Content marketing is an area that demands input from multiple people. Depending on the size of your organization, you’ll likely have multiple creators, you’ll have strategists whose goals are to come up with the best direction and ideas, and you’ll have analysts dedicated to measuring results. Your success depends on these people being able to collaborate with each other, freely and efficiently, to exchange ideas, stay up-to-date, and ultimately, produce the best results.
Many software platforms and other technologies offer convenient ways to enable better collaboration—but if you want to get the most out of them, you’ll need to put them to use creatively.
Top Technology Hacks
When selecting and implementing your content collaboration tech, try using these hacks to improve your results:
- Diversify your software choices. Many businesses choose to keep their technological assets narrow in scope; they choose a single software partner and seek their products for all their collaboration, communication, and organization needs. There are some advantages to this approach, but you’ll get more for your money if you opt for a multi-vendor approach, with a more diverse set of products and services. This allows you to capitalize on specialty software from multiple sources, maximizing your potential return and giving you more flexible choices for adoption.
- Collect feedback from staff. This may seem like an obvious step, but many new content collaborators miss it. Obviously, you’ll want to improve productivity and performance, but bottom-line statistics (such as the number of messages exchanged or the number of tasks completed) can’t tell you much about how useful a product feels, or what shortcomings it might have. For that, you’ll need to interview your staff, and collect as much detailed feedback as possible to inform your future choices.
- Institute clear protocols for communication. It may seem silly to set up rules for how to talk and message each other, but most collaboration platforms only come with basic instructions on how the platform can be used; they don’t come with recommended protocols for when to take certain actions, or how messages should be organized. You’ll need to be proactive and outline these expectations proactively; also, don’t worry about getting something wrong. You can always change your protocols later.
- Rely on multiple mediums. Even if you find what appears to be the ideal platform for content collaboration, resist the urge to make it your only communication medium. Different mediums offer different advantages, so you’ll always need to have a range of different options on standby. Make sure you have chat apps, message apps, voice, and video options, as well as options within your task management platform(s).
- Have clear decision makers in charge of tech use. Rather than making every tech choice a group decision, designate one person the sole decider and representative authority on tech-related issues. This will eliminate the “design by committee” problem, encouraging faster decisions, and will also imbue one person with more expertise on the subject, to make higher-level and more informed choices.
- Specify areas of expertise. While you’re at it, try to designate your team’s responsibilities as clearly and specifically as possible. Instead of having three “content developers,” give each content developer on your team a specific area of expertise, and certain parameters for how to interact with the rest of the team. This doesn’t mean you need to establish a strict hierarchy, but you should help eliminate some problems with redundancy and confusion about who’s responsible for what.
- Improve efficiency through monitoring and assessments. Finally, keep a close eye on how your team performs while your new tech products are in use, both subjectively and objectively. Keep asking your staff how they feel about their performance, and try to spot communication issues before they become too problematic. Remember, new technology is always rolling out, so if a platform isn’t cutting it, you should probably eliminate it and find something new to replace it. There’s always room for an upgrade.
Is It the Product or the People?
Certain platforms will claim to boost your productivity, or enable specific types of collaboration that weren’t previously possible. Adding them to your repertoire can help you see better results; but ultimately, it’s the people on your team who will determine what gains you can make from this adoption. The type of technologies you use in content collaboration matter, but how your people use them is even more important.