When I first began my career in content marketing in 2008, it was a very introverted profession. Things have changed over the past decade in ways that I never would have expected. Collaborative content marketing is now the new frontier.
Why collaborative content marketing is the future of the profession
According to the experts at the Content Marketing Institute, collaborative content marketing is based on the premise that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
A few years ago, the emphasis on collaborative content marketing was on different businesses consolidating their marketing efforts. A number of brands would leverage daily deal sites and platforms such as Fishbowl Marketplace to expand the reach of their collective marketing resources.
More brands have started to explore the benefits of internal collaboration strategies, as well. They have begun investing in more sophisticated content marketing teams.
Here are some compelling reasons to share content as a team.
Overcoming individual tunnel vision
Everybody has their own blind spots. Content marketers are no exception. Working together as a team can help each individual overcome those biases.
My colleague Vicky discovered this with her new giveaways site. She began working on the site as a solo marketer. She told me that she invested nearly 10 hours a month sharing custom images on Pinterest. Vicky enjoyed using the platform, but refused to be discouraged by analytics reports showing that it was not helping her generate traffic.
Despite her wasted efforts on Pinterest, she grew that site through other marketing channels. Vicky eventually need it to onboard three other marketers to assist her. One of them went through her analytics reports and made a strong case based on hard data. Her assistant helped her realize that Investing and Pinterest was not an effective use of her time and resources.
They changed their content marketing strategy as a result. They got a much higher ROI on their marketing resources, because they made group decision on which resources to leverage.
Leveraging larger and more diverse networks
Each member of the team should be encouraged to actively build their own professional social media presence. This will be invaluable to the rest of the team.
Each team member is going to take different steps to build their social media profiles. The team will likely amass a following of people from various demographics and professional backgrounds. Encouraging all of them to reach their respective followers will yield a message that reaches a more diverse audience than one that is delivered by a single marketer.
Creating more optimized workflows
Following a fragmented content marketing approach doesn’t leave much room for improving efficiency. Each marketer can only explore a few ways to improve their own work models. They will always be restricted by their own limitations.
Workflows with larger teams tend to be more intricate. There are many more opportunities for project managers to identify ways to streamline the process. They can evaluate the following:
- Strengths and weaknesses of each member of the team.
- Aspects of the funnel where all team members tend to fall short. This can be indication that more resources or new approaches are needed.
- Team members that have the best synergy with each other.
- The need for incentives for team members that struggle to meet projections.
Brian Watson of the Content Marketing Institute delves into more detail on the importance of analyzing and optimizing team workflows to eliminate bottlenecks.
“Focusing on the bottleneck allows you to work on improving production processes where improvement is most needed. Any focus on a non-bottleneck task will only bring marginal improvement or no results to the overall system. In fact, it’s likely to create greater waste. Taking the time to identify and break your bottleneck is the key to increasing and attaining your content production goals.”
Using group influence to overcome skepticism and improve the perception of credibility
Groups tend to have an easier time generating momentum for their content marketing strategies. One of the reasons is that their message is more easily accepted when it is affirmed by their peers.
I recently conducted a meta-analysis of one of my client’s content marketing campaigns. During the first two weeks of the campaign, Only the senior content marketing manager was syndicating content. After that point, several other team members begin participating. I noticed that even after factoring for the increased team size, the number of social media shares and mentions were increasing 42% more quickly. Part of this appeared to be the fact that some of the team members had deeper social networks than the content manager. However, that didn’t account for the entire difference.
After reviewing my social media analytics reports, I saw that many of the followers that began sharing the content had previously viewed it. It appeared that they may have been skeptical of the content first time it was shared. However, after seeing other marketers syndicating it, it seems to have more buy-in.
The lesson from my findings seemed clear. Larger groups have an easier time reframing narratives, which helps them share content that may otherwise have difficulty gaining traction.