Using collaboration to build great content
11th November 2020
Businesses often put a lot of pressure on their marketing department to be consistently churning out wonderful and original content ideas on a regular basis.
But while pressure is said to make diamonds, consistent and long-term pressure on your marketing department is actually more likely to result in un-original thought, a few late nights, and a heck of a lot of stress (which are definitely not a girl’s best friend).
The solution? More focus on planning and collaboration.
Here at ContentCal, we’ve been making a deliberate effort to extend our offering when it comes to planning and collaboration as the antidote to troubles surrounding content ideation.
Our goal (as ever) is to ease the pressure on your marketing department, encourage content suggestions from across the entire business, as well as make it easier to collect these ideas and add them to the content plan.
As a result… we’re pleased to introduce you to our newest feature; Contributions.
Contributions is our brand new feature that allows you to create custom-made forms in ContentCal that can be sent out to your team and clients via a sharable link. Anyone with the link can fill in the form to submit content ideas, thoughts, inspiration, or any media to be used in the upcoming content. All submissions will automatically appear in the Content Hub Library, ready for your content creator to pick up, edit, and add to the content plan.
Content ideation can be a struggle for any business and ContentCal is no exception. In preparing the content for Contributions, we decided to test this feature out for ourselves to make content ideation easier, and enable our wider team to get more involved in the marketing activity.
We love the idea of allowing our entire team to submit content ideas and suggestions as we firmly believe you don’t need to work in the marketing department in order to have great ideas for marketing. However, in the past, it’s been tricky for us to encourage content contributions from the team because this often would have involved hosting a brainstorming session (that a lot of people don’t have time for) or forcing people into 1 on 1 conversations with the marketing team (which can be intimidating for those who aren’t all too confident or experienced when it comes to marketing or content).
In short, collaboration was not the easiest thing to achieve, and even when we did get suggestions from the team, it was all too easy for us to file them away and forget about them.
Heading into our Contributions tab, we got the ball rolling by creating our form. We filled in all the relevant fields and made sure to add a description that clearly explained what we were asking for and what we were looking to achieve. Once ready, we copied the link to the form and shared it with everyone in our company via Slack.
(The form creation itself took less than 2 minutes)
It’s easy for those who aren’t accustomed to working with the marketing department to feel a little shy when asked to contribute ideas. It’s true that uptake was a little slow at first, but after giving the team a nudge and some reassurance, we found a handful of suggestions appearing in the Content Hub after 3-4 days.
Note: We also found that our team felt less censored and more willing to contribute when we set the Contributions form submissions to be anonymous!
Asking colleagues from other departments for their marketing suggestions is a great way to make the team feel valued and more ingrained in the company. And we’ve got to admit, we got some pretty great ideas with contributions coming in from a variety of departments including Sales, Tech, Product, and our Senior Management Team.
Feedback from our team suggested that they felt delighted to be asked for their thoughts and opinions on the matter, and were more than happy to get involved after the initial shock wore off. They also felt more engaged with the marketing department in general, and were keen to hear progress on how we were getting on or whether we needed their help with anything else.
Note: Contributions also allowed us to grant a voice to everyone in the business, without the faff of giving everyone access to our ContentCal account.
Ultimately, we found that Contributions provided an un-intimidating space for our team to quietly think and submit their ideas while the outcome itself was more than successful with a number of submissions providing the fresh perspective we craved.
Not only did we enable our team to feel more comfortable in collaborating, but it was 10 times easier for us to collect all responses from the Content Hub and easily slot them into the upcoming content plan.
Contributions is available for all Custom / Enterprise plans at an additional cost. If you would like to discuss your options please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org