While the saying goes that too many chefs in the kitchen spoil the broth, that’s not the case when it comes to a collaborative marketing environment. Instead, combining sales and marketing efforts with user-generated content can improve ROI.
Content Collaboration is a Win-Win
Think about it: When you create content in a silo, you are alone. You lose the opportunity and the ability to tap into other perspectives and creativity that can shape the content to what your audience wants. It’s those opinions and direct insights from the audience members themselves or the sales team out on the front lines that can enhance the marketing content.
Plus, when everyone collaborates, including audience members, that social reach increases from your own direct audience as a brand to the social audiences of each user, influencer, and team member who worked on producing that content.
It sounds compelling, but may be easier said than done because the inclination to collaborate and meld everyone’s ideas with minimal conflict is not the natural response. Yet, it is possible to create a marketing content collaboration process.
Start with the Right Tools
First, a content collaboration platform can help how everyone gets involved. A platform adds structure, organization, and accountability to the content collaboration process. Rather than opting for a spreadsheet with a to-do list and due dates found on traditional project management platforms, a solution designed for content collaboration focuses on creativity, sharing, and feedback.
The solution then becomes a content repository that stores collaborative content for use, review, and measurement. Besides written and visual content, this repository can also hold creative files, audio recordings, templates, collateral assets and anything else that enables the content collaboration process.
Since teams can spend up to 20 percent of their time looking for the content or components they need. According to McKinsey — having this type of social technology can increase productivity and shorten project timeframes. It also helps to have an understanding of what type of collaborative content works best for your brand as well as a formal process for developing, managing and measuring your collaborative content.
Types of Collaborative Marketing Content
There are many types of content where collaboration can yield improved results. Here are a few content options for collaboration:
Guest posts provide a way to share your expertise with a larger audience and build links that can bring that audience back to your site. You are sharing a service for others to learn more about the knowledge and experience on the site.
Collaboration can widen as you return the favor to include others on your own blog. You’ll be expanding your audience and the depth of the valuable information you deliver. This can be a long-lasting collaboration if you approach it in the right way.
To collaborate on content, identify other sites that are authoritative and relevant. Using models like Domain Authority (DA) can simplify this process. If a site has a DA of 20 or more, then this is a worthy target for content collaboration.
Find the appropriate contact at that company by looking through the executive team on their website or a site like LinkedIn. They may also list guest blog guidelines on their site. Reach out and suggest some blog topics that might be mutually beneficial and agree on the terms.
While the first type of collaborative content involved an industry colleague, case studies are a collaboration between you and one of your customers.
- First, it helps solidify a customer relationship by working together.
- Second, a case study illustrates how the customer has addressed a real-world issue which other customers and prospects can relate to.
- And, third, it builds credibility with your audience as you provide them with useful insights.
To develop a case study, you can collaborate on a relevant storyline and quantitative evidence. Using quotes from your customer and beneficial observations or project vision will enhance the content.
Your audiences do most of the work by creating the content, including photos and videos. Yet, it’s still collaborative because you are able to leverage and share information from your target audience.
The readership will feel more involved with your brand and are likely to also share their content with their social circle for viral benefits.
Expert Roundup Articles
An expert roundup article can include a mention or a quote from a wide range of contributors that have insights and proficiency about a particular topic or trend that impacts your audience. This material can involve existing content that you pull from different sources or be part of the new original content you request from these experts.
Connection with a wide range of industry experts provides a wealth of beneficial information for your audience while building credibility that you are working or partnering with many industry leaders.
Industry Leader Interviews
This content collaboration is like an expert roundup and may focus on one industry expert. It becomes the dive deep into a topic or trend that is relevant to your audience. A good place to reach out to other industry experts is at a conference or through a social media channel like Twitter or LinkedIn.
You can agree on what to discuss and arrange an interview in person or by phone. From there, you can turn your conversation into an article that both you and the industry leader can share within your circles.
Podcasts and Videos
Rather than produce your interview content into writing, you may choose to leverage your collaborative content for videos and podcast formats. Much of today’s audiences like to watch video content or listen to audio content. These two formats for collaborative content address those preferences and provide a quick and easy way to get content to your audience.
Develop a Content Collaboration Process
Don’t assume the entire content collaboration process needs to be digital — because there is still merit when it comes to in-person collaboration. There will always be great benefit from strategic partners, the sales team, your customers, and industry influencers.
When it comes to the notes, whiteboards, and easels — all this information can become hard to track when it comes to creating the end-product. It helps to use video conferencing technology and the collaborative content platform simultaneously to create more personalized, inclusive brainstorming sessions related to the creation process.
A clear communication process is also integral in marketing content collaboration. Without clarity, there can be misunderstandings, or frustration leading to conflict. You will want a clear plan in place to circumvent any breakdown in the collaborative process.
Intelligent transmission of collaborative information means getting input, feedback, updates, and approvals in a timely fashion, moving the process forward with ease. Use real-time communication mechanisms like collaborative software and instant messaging to address all communication needs.
Minimize how many tools you use for the collaborative content process to help add efficiency to the process. According to one source, 42 percent of marketers may use six to 10 tools to manage their work while almost one in five marketers uses even more. Integrate intuitive tools as much as possible for faster information flow, to help everyone involved.
There are many advantages to using collaborative content in the short term. You can also be confident there’s considerable benefit taking a long-term strategic perspective with content marketing, as well.
By continuing to develop collaborative content, you’ll be able to deepen relationships with industry colleagues, customers, and prospects.
This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. All opinions are my own. Dropbox is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.
Editor In Chief at ReadWrite
Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.