Has your content team been impacted by the current concerns over the spread of coronavirus? For most companies, a lot of collaboration is required to get content planned, produced, and out the door in a timely fashion. So if your team suddenly finds themselves having to work from home, a fair amount of process disruption is likely to occur.
Luckily, technology has provided modern businesses with the ability to maintain efficiency and facilitate collaboration while working remote. Many companies already offer a variety of options for virtual work (laptops, VPNs, instant messaging apps, etc.), enabling more flexibility for staff. But you may be looking at this coronavirus situation with new eyes, wondering how your content team can collaborate effectively and keep up your normal pace. There are many opportunities to enhance and improve collaboration efforts. You simply need the right mindset and tools specifically built for content collaboration.
Team Dynamics Are Evolving
Years ago, many companies would have thought it impossible to develop strong working relationships without everyone being in the same location. Now, remote working continues to grow, experiencing a 44 percent growth in the last five years. Offering your team, the ability to work remotely provides many benefits.
Employees appreciate the ability to be flexible on days when coming into the office isn’t possible. It allows employers to cast a wider net in seeking talent since you can hire nationally instead of locally. Remote employees are often more productive as well.
But does distance make the collaboration bond weaker? It may have been a struggle when technology didn’t offer us the resources needed to take communication and cooperation further. Now, team members can instantly converse to resolve issues over instant messaging or chat platforms (ex: Slack). They can work through a problem face to face with video conferences and screen sharing (ex: Google Hangouts). Colleagues can also share and work on files simultaneously.
When it comes to content marketing, it’s a team sport. Lots of different people play essential roles in executing your content strategy. The question is, is your content team effectively collaborating? The answer to this question may have nothing to do with where everybody sits and more to do with how you define and support content collaboration.
What Are the Key Elements to Effective Content Collaboration?
In a perfect world, there would be no hurdles to successful collaboration. Everyone would be on the same page, and they’d all be able to work together seamlessly because they’re equipped with the right tools.
The reality is that content collaboration isn’t easy and we often see companies using tools that simply don’t benefit an already challenging process. You’re working with different silos, personalities, time constraints, multi-tasking, and communication breakdowns. Even if you have a strong culture with engaged employees, getting everybody to play nice and remember they’re on the same team can be difficult.
What you need to cultivate effective collaboration are a few key elements that help you resolve the challenges that come with highly collaborative work, especially when working remote.
Alignment of Goals, Objectives & Schedules
What derails collaboration more often than not is that team members aren’t on the same page, which could be aggravated by being remote. That’s because there may be ambiguity around exactly what your content marketing goals are. If you have a solid content strategy and have translated that into a content plan, then you have a foundation.
Keep building on that same foundation and consistently reiterate the goals and objectives you’ve defined. Every content project you develop should be in promotion of these goals. Work on any issues with clarity by being open and transparent about the expectations for your content.
Make Sure Your Team Is Inclusive and Receptive to All Opinions
Not everyone is going to agree all the time—and that’s actually a good thing. Conflict in work breeds innovation and ideation. It allows people to consider other perspectives and expand their opinions. So, you need to build an environment where all ideas are welcome and where your workers don’t feel nervous about sharing them.
The important thing here is to encourage discourse but also keep it from hindering collaboration or getting snarky. One great asset to move ideas forward when your team is working remote, is to have an idea repository as part of your content calendar. In this central hub, team members can contribute ideas and discuss details before they become projects.
Encourage Face Time
One of the concerns with remote collaboration is that a lot gets lost in translation when communication is merely text. It’s hard to discern tone sometimes in emails, chats, or notes (except, of course, when all caps are used, and we basically hear the person yelling at us).
To bridge the gaps and allow your team to build trust and rapport, video conferencing is a valuable tool. Consider how more smoothly your content meetings will go when everyone can see each other and talk openly about the roadblocks to getting a project completed. However, don’t overdo it on meetings.
Save meetings for complex projects or updates on content performance and goals. The day-to-day updates on status don’t need to be a meeting or even an email. Instead, using a content marketing software that automates notifications when changes are made to content plans and calendars will save you time that you can then use to focus on more important aspects.
Collaboration Is Easy and Stress-Free with the Right Tools
If you want to collaborate effectively with your teams when working remote, then you have to have the right tools. That starts with choosing a content marketing platform that provides a central hub for collaboration, allows you to streamline content workflows, execute content automation, and review content analytics. These foundational features encourage collaboration because the administrative aspects of content marketing run more smoothly.
When your team has mastered the process of planning, developing, perfecting, deploying, and measuring content, then there is more time to collaborate on the creative, not wasting time fighting technology that is not built for the unique nature of the content process. Collaboration can focus on how you’ll promote your newest solution or what content you should craft next to create excitement over an event (that may or may not get cancelled). The right tool can shift the focus away from the mundane to the most strategic kind of conversations.
No matter where your team is, you can master effective collaboration with the key elements necessary to transform how you relate to one another as a team. DivvyHQ can be a valuable asset to help you get there. Try it for free today.