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From: Jared Hamilton
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sara callahan

sara callahan Owner/President

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Are there too Many Chefs in Your Content Kitchen?

One of the best ways to get your name out to your audience is through a consistent regimen of relevant educational content of interest to your audience. This helps position key people in your dealership or organization as industry thought leaders and gains indirect brand exposure.

Doing this consistently can lead to news stories, conference speaking spots and other opportunities that may be elusive without first becoming a known entity and expert in your field.

Once you start creating content, the next step is to figure out where your audience is and how to get in front of them. While content should be posted on your website and social media channels, expand beyond these venues or you could miss out on many opportunities to get your executives and company in front of your audience.

Seek out venues such as websites that cater to your industry, as well as smaller media publications that may be less competitive, are relevant to your audience and welcome content. Many of these sites don’t have a large editorial staff developing content and depend on industry experts, such as you, to contribute. In turn, they publish your content which can lead to more exposure through possible syndication in e-newsletters and/or print.

Now, here comes the part about too many chefs in the kitchen. With content, good planning and a consistent voice is key. Sure, having ten executives and/or employees all writing and publishing content may seem to be the perfect idea as this provides you with plenty of content and less work for each executive. Sounds more efficient, right?

Well, not quite. While it might be more efficient, it is the exact opposite of what you should do if your goal is to establish thought leaders and gain exposure through those executives. It takes a bit of time and skill to establish someone as a thought leader. The more people you attempt to gain exposure for, the less effective the strategy, and the more diluted your brand becomes.

A good example is in the world of advertising. If every time you saw a commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken a different person was hawking the chicken, rather than good old Colonel Sanders, it might not be as effective, right? Good branding efforts begin with a solid base.

In the case of content marketing and building thought leadership, the foundation should be built around one or two high-level executives in your organization. This ensures that your audience isn’t bombarded with different people, splintering their attention. It’s much easier to focus on one or two individuals. It’s difficult enough to get attention for one or two anyway – try getting attention for ten!

Focus on your key public-facing executives. Those who most interact with your customers, are on social media and who are, or who should become, well-known public entities for your company. Over time, these individuals become recognizable to your audience and brand association is strengthened.

Have you ever looked at an article, saw the author and immediately knew where they worked and who they were? In the automotive industry, names like Grant Cardone, Dale Pollak, Joe Verde and others come to mind… and these high-profile personalities exist in every industry.

However, they did not become well known without some time and effort.

Another part of too many chefs in your marketing kitchen is making the mistake of having too many people view and edit the content. Sure, it is good to have the executive and a writer and editor. But I have seen some companies have as many as ten or more sets of eyeballs on a blog or article. And, you know how everyone has an opinion – well let’s just say the content ends up a mish-mash of everyone’s thoughts and opinions and usually reads poorly. Not that each person has bad ideas – it’s just very difficult to get a good, well-written piece of content that flows well, has a cohesive voice and message and resonates with an audience if it is approved “by committee.” You tend to lose the personality of the writer and the impact of the content.

So, plan a good, relevant content marketing strategy for your customers and potential customers that focuses on one or two key executives. Then produce and place well-written quality educational content on a regular basis. In so doing you should be on the right path, creating thought leaders who support and attract your audience and improve brand recognition.

Derrick Woolfson

Excellent article, Sara! I could not agree more! With that said, I offer that because there are too many cooks in the kitchen the departments (within the dealership) are not connected and/or offering the same brand message. Wherein, the fixed-ops department is sending communications to the same database as the sales department. Both with entirely different messages and they wonder why the engagement rate is so low? 

sara callahan

Thanks Derrick! And you make an excellent point about dealership departments sending different, uncoordinated messages.

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