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How to Collaborate Effectively with Your Team on Content Creation

Content Collaboration Tools Lead to Productive Teamwork

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Casey Botticello

Apr 16 2022

6 mins read

What’s Your Content Creation Process Like? 

If you are like most content marketers, there is a strong chance that you collaborate with others to keep up with the content demands of your business. Several people working together on any project allows you to increase the volume of content you produce and for more divergent thinking.


Collaborating on Content Creation

Putting high-quality content together involves several steps – ideation, research, writing, collaborating, editing, designing, publishing, and analysis.

Altogether, a well-thought-out blog post, infographic, podcast, video, or case study requires collaboration among several different people. Collaboration on content creation, however, can often be a mess, especially with more people trying to work together. Docs, spreadsheets, missed Slack messages - things get hectic quickly.

How can you ensure collaboration with team members is effective? Here are some tips you can follow.


Choose the Right Tools For Content Collaboration

On average, most content marketers will use five to 10 different tools to work on projects and communicate with other members of the team.

Pick the tools that best fit in with your content workflow. Think about your team size, volume of content you need to produce, whether your team is remote or in-person, and content formats. A team producing 4 blog posts, a newsletter, multiple Twitter threads, and a podcast weekly is going to need different tools from a one-person shop writing a blog post twice a month.

Some common tools you might want to consider for collaboration include Notion, Airtable, and Google Sheets. These can be used for general-purpose project management.

A content planning table in Notion

‎If you're looking for something that is specifically designed for content teams, Letterdrop helps you run a team of any size with an opinionated workflow. It helps you generate, collect, and prioritize ideas with keyword data and inputs from your team. You can also plan your content out on a calendar and track active projects with different approval steps.

Collect topic ideas in Letterdrop

Avengers Assemble! Put Together the Right Team

Collaboration might seem as if it is all about using the right tools and technology available. But tools are useless without the right people. Spend time putting together a team of professionals who truly enjoy what they do, whether researching, writing, editing, creating media, or recording interviews. Also, try to find people who complement each other in thought and skillset.

The strongest teams consist of people where everyone plays to their strengths and can fill in each other's weaknesses.


Centralize Content Collaboration For Your Sanity

While you will use several tools to create content, you want to make sure that your team agrees on a ground source of truth. It can get hairy to have multiple copies of spreadsheets lying around with stale data. You don't want to find yourself asking "Did we publish that on time?" or "Who's responsible for editing this piece?"

Whatever tool you pick, make sure you get your team aligned and behind it. Make sure every new team member has access to it. Run training sessions to make sure that everyone understands the process and knows how to use your project management tool. Record your training sessions so that people can go back and watch them if they have any questions.

Here's one way to think about building a process.

  1. Jot down all the jobs to be done involved in your content marketing process for a single article or piece of content. For example — generate ideas, do keyword research, plan out the content calendar, research a piece, write the piece, edit it, add media, approve it, etc.
  2. Using a spreadsheet or project management tool, assign tasks to each person on your team and inform them about it.
  3. Add due dates for each task.
  4. Ask your team to update the tracker as and when they complete their task.
  5. Ask your team to inform the person they need to pass the job on to once they're done.
  6. Sync daily on the stats of everything.

If you are setting this up for the first time, it might take a few weeks for team members to fall in line. It should become easier once the routine sets in. Either way, be sure to give it enough time.

A sample job tracker spreadsheet with writers assigned

‎If that sounds like a lot of work, consider a verticalized project management tool for content creation like Letterdrop that takes care of a lot of the above for you.


Decide on Leadership

Teams working on any project can get sidetracked. This is especially true for groups collaborating on creative projects such as content. Without direction, your team can disagree, paralyzing your well-oiled content machine in the process. Teammates can get burned out, demotivated and start procrastinating on work. Content is important but never urgent, so it's easy to delay.

Every successful team has a leader who is ultimately accountable for their team's performance. They keep tabs on deadlines, deliverables, and team morale. Don’t just pick someone because they have a specific background or had the title previously at another company. You should pick someone genuinely interested in stepping up, cares deeply about the team, can get along with everyone, takes ownership and is effective at communicating.


Make Sure Your Goals Are Achievable with Your Resources

Having ambitious goals is good, but they should also be realistic. Can your team actually churn out 20 articles every month?

Start with a solid content plan and work backwards to achieve your goals. Make sure you have the right resources from a tooling and talent standpoint. Communicate expectations with your team and give them weekly updates on how they're tracking towards the overall goal. Set clear targets and be transparent as possible when outlining your content needs. Plan this out months in advance and add plenty of buffer time. You should be able to run your content team like clockwork.

A team checking if their content goals for the month are achievable in Letterdrop

Use Video to Convey Complex Ideas

Asynchronous text communication is great when you work across timezones and don't need to consider people's schedules. While quick and easy to digest, text can lack tone and context, making it easy for team members to misunderstand directions. Also, async communication means you can't necessarily react to a person in real-time.

Remember to schedule a Zoom call when async text communication is failing you. Seeing each other's faces can help create rapport and build trust. You can also try async video tools like Loom.

Don't overdo it since you can't document video easily like you can do with text. Use video when introducing new ideas, discussing complex projects, and explaining changes to your workflow that may appear ambiguous.


Explain process to your content team using Loom

Conclusion

People working together on projects at every business, but you might need to tailor your tools and process according to the project. You can get by with general tools like spreadsheets, but if it's not meeting your needs, don't be afraid to upgrade to a tool designed specifically for your use case. Effective content collaboration can help you increase your throughput and create more content that your audience loves. Build trust with them, and ultimately turn them into customers for your business.


Casey Botticello is a writer, entrepreneur, and digital marketing consultant. He is the founder of Blogging Guide, an online community for writers.

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