How productive is your marketing team?
If you feel that inefficiencies and ineffective content collaboration bog down your team’s ability to produce consistent, engaging, and relevant content, you’re not alone. Inefficient collaborative efforts can eat up 85% of the workweek through instant messaging, emails, video conferences, and phone calls.
Collaboration is necessary, especially for large marketing teams, but it’s too often counterproductive and frustrating. If you struggle to find ways to encourage effective collaboration, we feel your pain.
Creating an environment that promotes useful collaboration and gives your team the mental space and time for creativity is possible. Let’s take a look at some ideas that can put your content team on the right track and examine trends that provide a focus for collaborative success.
What is Content Collaboration All About?
“Collaboration” is a buzzword you probably have heard so much that you may have lost faith in its effectiveness. We get it. Attempts to work together toward an end goal sometimes are challenging. However, it can be an effective and efficient process with the right systems in place.
Collaboration in content creation is about more than how many meetings a team has on its calendar. It involves all the processes multiple team members use to get from ideation to analysis and the tools needed to move through the process.
Hallmarks of Effective Collaboration
Image Source: Slack
Multiple hands in the mix do not automatically equate with true collaboration. Many teams contend with the inefficiencies of disparate tools and technologies and delays from disjointed communications and schedules.
Effective collaboration is an ongoing process, achieved with instantaneous access to files, schedules, notifications, and real-time communications. It breaks through departmental and organizational silo barriers.
One of the most critical aspects of effective content collaboration is that it can only occur in an environment that encourages the free exchange and flow of ideas. At the same time, it has an established structure, and everyone involved is aware of the process, responsibilities, and timeline to get an asset published.
Types of Collaboration in Content Marketing
Collaboration technically only requires two people, but for large-scale content marketing teams, it often involves many. Joint efforts can occur at any stage along an asset’s publication journey and may include:
- Marketing team collaboration
- Inter-departmental collaboration
- External collaboration with subject matter experts (SMEs)
- Organization-wide collaboration
When a marketing team works with multiple departments, and external contributors or team members work remotely, content collaboration often occurs virtually or digitally.
No matter your team’s work arrangements or the types of collaboration you deal with, you can create an environment that fosters teamwork and produces impactful content when you have the right system in place.
Make Your Content Marketing Department a Haven of Safety and Trust
Creativity and innovation are paramount to successful content marketing. If team members are afraid to present outside-the-box thinking, it stifles the collaborative process.
Only an environment where team members trust that new ideas are valued can foster the kind of synergy and openness that encourages effective collaboration. This is the cornerstone of creativity and a must for creating engaging content.
Use an Idea Repository for Brainstorming Ideas and Lightbulb Moments
Coming up with a constant stream of new content ideas is a hurdle most of us in the marketing industry face. Brainstorming is a common practice for generating new ideas. In an age of remote teams and Zoom fatigue, an idea repository provides a convenient alternative to content collaboration brainstorming sessions.
Anyone on your team can develop ideas for future content, so a content repository that gives everyone access makes brainstorming a 24/7 possibility. You never know when a lightbulb moment will occur. Whenever a team member has a stroke of inspiration, you won’t need to rely on the idea making it from a napkin to the next team meeting.
A fun variation on content ideation is creating a space for people to post their worst-ever content ideas. Sometimes what someone thinks is a terrible idea is actually a brilliant one from a different angle or might stoke inspiration for a related content-worthy topic.
Scale Your Expertise by Collaborating Outside Your Silo
Effective marketing demands that creatives have a working knowledge of your company’s products and services. We content marketers are curious by nature, gathering a wealth of information about any topic that might affect our industry or related ones.
However, most of us don’t have in-depth knowledge of the nuts-and-bolts aspects of what we produce. Since we don’t have the time to embark on a Ph.D. in engineering or pursue a side gig in development, we can take a shortcut to that knowledge when we engage in content collaboration with our company’s SMEs.
Encourage your team to join forces with experts outside of their silos to uncover new topics for the blog. They can reach out to the customer support team to learn what problems customers are having with the widget so that they can produce content that allows your audience to troubleshoot quickly, or talk to the sales team to understand what major prospects want to know and create personalized answers to their questions.
Consider connecting with other brands or experts outside your company as well. You can invite others to create featured guest posts. Likewise, approach other brands about guest posting on their blogs, ensuring you have a topic and perspective that would provide value to their audience.
Set Team Goals and Expectations
If your teams don’t know what you and your company want to achieve, they won’t know where to aim their content collaboration efforts. Share the results of your latest content analytics report with them and encourage them to refine low-performing content and create more pieces like your best performers.
Define your expectations for your teams. Whether meeting deadlines or creating content that addresses specific points, make sure that your directions are clear, measurable, and achievable.
Ensure that they feel comfortable clarifying any expectations or goals with you. Having an open-door policy increases trust within your department and reduces the likelihood your team produces content that swings wide of the goal post.
Empower Your Team Members With Autonomy
Micro-management is so yesterday. Give your team room to breathe and empower them to do their job. Creativity doesn’t blossom when people feel the pressure of constant supervision.
Of course, encourage them to reach out to you or one of their teammates if they’re stuck knee-deep in writer’s block or have questions. However, constant intrusions often kill creativity or stifle research. Effective content collaboration works best in tandem with “alone time,” in which your team members can concentrate on the task at hand.
Use an Interactive, Real-Time Content Calendar
In a 2021 blog post, our own Brody Dorland asserts that a well-organized content calendar is “the holy grail of content marketing.” He’s right.
It can also be the key to effective collaboration. Divvy’s content calendar updates in real-time, allowing your team to adjust on the fly the minute the editor suggests a change, an engineer fleshes out the technical details of an in-progress project, or an executive wants to step up the deadline on your next blog or social media post in response to current events.
Emails won’t cut it when time is of the essence. Your team needs instantaneous access to updates housed in a single digital workspace so that even the most complex projects are a coherent whole.
We’ve enhanced our calendar capabilities with additional features, such as color-coded segmentation that allows your team to quickly identify deadlines associated with different types of content.
Know the Content Collaboration Trends
Collaboration and the value it delivers are certainly not a trend. Rather, it’s a necessity in business. Every project requires different skills and stakeholders to complete, and planning and producing content is decisively one of the most collaborative processes. That being said, content collaboration trends will impact how your team moves forward.
Additionally, the urgency for content collaboration is greater than ever as you strive to stand out with impactful, consistent content production that attracts and converts audiences. Here are current collaboration trends to help you hone your strategies.
Trend One: Distributed Workforces Are the Norm
What’s trending in this ecosystem has a lot to do with the new way we work, with marketing teams often working at least part of the time remotely. Team members also don’t necessarily live in the same geographic location or even in the same time zone.
Distributed workforces are here to stay, as the number of remote workers increased by 24% from 2021 to 2022. Perhaps a more startling fact is that 66% of workers started looking for another job when employers removed the ability to work remotely, and 39% quit immediately.
Image Source: Owl Labs
What does this mean for content collaboration?
Many companies that allow a hybrid work environment reserve in-person time for collaboration. However, collaboration is entirely possible with a distributed team. Interacting screen-to-screen may even be more effective than sitting around a conference room table together.
Sitting across from someone doesn’t guarantee attentiveness or remove distractions. Remote work doesn’t “kill” collaboration. It simply changes the dynamic and how we collaborate. Any stifling is typically due to poor management and a lack of technology.
Improving Collaboration in the Age of Remote or Hybrid Work
Effective collaboration is entirely possible with a distributed team, but to achieve it, you must meet specific conditions:
- Consistent communication among all parties
- Technology that supports workflows to keep all collaborators on point and enables transparency
- Regular check-ins between collaborators (i.e., sessions for edits, review, or brainstorming new topics)
Ultimately, to collaborate effectively within your content team and with others, you’ll need to adapt workflows, adopt the right technology, and stay connected.
Trend Two: Asynchronous Content Collaboration Is Necessary
The shift to a more distributed workforce means that teams often set their own schedules. They may also live anywhere in the world.
Face-to-face collaboration isn’t always possible, and screen-to-screen collaboration doesn’t always work either. Creating a searchable central repository for all assets removes the need for synchronous collaboration. Asynchronous collaboration becomes a practical, effective, and efficient option when you add instant notifications, an interactive and real-time content calendar, and project management tools.
Trend Three: Brand Partnerships Present Opportunity
Brands increasingly rely on partnerships and curated content to expand their reach. According to a DemandGen report, 96% of B2B survey respondents expected revenue linked to partnerships to increase in 2023.
Forming partnerships presents a tremendous content collaboration opportunity. However, choose your partnerships wisely. When cross-posting to one another’s blogs or social media platforms, you need to know the content is relevant and useful to the target audience of your partner. Without both qualities, your content loses its effectiveness, and you risk losing your audience.
Image Source: Content-Science.com
Trend Four: Companies Increase Automation in Content Workflows
Is your content team struggling with throughput because of collaboration roadblocks? This is a common problem that can be frustrating and keep you from meeting your goals. While it can be an issue with many facets of the process, content workflows are at the heart of it.
Everybody is busy, and your content team has many responsibilities. However, is it a “good” busy, or is your team bogged down in tasks that would be better left to AI? Incorporating automation in your workflow frees up your team’s time and improves productivity. Divvy’s platform lets you automate notifications, task generation, staff responsibilities, and project schedules.
Streamline Content Collaboration With DivvyHQ
If you want to up your team’s content collaboration game, you need the right technology to solve inefficiencies, improve communication, and enable transparency.
With Divvy’s robust calendar, content repository, automation capabilities, and a nearly unlimited capacity to integrate third-party applications, your content teams can stay abreast of company-wide objectives to create content that meets your corporate leadership’s goals.
Request a demo to find out why it’s an award-winning solution that enterprise content teams love.