A lot of work, much of it collaborative, goes into content marketing.
Maybe you help your CEO or CMO write articles for outside publications, or you work with your sales team to create infographics or produce explainer videos to facilitate the sales process. Perhaps you byline your own content on your company blog.
When you work with an array of people on multiple content projects, two things are certain: You’re going to need their expertise to create exceptional content, and you’re going to have to work around busy schedules to get it.
[FREE REPORT: Communicators’ struggles, strengths and successes]
Using a knowledge bank (a.k.a. knowledge management template) to collect those insights and create content can enhance your efforts and improve efficiency throughout the process, especially when things get busy for you and your colleagues.
Using the company knowledge bank
This is a customizable tool for storing important information about your company, its key leaders and their industry insights. From sharing your company’s origins to addressing customers’ problems, this template can help you organize every detail necessary to save time when creating internal content as well as guest posts for external publications.
Your company, its leaders and your key employees probably have a ton of valuable information to fuel your content creation. That doesn’t do your content team much good if it’s not accessible in a central location—and that’s what makes a knowledge bank so useful.
By establishing a hub for company knowledge, you’re providing a resource library for employees to equip themselves with the materials they need to simplify the content creation process and avoid major headaches.
Benefits and crucial steps
The knowledge you supply is the key to increasing productivity, employee engagement, and the quality (and effectiveness) of your content. Here’s a step-by-step guide to building your own company knowledge bank to streamline content creation:
1. Customize your template. Familiarize yourself with the template’s tabs, and add any custom tabs that would be unique to your company. Consider how you and your team members might sort through a bank of information, and add tabs or filters to simplify navigation. Customize it in whatever way works best for your team.
2. Stay consistent with the small details. As you begin to input information, be sure regularly to add dates, relevant links, topics and content to each tab. This will make it much easier to navigate and organize content as you build your template.
3. Update it regularly. Make sure your examples and insights are fresh and timely; stay consistent, and update it regularly. Depending on your team’s editorial calendar, monthly or quarterly reviews of your knowledge bank should keep it up to date.
4. Set guidelines for multiple users. If others use the template, guidelines are vital for consistency. Who will manage the Q&A process? Who will supplement answers with industry research? Who’s taking the lead on creating content with those insights? Each person will probably use your bank differently, so set guidelines to keep it organized.
5. Add context where possible. Confusion is bound to arise if the content doesn’t come with any context. Consider how other people on your team will be using the content. To avoid confusion or having content taken out of context, add relevant notes and follow-up questions.
6. Crowdsource knowledge across your team. Encourage your staff to answer questions about their roles and experiences. Using your team members’ ideas can be immensely helpful in strengthening articles; just make sure to quote and give credit where it’s due.
7. Make it accessible. If other people don’t know where to find your extensive bank of information, it won’t be helpful. You might not want every person in your company to input information each day—that could get a little confusing, not to mention cluttered—but everyone should be able to access it.
Don’t let great information and guidance go to waste. Open your knowledge bank, and keep adding new articles and insights to make your content creation more efficient and effective.
Nickie Bartels is the marketing editor of Influence & Co. A version of this article originally appeared on the Influence & Co. blog.