Voyeurism: The Surprising Key to Great Internal Content Marketing

At this point, most folks have realized something pretty obvious: Content is about more than educating the outside world. Making your employees as knowledgeable as possible is just as important.

As Contently’s editor-in-chief, my job is to learn as much about content marketing as I can. While other folks have to do real jobs—keeping clients happy, amping up our sick Analytics platform, selling prospects on the dream of content marketing—I get to report on the industry and tell stories about whatever I find interesting. And I worry a lot about whether we’re spreading that content marketing knowledge across the company.

So we send emails, give presentations, and meet with other departments. I’ve come to suspect, however, that our greatest internal education channel didn’t come from any of those tactics.

It came from pure voyeurism.

“Keep dropping mad knowledge bombs in Slack channels” 

As I read through the peer reviews that members of other Contently departments wrote about my edit team, I came across statements like this one over and over. People complimented our articles, sure. But what a lot of them really loved was listening in on the story ideation process in our company Slack.

At Contently, our editorial team—like most editorial teams these days—constantly shares articles in our public Slack channel. We pitch stories, argue over what stories we should green-light and what angles we should take, and make fun of my love of tank tops. It’s an easy way to collaborate and push each other outside of our standard editorial meeting. For a while, we were the only ones talking.

But lately, it’s become way more than an editorial channel. It’s become a way for people from across the company to contribute and weigh in.

Take, for instance, this recent discussion we were having on content maturity models. Our content team was in full debate mode when one of our new sales executives, Dan Gottlieb, weighed in with some really smart points we were overlooking.


Moments like these happen every day—either in Slack or on the Contently platform, where anyone in the company can see all of our pending pitches and in-progress stories. (Our talent development manager, Brian, recently admitted that he reads most articles before they’re actually published, and, man, do I love him for that.)

We’ve serendipitously created a knowledge-sharing program just by maintaining a public dialogue. And it doesn’t just benefit the rest of the company. When other folks contribute, it makes our content much better too.

Now listen, I know that a lot of content marketing teams don’t have Slack or the Contently platform. But I’d encourage you to find some way to put your content programs out in the open. Maybe it’s on your company intranet. Maybe it’s in a private Google Group or Facebook group. Maybe you hold your content brainstorms in a public place where anyone in the company can follow.

Best of all, you’ll get to have a really uncomfortable performance review after you brag that you turned everyone in the company into a voyeur.

Image by Getty

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