Collaboration and Co-Creation in Content Marketing

Jonatan Parski CEO

Do you want to take your content to the next level? Our crew can help! Request a free sample of 5,000 words, or speak with a founder.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Collaboration and Co-Creation in Content Marketing

With regard to the internet, content is any text that can be found on any web page; therefore, content marketing refers to all strategies intended to get more potential customers to view certain content.  So, what are the ways content marketing can work for your site? Two effective strategies in content marketing are collaboration and co-creation.

What is collaboration in terms of content? Collaboration is what you do when you work with someone to produce something. Co-creation (of content) sounds fancy, but all it means in this context is that two or more individuals or entities work on creating content together. How can we collaborate for content marketing? We’ve all been taught that two brains are better than one; co-creation is a true testament to this concept. 

Usually, in the context of content marketing, co-creation takes the form of companies in collaboration with third parties, which could be other companies or other individuals. The collaborating parties work towards the co-creation of different types of co-created content, including not only textual posts, but also media like videos or ebooks.

What Are The Benefits Of Collaboration and Co-Creation For Content Marketing?

What is the benefit of collaborating with others for content marketing? Not everybody enjoys collaboration, and not everybody works effectively when they work on the co-creation of content as part of a group. However, if you have the right people, collaboration and co-creation can be really beneficial to all parties involved. A group of people collaborating on content marketing is virtually guaranteed to come up with better and more innovative ideas than a single individual, especially when members of the group have different skill sets and come from different companies. Sometimes collaboration with people who are not even in the same industry works really well.

Doing your content marketing on your own is possible, but it’s much more fun to do when you work with the right partners. It’s also much more effective: whenever you have additional people working on your team, the team is likely to come up with additional bright ideas you can use to enhance your content marketing strategy. Everyone brings something different to the table, creating fresh and new ideas. 

How can a business increase its profits? According to some of the best in the business, innovation, and especially innovative marketing, is the best way for businesses to increase their profits. And when parties work in collaboration on the co-creation of high-quality content, the extra ideas are critical for companies to provide added value to their customers. If you try collaboration with other businesses or companies for your content marketing, you could benefit in several ways:

Online reach

When you do your own content marketing, you may manage to get your content out to your own target market. However, when you collaborate, your co-created content is likely to reach your own target market and the target market of whoever you’re collaborating with.

That’s why the essential first step in collaboration or co-creation in content marketing is picking the right partner. Usually, collaboration with a company that is your direct competitor isn’t such a great idea. Rather, try collaborating with a company or brand with a product that goes with or complements your own product. What is an example of brand collaboration? There is plenty of brand collaboration within the food industry, namely fast food. For example, Taco Bell collaborates with Doritos and launches a Doritos Locos Taco sporadically as a specialty menu item. 

Getting pro tips

As the old cliché goes, two heads are better than one, especially in the context of the co-creation of content. Any time you’re in collaboration with anyone, chances are that the two of you will come up with twice as many ideas as either one of you could on your own.

If you are the owner of a start-up or small business, and you get the chance for co-creation of content with a large, well-known, and well-established brand or company, you will be able to benefit from their experience. The larger brand or company will very likely be able to bring expertise, marketing tools, or strategies to the partnership that the smaller partner would have been unable to access alone.

Networking

Working in collaboration with other companies on a mutually beneficial co-created content project is a fantastic way of making potentially useful contacts, as well as forging new friendships.

If, for example, you manage to do some collaboration or co-creation with someone in a related industry, on a campaign that promotes products from both your companies, that’s a win-win situation for everybody! In addition, this collaboration could provide a foundation for the co-creation of something like a joint line of products in the future. A popular example of co-creation is Uber and Spotify, where many users who weren’t previously using both are now subscribers. 

Although your own company should support you in the most important ways, developing a network of business allies outside of your own organization can help if you find you’re not always getting what you need from your own colleagues.

Creative brilliance

When you have two heads instead of one (during collaboration), you’re likely to come up with twice as many creative ideas about how to create content that will really work for you. Moreover, when you have new parties in a dialogue, the process of co-creation often sparks out-of-the-box ideas that neither party would have come up with on their own. That’s what makes co-created content so beneficial.

In collaboration and co-creation situations, the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts!

Working with others is especially effective when you want to generate as many ideas as possible.
Working with others is especially effective when you want to generate as many ideas as possible.

Practical Steps for Successfully Setting Up a Collaboration Project

Every collaborative content marketing project is different, and all co-created content is different. Therefore, it would be a bad idea to try and force all collaboration and co-creation efforts into the same format. There are three basic things you’ll have to do to get any type of collaboration off the ground: choose the right brand to partner with, create your content, and choose the channels to publish your content on.

Picking your collaboration partner

When people pair up with others in joint ventures, it tends to be those in similar industries or those promoting or producing similar products. This is by no means the only type of collaboration or co-creation that can be beneficial in content marketing.

You’ll probably want to pick a collaboration partner who:

  • Already has an audience you’d benefit from reaching
  • Already has established content that complements your own
  • Already has content your own audience likes
  • Already has successful content marketing strategies they can show your team
  • Already has a significant social media following
  • Is already established on platforms you’d like to target
  • Has a product or service similar to yours – but not so similar as to comprise competition

Co-creating your content

To some extent, the type of co-creation content that’s best for you will depend on where you plan to publish it. However, certain general guidelines apply to all the different types of media and publishing sites. For all types of co-creation and collaboration content, you’ll need to:

  • Research your keywords – to ensure that the content you create will be maximally discoverable by search engines and by the target audience you have identified
  • Decide what type of content to create and think where it would be best to publish it
  • Create quality content – including blog content, email copy and ad copy. Be creative 
  • Use plenty of attention-grabbing headlines and visuals, and tailor everything to the audience you are hoping will view your content

Picking your channels

You need to identify your ideal audience and put your co-creation content where it’s most likely to reach and appeal to them.

Even if all your marketing is online, there are a number of different marketing channels you can utilize to get your content in front of your ideal viewers. Social media campaigns, email marketing efforts, and paid searches are just some of the options to consider.

You don’t have to publish on social media if you don’t want to, but social media marketing remains one of the most effective forms of content marketing.

Practical Steps for Successful Co-Creation In Content Marketing

Here are some important steps you’ll need for the successful co-creation of content. This list of steps may help you start if you can’t think how to go about co-creating. It may also help you not to forget anything important in the process. 

Writing the creative brief

Even if the point of your content marketing campaign seems straightforward, you’ll be surprised how many extra ideas will come up when you sit around the table in collaboration with your partners and do a formal co-creation strategy plan. Planning what you want to do and writing it down will help keep you on track if you get tempted to spend time following up something that is interesting, but doesn’t add value to your co-creation project.

Mapping out the co-creation project

Once you have the inspiration for your co-creation project, you need to make it concrete. List all the tasks that need to be done and break each one down into components or steps. Free or paid collaboration tools can make this easier, especially if you have a large team or are working on the co-creation of a complex project.

Assigning the tasks

Next you need to figure out who will do each task, and when each task needs to be completed. The larger your collaboration and co-creation team, and the more complicated the steps of your process, the more important it is to plan everything in advance, and to keep a careful record of tasks as they are completed. However, even with quite a small team and straightforward collaboration process, it’s beneficial to think everything through carefully in advance, minimizing the risk that someone will forget something important down the line.

Establishing a review process in co-creation

How are you going to check that the co-creation process is on track? Who on the collaboration team will be responsible for each element of the checking process? These are also things you need to figure out before you start. When establishing your review process, check back to your creative brief to ensure that the goals you set out all in the beginning are achieved by the end of the collaboration.

Types of Content To Collaborate On

There’s no such thing as any type of content completely unsuited to collaboration or co-creation. However, some types work especially well for collaboration and co-creation in the content marketing context. These include guest posts, interviews, case studies, social media takeovers, giveaways, podcasts, and roundups.

Guest posts

Guest posts make excellent co-creation and collaboration content for blog owners.

If you run a blog, you’ll probably welcome the chance to get some outside input, because coming up with ideas for interesting topics to write about gets harder and harder the longer your blog runs. When you get a guest to post on your blog, you develop fresh content, plus the collaboration will probably bring you some views from the guest’s audience you wouldn’t have otherwise.

If you’re the one producing content for other people’s sites, you’ll probably get views from an audience you might not otherwise have. It can even be worth paying for professionally written blog posts, as a skilfully crafted blog post can hold the key to improving your site’s SEO performance.

Interviews

When you interview somebody and publish the interview on your page, you can benefit from this type of co-creation with a relatively small amount of effort. When you do an interview, you have to think in advance about the questions you’d like to ask, but it doesn’t really matter if you don’t ask all the questions you planned, and if you suddenly think of something else, you can improvise. Conversations may spark creative insight to future forms of collaborating for your brand. You never know where an impromptu conversation might lead. 

The interviewee is talking spontaneously and therefore doesn’t need to spend time preparing, editing, and revising a script. Nobody expects people to speak totally grammatically all the time in an interview, so it doesn’t matter if your interviewee ums a bit. What someone says in an interview is not usually totally polished and word-perfect – and that makes interviews more realistic and could even spark some unpredicted but beneficial conversation. 

Typically, in less than an hour, interviews can result in the co-creation of content that will be valuable for your site and help bring traffic to both parties.

Case Studies

Success stories from happy customers make great co-creation marketing material. While you’re explaining the story and the client is explaining why s/he was so happy with your service or product, there’s plenty of opportunity to publicize valuable information about your product or service.

This is especially true if some of your happy customers are important or influential individuals that your site visitors are likely to take seriously.

Social Media Takeovers

Social media takeovers are an innovative and fun way to make the co-creation of content work for you.

In every business, there will normally be a certain employee responsible for social media content. They will have been chosen because they have the skills and characteristics to suit them to this role. But when you stir up the status quo, amazing things can happen.

Try letting one of the other employees take charge of creating your social media content for a day. Encourage the person to post details about their tasks and experiences during the day, so that the collaboration reveals a personal glimpse into the aspects of how the company functions.

This strategy has several benefits:

  • It educates your audience about what your company does, without being promotional.
  • It shows that the company has confidence in its employees, because it trusts them to post whatever they want, without preparing the script for them.
  • It portrays the company as consisting of human beings, with personal lives and concerns, rather than as an impersonal business entity. This is something unique and different from typical content marketing and will bring your company more site visitors.
  • Social media takeovers can even help in talent recruitment, because people will see how nice it is to work for your company that they’ll want to get in on the action!

For a typical employee, a page in a daily journal is ordinary, but getting a glimpse into somebody else’s day is intriguing!  

Giveaways

Even if you’re not in the business of content co-creation, something that applies in virtually any setting is that everybody likes free stuff. If potential customers are given an item for free, or especially if they win an item in some competition, that item usually seems more special to that person than if s/he purchased the item in the normal way.

When you are in collaboration with other companies, you have the option of getting a donated item from those companies’ product ranges, to spice up the range of prizes you can offer. Getting free gifts is always exciting, regardless whether the gifts are large or small. 

Podcasts

Podcasts are fast becoming one of the best kinds of collaboration projects for companies and marketers, in which the podcasts are co-created by the caster and the advertiser.

Between 2019 and 2021, the total number of hours people spend listening to podcasts has increased by about 25%, from 12 billion up to 15 billion. That’s a lot of customers listening to a lot of podcasts! What’s more, about a fifth of those customers end up buying the products and services they hear advertised in the podcasts.

Just as guest posting benefits both the poster and the host, podcasts benefit both host and guest, and draw in a bigger audience than either could get on their own.

Roundups

Publishing roundups is another quick and easy way to reap the benefits of collaboration and co-creation.

Basically, a roundup is just a list. On your blog, you write a list of X number of the best Y companies, the top X ways your company can do Y, or something similar. Those kinds of lists attract anyone who is looking for ideas before starting a project and would appreciate being able to find a bunch of useful resources all in the same place.

Once you get a roundup going, you need to update it regularly to keep your visitors coming back to your site again and again, finding useful and new blog posts every time.

When you find some industry experts, and you publish “Mr. X’s top 10 favorite Ys,” you get the benefits you’d get from the co-creation of an interview with Mr. X plus the benefits you’d get from publishing the roundup of the best Y products. That’s a win-win situation!

Conclusion

If you are ‘a people person,’ you will probably find the process of collaboration or co-creation on content marketing projects very enjoyable. Even if you don’t really enjoy the actual process, you and your business are likely to benefit enormously from giving co-creation a try. Look at this guide for ideas on how to get started and adapt the basic co creation marketing process to your unique situation.

Share This Article

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp

Chantelle

Chantelle started her career in IT before eventually finding her way into Marketing. This eventually became her passion, along with Digital Marketing, SEO, and Brand and Web Development. Today, she helps businesses find their voice and grow online.

Get 5,000 Words Free!

Contact our team to find out how we can help you scale your content to reach a global audience!

Get 5,000 Words Free!

We’d love to show you how our team of passionate writers can help boost your ROI and improve your content. Just fill out the form below for a free, no obligation sample!