Ever feel like you’re just a number to your employer? A cog in a vast machine? In an echo chamber where true content collaboration doesn’t exist?
If you’re on a marketing team for a large company, that’s all too often the case. Siloed departments, hierarchical decision-making structures, and toxic office politics make it a challenge for content teams to collaborate both internally and with subject matter experts outside of their departments.
Companies worldwide face the same challenge. According to a Slack study, only 12-21% of employees surveyed believe they can communicate well with their colleagues.
Image via Slack
That needs to change, advises Marcel Schwantes, founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core. We couldn’t agree more.
For effective content marketing, collaboration is your key to success. Make your next content planning session produce tangible results with these collaboration ideas.
Make Your Content Marketing Department a Haven of Safety and Trust
As Schwantes points out, effective collaboration only happens when you “pump the fear out of the room.” In a traditional corporation, where new visions often make one a victim of cancel culture, it’s essential for leadership to welcome innovation.
Only an environment where people feel safe enough to “experiment and fail” can foster the kind of synergy and openness that encourages effective collaboration. It’s the cornerstone of creativity – and a must for creating engaging content.
Use an Idea Repository to Get the Creative Juices Flowing
Whether it’s a germ of an idea or a rough draft of a blog post, it pays to jot down your thoughts in a central location so that your colleagues can look it over before you refine it into publishable form. With a content repository that gives everyone access, you can build your idea into a fully fleshed-out piece.
Inspired by your idea, other creatives can use it as a springboard for their own content. Or, they might suggest an angle you haven’t thought of. Either way, you’re adding depth and detail that will help engage more of your target audience.
The more your audience engages with your content, the more likely they’ll make your brand the one to turn to when they want expert advice to meet their needs. That trust, in turn, makes you the first brand they’ll think of when it’s time to buy.
Scale Your Expertise When You Collaborate Outside Your Silo
Effective marketing demands that creatives have a working knowledge of your company’s products and services. We content marketers are a curious lot, gathering a wealth of information about any topic that might affect our industry or related ones.
But most of us don’t have the 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 subject matter experts.
Partner with an engineer to explain why your widget outperforms your competition’s device by 50%. Talk to your customer support team to learn what problems customers are having with the widget so that you can produce content that allows them to troubleshoot it easily.
Need a crash course on spike proteins to point out the effectiveness of your latest coronavirus therapeutic? Connect with one of the researchers who developed it – whether over lunch in the company cafeteria or a Zoom call.
Meet with your sales team to see what questions and objections their prospects have – and create content that answers all their questions and then some. Learn what your major prospects want to know and create personalized answers to their questions.
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. 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.
Aligning your content team’s goals with those your C-suite set makes even recent hires feel like they’ve played a significant role in your company’s overall success.
Define your expectations for your teams. Whether it’s meeting deadlines or creating a piece of 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. Your door should always be open to your team members.
Empower Your Team Members with Autonomy
As the Slack team points out in a September 2021 blog post, your creative teams do best when you empower them to do their job. Micro-management is so yesterday.
Of course, encourage them to reach out to you or one of their other teammates if they’re stuck knee-deep in writer’s block or have a question. But constant intrusions often kill creativity or stifle research. Effective 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
But it’s also the key to effective collaboration. When you have a content calendar that updates in real-time, it allows you to adjust on the fly the minute the editor suggests a change, an engineer fleshes out the technical details of your project-in-progress, or an executive wants to step up the deadline on your next blog post in response to current events.
Emails won’t cut it when time is of the essence. While collaboration tools like Slack are helpful, you need a digital “home” for every comment, note, attachment, and past content asset you own.
Everything you need right at your fingertips – not only static due dates and personnel assignments. Everyone working on a complex project – design, video production, and writing teams – need up-to-the-second updates so that every project is a coherent whole, not a patchwork of ideas.
The DivvyHQ content marketing platform includes such a content calendar. But unlike most content platforms, it also integrates a robust analytics solution, content automation, real-time collaboration capabilities, and much more.
With its nearly unlimited capacity to integrate third-party applications, your content teams can keep abreast with company-wide objectives, partnering with salespeople, subject matter experts, and customer support teams to create content that meets your corporate leadership’s goals.
And, even better, you can try it free with no obligation for 14 days. Make better collaboration your goal this new year. Start your free DivvyHQ trial today!