate, and that’s why we felt it was critical for every employee to understand the pitfalls and opportunities that existed within both of these areas. But that was just the beginning of our journey to Get Social. The way in which each of us embraces social media is a personal choice. For many, social media is a way of life. But for others, signing up for a social networking or blog platform can seem intimidating, daunting, and perhaps unnecessary. Well the good news is, that’s OK; the choice is up to each and every one of our employees to use it.
To help employees see how social media can benefit our brand, we’ve created a library of resources that continues to expand. Our library includes guidelines, educational videos, how-to documents, infographic-like cheat sheets, shareable visuals, and a variety of other helpful resources for employees wanting to join in our social media mix.
We’ve covered all the bases: employees can find the platform that fits their needs, understand how each platform works, get a snapshot of where we are active as an organization, and even learn social speak. We want to ensure our employees are knowledgeable and safe in the use of social media, whether they use it personally or professionally, as an individual, or a representative of the company. Below are few examples of the tone we encourage in content and social media channels. It’s all about fun, simple, and engaging–what we consider the essence of social media.
Another platform we use to get the Avery Dennison message out is the external-facing company blog. The importance of starting the blog was two-fold. The first is based off the fact that B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not. Like many Fortune 500 companies, we’re a complex business with multiple divisions and I’m pleased to say that we’re actively telling our story across the entire enterprise–which is no small feat. The blog does something unique for us a brand. It allows us to tell our story at Avery Dennison in an entirely new way.
While our website already tells our story, the blog allows us to tell our story through the voice of our employees. Most of our guest bloggers are employees, ranging from specialist, managers, and even senior-level executives within the company. We coach employees on how to be effective at guest blogging with topic suggestions, SEO best practices, and promote blog posts on our intranet and on our external social media channels.
We also reward a guest blogger each month that has the most compelling engagement and traffic. Having strong content and social media strategy in place, which should always evolve and grow, is critical to any business in today’s digital landscape. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human. That means cracking the code on your digital content strategy is going to be critical.
One way we do this at Avery Dennison is by treating our social media platforms as a necessary content channel and giving our employees the tools to use them effectively. If there were one piece of advice I would give to any digital marketer or communicator reading this article, it would be create a sense of urgency on your social media strategy. There are a variety of content opportunities on social platforms that your company cannot afford to miss.
Want to know more about my storytelling philosophy at Avery Dennison? Watch my short YouTube video, Building a Social Media Strategy around Storytelling.
Still not convinced? Earlier in 2014, Avery Dennison were recognized by Smart Insights as, One of the four most inspirational brands harnessing social media for B2B marketing.
Late in 2014, our social media movement at Avery Dennison was recognized and awarded, Best Use of Digital Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience by Innovation Enterprise’ Digital Innovation Summit.
We were also invited to give the keynote, Mobilizing Employees to Get Social for Inspired Storytelling, at the Digital Leaders Summit in December 2014. This allowed us to expand on our social media strategy and justify why we were given the award in the first place. It was such a pleasure to be recognized and given the opportunity to present the strategy in great detail.
We were humbled and featured in CMWorld Content Marketing Strategy e-book as 1 of 13 Marketing Stars that Show The Big Picture of Content Marketing Strategy (slide 29) in 2015.
And finally, I spoke as a panelist at Content Marketing World 2015 on the topic of Getting Employees Involved In Your Content Marketing Practice.
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