How to Improve Collaboration Between Marketers and Content Creators

How to Improve Collaboration Between Marketers and Content Creators

By some estimates, as much as 90% of the marketing content that’s created
never gets used.

There are plenty of reasons behind this shortcoming.
Salespeople are busy. They may not have the time to sort through an endless
marketing library when they have an engaged prospect on the line. Marketers
contribute to content irrelevancy as well. When campaign priorities change
quickly, whole collections of assets may no longer be useful if they don’t support
the organization’s new goals.

But there’s another challenge that can limit the effectiveness of content: lackluster collaboration between marketers and creators. When disconnects occur in these relationships, the resulting content will almost always struggle to meet expectations. Here’s how to improve collaboration between the two groups in order to produce more successful content:

Regular Meetings are a Must

Very few companies exist these days at which marketing
priorities remain consistent from month to month and year to year. Business
moves quickly, and this often leaves marketers scrambling to respond to new

When campaigns evolve quickly, it can be challenging to keep
all stakeholders in the loop. This is especially true when companies rely on
freelance creators or other external contributors; “out of sight, out of mind”
can be a very real risk to collaboration.

For content creators to effectively support marketing’s
needs, the two teams must be in regular communication. This should include:

  • Weekly (or, at least, monthly) team meetings to discuss current priorities and how content can support them
  • A channel for real-time communication (such as a team chat tool) that allows for faster updates on an ongoing basis

Putting these resources in place isn’t just about
facilitating feedback. It’s also about setting the expectation that marketers
and creators must be in regular contact with each other for both groups to be

Speak Each Other’s Language

Another challenge that has the potential to inhibit
effective collaboration between marketers and content creators is that the two
teams can have very different aims. Marketers, for example, tend to be most
concerned with whether or not the assets their teams create are moving the
needle on their campaign goals.

Creators, on the other hand, tend to prioritize quality.
Writers want to produce the most eloquently crafted copy they can. Graphic
designers and videographers want to push creative boundaries by deploying every
skill they possess and every type of technology possible.

When the two teams are aligned, each of these goals can
support the other: marketers can benefit from cutting-edge creatives, while
creators enjoy the knowledge that their work is producing results. But if this
alignment isn’t established and maintained, it can cause conflict between the
two groups.

Enabling proper collaboration comes down to each team learning
to speak the other’s language. Performance-focused marketers must learn to give
creative feedback that pushes projects forward in a way that’s likely to
improve the results of individual assets. Similarly, creators should educate
themselves on how their creatives contribute to campaign performance to better
understand what marketers need to get out of their creative assets.

Focus on Outcomes

One way to overcome the hurdle posed by the different goals
of marketers and creators is to focus on project outcomes, rather than appeal
or aesthetics.

Yes, creative content should always be as high-quality as
possible. But “quality” is subjective. If quality is held up as the standard
against which content is judged, this opens up the potential for disagreements
between marketers and creators about what truly constitutes “quality” work.

Instead, teams should use the regular meetings described
above to identify target outcomes for each piece of content being created.

  • Is the goal of the blog post being written to encourage
    comments? To drive email opt-ins? To direct readers to a sales page?
  • Is the graphic being designed intended to encourage
    social shares? Or just to encourage brand affiliation?
  • Should the success of a video being filmed be measured
    by its total views? By the number of viewers who watch the entire video (vs
    dropping off partway through)? By the number of social shares?

When these outcomes are discussed openly and agreed upon in
advance by both marketers and creators, campaign success becomes much more
likely. Marketers can be confident that the creative work produced will meet
their needs to the greatest extent possible, while creators will feel reassured
by having a defined structure to work within while creating content.

Collaborating in this way requires accountability on the
part of both parties. Neither marketers nor creators can steer the ship on
their own. But by working together through regular meetings, by understanding
each other’s needs, and by coming to advance agreements regarding the target
outcomes of all content to be produced, both parties can feel confident in
their ability to create performance-driven content that supports campaign

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