5 Ways to Keep Your Content Team’s Fun Level at an All-Time High
June 12, 2015
A happy worker is a productive worker. One recent study showed happiness can boost productivity by 12%. You’ve probably heard that laughter is the best medicine, but did you know that smiling and laughing actually causes our bodies to release stress-reducing endorphins that keep us primed to produce?
To help your team enjoy greater job satisfaction and productivity simultaneously, here are five ideas for upping the content marketing fun quotient at your office. As a bonus, we've also included an inside look at how the LinkedIn Marketing team keeps positivity primed in the workplace.
1. Incorporate gamification
Gamification has a wide variety of applications, and it can also be an effective motivator for content marketers. Performance metrics are a natural place to create friendly competition. Try tracking social engagement metrics and recognize your team’s highest performing content in a given week, month, or quarter. You can also create smaller contests for the best headline, meme, or infographic – all of which can add a dash of fun while improving your team’s skills.
Recognizing achievements is critical for gamification to be a truly effective motivating tool. Rewards also don’t hurt, though there’s no need for extravagance. At many companies, employees gain small privileges or receive virtual points that can be saved up to “buy” prizes.
On the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions content team, we've also incorporated gamification into the content itself. We've found that quizzes – such as this Christmas-themed personality test – have have challenged our audience and boosted engagement.
2. Implement no rules brainstorming
As Albert Einstein said, “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”
In addition to providing an opportunity for content creators to get a little wild – and providing the team with some much-needed chuckles – no rules brainstorming can produce some legitimately great ideas. Entertaining the absurd, after all, opens up avenues for innovation. Set up no rules brainstorming sessions as part of your regular content planning and any special projects your team is tasked with.
Here at LinkedIn, we're constantly experimenting with new formats and exploring new ways to get our message across. We recently introduced a new audio series, "The Sophisticated Marketer's Podcast," as well as a new video series, "Mann vs. Funnel."
3. Give employees protected space to work on personal projects
Innovative companies recognize that employees’ creativity is a critical organization asset. Fortune 500 manufacturer 3M promotes company-wide creativity with a concept called 15 Percent Time. The idea, according to 3M’s website, is to “Give talented people the time and resources to prove the worth of their ideas, and in the long run you’ll come out well ahead.” At 3M, opening up employees’ work time for individual projects has produced innovations that include the Post-It Note.
The 15 Percent Time concept will likely take on a different form when applied to your content team. However, these personal projects may prove to be the first iteration of full-fledged initiatives that set your marketing program apart from the competition.
The theme of 2015 at LinkedIn is "Intelligent Risks." One of the ways the content team is participating is by experimenting with new blog post frequencies, A/B testing with LinkedIn Sponsored Updates and sharing our best practices findings with regional teams.
4. Encourage team members to incorporate their stories and interests into writing
Incorporating personal stories and interests into writing allows team members to connect more strongly with their work. As an added bonus to stronger employee engagement, content from passionate creators often translates into enjoyable experiences for your audience. As LinkedIn’s own Jason Miller has been known to say, “Inject your personality into your content. The more you integrate your passion and knowledge of other things into your content, the more creative it will be.”
Jason, a huge rock and roll fan, puts his money where his mouth. He peppers his content with musical references, verbal and visual. The cover of his new ebook, "Creating Your First Big Rock," is an homage to an album cover by a certain heavy metal band from Australia.
5. Include a “chocolate cake content day” in your editorial calendar
Chocolate cake content is light, entertaining, and highly consumable. It’s the delectable dessert that rounds out a well-balanced diet of content.
For marketers, creating chocolate cake content is an opportunity to inject humor, pop culture, and other forms of entertainment into posts. Giving your team a chance to let loose on chocolate cake content can produce funny, snackable assets that people share with their networks – like this amusing post for financial services marketers.
These are only a handful of activities that can increase the fun quotient in your office. For more, why not ask your team? Perhaps a no rules brainstorming session will break loose some ideas that transform how you do things and help everyone work better together.
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