Your Basic Guide to Content Collaboration

By Yauhen Zaremba

Your Basic Guide to Content Collaboration

They say teamwork makes the dream work. And when it comes to creating content, two heads are often better than one. 

If you’re working on an upcoming project, campaign or type of marketing collateral, it may be worth considering teaming up with someone else. Or perhaps you’ve already started looking for a partner to collaborate with. 

The benefits are certainly numerous. But before you get going, it’s worth understanding how to get the most out of your content collaboration. Here’s your basic guide to producing content as a team.


What is content collaboration?

Put simply, content collaboration means working together with others to create a piece, or multiple pieces, of content.

The term itself can be used in a variety of different contexts. If you’re working with fellow team members to craft content, you’re engaging in content collaboration – just as you would be if you joined forces with someone from another team or company.

Either way, you’ll typically bring your ideas together. To do this, you might work collaboratively in standard business document templates.

Content collaboration can involve as many or as few people as you’d like. For example, you might want to collaborate with only one or two individuals for some projects or with entire teams for others.

In addition, content collaboration can span multiple projects or just be a one-off campaign.


3 benefits of content collaboration

So why is content collaboration important? As a creative, you may think that working alone is your best option as it allows you to have full control over the content. However, there are numerous advantages to producing content as a team. 

Here are just three benefits of content collaboration: 

1. Keep fresh ideas flowing

Even the most creative people in the world can’t come up with every idea there will ever be. Collaborative content creation creates room for new voices to have a say in your content, ensuring that the end products feel fresh.

In particular, if you’re planning to regularly implement collaborative projects, you can make sure your content creation team never runs out of ideas.

What's more, collaborating on ideas means your content creators won’t find themselves stuck in a rut. Instead, they’ll continually have new thoughts, voices, and opinions to inspire their content.

2. Appeal to new audiences

Not everyone has the same shared background, knowledge, or level of experience. By relying on content collaborations, you can more easily guarantee that your content will keep being relevant to a wider demographic.

For example, let’s say you’re looking to collaborate with an influencer that’s particularly relevant to young women. You’ll be able to create content tailored to the tastes of that demographic, even if your usual content isn’t targeted at them. This makes your content more appealing to those young women.

Every collaboration is unique. That means each one gives you the chance to connect with new audiences and individuals.

3. Introduce diversity of thought

As mentioned above, people from different walks of life have different ideas – but the concept of producing content as a team goes a little deeper than that. 

Individuals with very different backgrounds to your content creation team members will naturally think along different lines. This will shake up your content in the best ways.

Diversity of thought helps keep your content fresh, just as it helps with suggesting new methods and approaches. This ensures your content creation strategies can keep growing and improving thanks to your content collaborations.


How to pick content collaboration partners

So, you’ve established that it’s a good idea to collaborate with others so you can create the best possible content. But who is going to make the optimal partner?

When you’re assessing prospective collaboration partners, ask yourself the following questions to help you narrow down whether they’re the right fit for you and your team.

What can this partner bring to the collaboration?

Do they have new ways of thinking, unusual approaches, or fresh ideas? If not, is there something specific they can add to the content to enhance its quality? Do they have something you need?

Your collaboration partners are more than just people to work with; they’re co-creators of the content you’ll be putting out. This means you should trust that what they bring to the table is well worth having in the finished product. 

Perhaps they also have the expertise to share. For example, you might already know how to create a quote in Salesforce, but not how to edit video content on Windows devices. In this instance, an experienced video content creator could help you to create new videos.

If you’re having a hard time thinking of anything intriguing or new that a potential partner can add to your content, then they might not be the right fit for you.

Does this partner have original ideas?

At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to create content without ideas. Even if they are cliche or overdone, ideas act as the foundation for your content. So if a potential partner simply doesn’t have any unique concepts, they may not be the best option for collaboration.

That said, not every partner has to come up with the single most unheard-of idea you’ve ever encountered. That would make it quite difficult to find new partners continuously! Instead, ask yourself whether the ideas they bring forward are interesting and engaging to both you and your audience.

In short, your partner’s ideas have to suit your content needs and expectations.

Is this partner relevant and interesting to my audience?

At the end of the day, you’re not creating content in a vacuum. Someone’s going to be the target of it, and those people need to enjoy what you’re creating. Otherwise, they won’t want to consume it.

That’s why the partner you choose has to connect with that audience.

Sometimes, your prospective partner may have nothing in common with the people you’re creating content for, or they don’t seem to understand them. In this case, even if they do bring new ideas to the table, they might not be the right collaborator. That’s because the resultant content might just not be relevant to your target demographics.


Content collaboration best practices

Once you’ve chosen your perfect partner, there are some content collaboration best practices to keep in mind. Use these as guidelines to inform your overall content collaboration approach.

1. Be flexible

It’s easy to get used to the way things run at your own company and within your team. However, not every content creator works in the same way. Many of them will work in ways you’re unfamiliar with.

That’s why it’s crucial to stay flexible.

For example, you might prefer to work on contracts in Word documents, but your collaborator(s) may not favor that format. In that instance, you’ll want to consider an online contract creator which could offer other, more official document formats.

2. Do your research

Just as you would with any new project or partnership, it’s always wise to head into a new content collaboration after having done plenty of research.

You should at least know the basic details about the people you’re collaborating with, so you can work with them effectively. Additionally, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the topic you’ll be creating content on together.

3. Brainstorm extensively

This is particularly important for first-time collaborations.

Of course, planning and brainstorming are always crucial. But if you haven’t worked with someone before, you probably don’t know what they think. The more ideas you put out together, the more likely you are to arrive at a final plan that you’re both satisfied with.

Additionally, brainstorming gives you a chance to show your partner(s) how you think. That’s valuable, particularly when they can also connect you with others whom they feel will be compatible with your thinking style. In other words, you can set yourself up for future collaborations.

4. Keep switching things up

Content collaboration is a great way to spice up your marketing by trying new things. For example, if you normally put out video content, try collaborating on a new medium.

This ensures you keep your audience engaged. But it also keeps your content fresh, so they never get bored or wonder whether you’re capable of new things. Plus, you never know when you’ll stumble across content that works unexpectedly well. 

Discover: 5 Ways To Avoid Content Collaboration Chaos


Take your content to the next level

Content collaboration has the potential to take your content marketing to a new level. For that reason, it’s worth the time and energy to make room in your content creation strategy for regular collaborations.

Collaborating effectively within your team will ensure you’re always able to produce high-quality content that your audience will enjoy. It could even help you reach a new demographic. 

At the same time, collaborating with external creators and influencers will lead to fresh ideas and new content every time, ensuring your audience stays engaged and invested.

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Yauhen Zaremba

Yauhen is the Senior Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years, and for the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, online waiver system, and document management markets. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips every year.

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