Take This Step To Get Over Your Fear of Content Collaboration [Rose-Colored Glasses]


I usually hear that phrase once I ask what’s incorrect with a company’s advertising and content material operations.

Think about how concepts get remodeled into advertising messages, built-in into content material belongings, and disseminated onto channels. That course of normally begins with a small crew – and even one individual. Next, a pacesetter someplace within the firm establishes a set of general themes or campaigns to speak worth. Then, these priorities make their technique to the sides of the group, the place they’re remodeled into content material (with various levels of effectivity).

At least, that’s the way in which it’s speculated to work.

Spoiler alert: It normally doesn’t.

Visibility into the content supply chain is the most common problem for #marketing and #content teams, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIcontent. Click To Tweet

Ideas are invisible till they’re content material

Businesses usually fall into the “content strategy trap,” the place content material is everyone’s job however no person’s technique. And that results in a difficult workflow and problematic outcomes.

A gradual or strict content material workflow might immediate the public-facing edges of the group (i.e., gross sales groups, regional places of work, customer support reps, or PR/comms) to hunt a unique resolution. They find yourself creating their very own content material primarily based on what they assume the primary messages are. A push-pull battle ensues the place these public-facing groups create content material to “get stuff done,” however content material leaders see them as going rogue.

In distinction, a lax or regularly altering method (the place priorities and themes shift usually) causes groups within the center (i.e., model, advertising, digital) to resort to patching issues collectively. But the concepts from all the varied teams doing the patching not often pull collectively to create a significant entire.

In each conditions, all practitioners face the identical problem – visibility. They can’t see what’s coming, who’s doing what, and even what’s working.

Without visibility into #content plans, teams can’t see what’s coming, who’s doing what, or what’s working, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIcontent. Click To Tweet

Fear of collaboration sinks content material initiatives

That lacking visibility comes from the shortage of a correct content material technique. But the actual illness – or, quite, a phobia – is the worry of collaboration.

I sometimes see this worry present itself in 3 ways:

1. Fear of loss of management

I labored with a tech agency the place the product advertising and engineering crew set the core messaging. The crew established the thought management agenda, advertising messaging, worth proposition, and product marketing campaign themes. They structured these initiatives into proposed product launches, updates, and themes for the advertising marketing campaign crew to execute.

The content material concepts made their technique to a content material crew, which engaged exterior companies and analysts to create them. But when product or theme modifications occurred, the sides of their group (akin to the worldwide areas and subject advertising) didn’t discover out concerning the new content material till months later.

They didn’t desire a extra collaborative method involving the sector advertising groups, for instance. They prioritized consistency of messaging over time to market.

Unfortunately, they achieved neither.

2. Fear of an excessive amount of course of

A medical gadget firm I labored with struggled to publish high-quality content material persistently. The PR/comms crew ran an attention-grabbing influencer program. The product advertising crew labored with an company to supply brochures and spec sheets. The content material crew labored with analysts and material consultants to put in writing white papers. But none of the groups labored collectively. Though pockets of wonderful content material existed, largely mediocre content material from throughout the siloed group ended up on their digital channels.

A extra collaborative, cross-functional method sounded horrible to them. They instructed me, “If we put that much into the process, we’d never get anything done. It will slow us down too much.”

But by not widening their course of, they ensured that the wonderful content material every crew produced would stay siloed and unseen by many. Instead of leveraging fewer, higher items of content material throughout all channels, they’d extra –however common – content material in every channel.

3. Fear of failure

I as soon as labored with a consulting agency the place every apply space managed its content material advertising. Each had its personal method of overlaying subjects and creating content material. But they wrote about the identical subjects and competed for viewers consideration.

When we recommended wrapping every apply’s information and thought management right into a single channel, every group revealed its worry that their collective concepts wouldn’t be “good enough” within the view of the opposite practices.

Unfortunately, they let that worry outweigh the advantages of working collectively.

So, how are you going to be certain your group’s collaboration fears don’t sink your content material targets?

Content provide chain visibility

The world of logistics teaches an exquisite lesson. Many firms battle with the visibility of their provide chain – from uncooked supplies to completed merchandise. And that makes it difficult to handle the price of their merchandise and prospects’ evolving wants.

To handle this problem, logistics firms now use tech-based provide chain visibility and collaboration options that permit them monitor a product from uncooked supplies to manufacturing and into prospects’ palms.

In the same method, including visibility into the content material course of might help organizations recover from the worry of collaboration. One productive method to do that to introduce a content material collaboration software to the workflow course of. These instruments present visibility and entry not solely to content material that’s able to publish but additionally to content material that’s nonetheless in manufacturing. It provides everybody into what’s accessible and what’s going to be accessible.

Adding visibility to the #content process can help organizations overcome the fear of collaboration, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIcontent. Click To Tweet

Embrace the mess

A content material technique doesn’t need to be a templated meeting line. And content material collaboration can occur with out giving up management, including stifling forms, or exposing weaknesses.

The secret is to acknowledge the way in which content material is created, managed, and activated is messy. It might be OK if the regional places of work do their very own factor, a bunch of material consultants creates stuff that they don’t share readily, or each group makes use of a unique company to get issues achieved.

But what’s not OK is that one crew doesn’t know what the others are doing. You will need to have a communication mechanism (whether or not an individual, expertise, or each) to verify everybody is aware of what the regional places of work, the subject material consultants, and exterior companies are doing.

I usually use the metaphor of air site visitors management. If, as a enterprise, you may see all of the planes within the sky, those about to take off, and those touchdown now, you may make choices that take your colleagues’ work into consideration. That’s a kind of collaboration.

Now, content material strategists would possibly discover their eyes twitching in any respect that mess. I perceive. Ideally, you need to direct all of the planes to verify no crashes occur. That can come subsequent.

Building a contemporary content material technique that encourages collaboration on the first steps of ideation and creation might be overwhelming. Sometimes, getting over that worry requires taking that one step.

Make every little thing seen.

If nothing else occurs, it provides you with the braveness to take that second vital step: Build the method to begin managing the planes.

It’s your story. Tell it properly.

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute