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We Need to Rethink Content Collaboration: Here’s How

For years, content marketing has been in the spotlight for business owners and marketing officers all over the world. Google algorithm updates, new technologies, and evolving customer preferences have forced us to change our strategies, making us choose more specific niches and write more detailed articles – but we’ve been focusing too much on the finished product and not the internal processes that allow us to make them.

Approaches to Content Collaboration

Orchestrating a content marketing campaign takes multiple people, but the common methods of collaboration all leave something to be desired.

1. The silo approach. In the silo approach, each individual has a specific set of responsibilities, and are expected to execute them with minimal engagement from others. This is common in smaller operations, with only a handful of team members. Here, it’s possible to have each team member wholly responsible for different types of content production (such as a writing specialist and a video specialist) or different content approaches (such as on-site vs. off-site content).

What’s Wrong With It

This is problematic because it leads to a silo mentality; your content campaign can head in multiple different directions at once, and your team members may end up generating stale ideas because they aren’t exposed to new perspectives.

2. The assembly line. In an assembly line approach, you’ll still deal with specialists, but each specialist will deal with a different stage of development. For example, you might have writers who draft content, editors who polish it, publishers who distribute it, and marketers who promote it. This method is efficient, but still has a handful of problems.

What’s Wrong With It

In the assembly line, different roles rarely interact with one another. Writers at the beginning of the assembly line aren’t aware of the promotion process, or what they can do to improve it. As content works through each phase, it’s also transformed, leading to a one-directional process that could leave you with overly repetitive choices.

3. The committee. In a committee approach, multiple people will work on the same phase collaboratively. For example, you might have two or three writers working on a given piece, and once they’re done, they’ll work together to publish and/or promote it. It’s a way to improve your finished product by including more diverse opinions and perspectives, but it’s not without its share of issues.

What’s Wrong With It

The running joke of “design by committee” has some truth in it; with too many people making crucial decisions, your operation will slow to a crawl. You may also lose the strength of key influential voices, and nobody will specialize in anything, potentially compromising your expertise in some areas.

Tips for a Hybrid Model

The only way forward is to rethink your approach to content marketing by hybridizing multiple traditional models. No single approach is perfect, so yours needs to be malleable.

  • Cater to your team. Pay attention to who’s good at what, and build your content processes around them.
  • Mix it up. Don’t keep doing the same thing the same way over and over; your content will get stale.
  • Invite new voices. Work with guest contributors and independent contractors to revitalize your content (and your internal means of collaboration as well).
  • Rely on the best tech you can. Collaboration is easier when you have tools like SAP’s content collaboration software at your disposal, streamlining communication and improving transparency.
  • Get the team together. Make sure your team members understand each other’s roles and are free to exchange new ideas.

With these tips, you’ll be able to maximize your operational efficiency while still churning out some of the best content in your niche.

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