Content catalyzes cultural change.
When you focus on telling a story (a true story!) and answer the question of why your company exists, you can use content to shift your company culture.
Here are some tips:
1. Use content to sell your services subtly
When the right strategy is in place, content helps to sell your services, bring in more business and recruit the right employees. Culture is a set of “shared beliefs, values and practices.” Look no further than Hubspot’s Culture Code created way back in 2013.
“Culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing.” — Hubspot, slide 6
When I pioneered the podcasting initiative for Sirius XM Radio, we created podcasts as a way to create cultural change. Distributing the content via podcasting allowed Sirius XM radio to be perceived as “hip” (Note: putting “hip” in quotes makes it not as hip).
Regardless of its hip status, podcasts put the company on par with the big tech giants (which eventually was one of the many reasons that it got acquired). The content wasn’t only a strategic part of the business model; it became an asset.
“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.” — Tim O’Reilly
Companies today are no different from media companies. Think of your product as “doing a job” to get you from point A to point B; the content that your company creates (and how you market that content) is what facilitates the journey.
2. Content allows you to create a culture meaningfully
The focus is on meaningful. Fortune 500 companies and top-tier brands are starting to see the value of whimsical, creative creatures. They’re turning to artists when they need a fresh perspective on marketing and branding. According to this article in Fast Company:
“Culture is changing faster than ever. If you want to understand what that means, you need more than someone who specializes in branding. You need consultants who can lead you through the cultural shifts in real time and who are actually engaged in the production of culture.”
There’s an art to doing business. And the core of this art appears in the form of the core values of your culture. We’re all a part of something bigger than us. When we think of content as a way to create a culture, we elevate the human experience.
3. Content alters brand perception.
When brands find ways into conversations that embody their core values, they alter perception.
Even when brands enter conversations that are the opposite of their core values, perception is still altered. For example, Payless opened a fake luxury shoe store as a prank, called Palessi. Influencers posted content with the branded hashtag #palessi where they raved about the amazing “designer shoes.” The influencers were paying hundreds of dollars over the retail price of shoes for $20 — and posting about the new designer label.
The brand perception of Payless instantly changes because of this content. It highlights the fact that the only difference is the label — and the snob appeal that goes with it.
According to Adweek, Payless was able to sell $3,000 worth of merchandise in just a few short hours of operating its fake store.
The thread that puts the cultural shift in place is the narrative of the content; storytelling catalyzes the brand by its transformation.
Shifting the market perception of a company through content is easier than ever. When you conceptualize, create and distribute social content, you create experiences. You more easily sell your services and gain brand awareness.
Content creation, in turn, becomes a win for your company culture. And a win for the world.