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A 6-step strategy to build strong content marketing collaboration

A 6-step strategy to build strong content marketing collaboration

5 minute read

A 6-step strategy to build strong content marketing collaboration

5 minute read

A 6-step strategy to build strong content marketing collaboration

Prafull Sharma

Founder of LeadsPanda

It takes a village to produce high-impact content that drives business results (and do it consistently). Unfortunately, for most businesses, content marketing is getting hurt by a silo mentality.

The detrimental effects of silos on businesses have been widely studied and discussed for the past four decades. The Business Dictionary defines silo mentality as a “mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.”

Content marketing is a key business function that is negatively affected by this great divide, as seen in a 2019 Content Marketing Institute survey outlining the biggest challenges content marketers face. The results show that lack of collaboration causes these challenges:

  • poor integration of content marketing efforts and requirements across departments and sub-brands
  • lack of consistent content marketing messages
  • never-ending need to convince stakeholders about the benefits of content marketing
  • corporate messaging not aligned with marketing audiences
The Content Marketing Institute's bar chart showing the unique challenges enterprise content marketers face.


Lack of collaboration among departments and team members leads to several challenges that prevent marketers from creating content that produces tangible results (Image Source).

Fostering collaboration in your organisation to create an efficient content marketing system that functions in unison doesn’t happen overnight—it takes purposeful, concrete, and specific steps. To guide you through the process, we’ve put together a framework to help you achieve a more collaborative culture for more effective content marketing initiatives. We call this the G.A.T.H.E.R. approach.

G - goals integration

The performance of most business functions is assessed with a set of KPIs that are linked to goals. Here are a few examples:

  • Sale: Number of new sales, lifetime customer value
  • Customer service: return %, refund %, customer satisfaction %
  • Brand marketing: brand awareness, brand retention, brand preference rate

It may not be obvious at first, but almost all of these goals can be linked to content marketing. For instance, customer satisfaction may seem unrelated to content marketing, but having robust product knowledge content on your site and other marketing channels can contribute to higher customer satisfaction. 

That said, the key to kickstarting content marketing collaboration across your organisation’s different departments is integrating these goals into your content marketing strategy. 

For some departments, these goals can be combined in a single content marketing funnel. For instance, the sales goals of your on-site/on-ground sales teams can be integrated into your content marketing’s lead generation goals as sales acquisition goals, as this is the logical next step after lead generation. 

Integrating goals and finding the common denominator across seemingly unrelated areas brings everyone on the same page to appreciate the value of content marketing. It also creates the right environment for collaboration.

A - authorship sharing

Brand-authored content is a staple in any content marketing playbook. Giving subject matter experts an opportunity to contribute is invaluable. It develops a higher level of ownership, which gives rise to more stakeholders who are invested in the success of your content marketing initiatives. 

This also addresses the consistent challenge of generating fresh content ideas, which is a familiar challenge for most content creators. 

This is not to say that you take the Wikipedia approach and allow several writers and editors to work on one article at the same time. In fact, one small pilot study of Wikipedia articles concludes that the “article creation process may more closely mirror the traditional writer/editor process than it does the ‘crowd as writer-editor’.” 

When you create your content calendar, be clear that you intend to rotate the authorship through different members of your core content marketing team, as well as your organisation’s departments.

T - technology maximisation

The thoughtful and strategic use of technology has redefined how companies do marketing. It led to funnel automation, granular customer segmentation, and high-level sales retargeting—and yes, to better content planning, creation, and management.

Technology can drive your content marketing collaboration ahead of where it is today. That said, not all content marketing collaboration technologies are created equal. You should look for content collaboration essential features such as autosave, new changes notifications, version history, version control, commenting, user tagging, and scalable storage, just to name a few. 

Look at collaboration technologies the same way you look at content management systems, which according to content marketing expert Deane Barker, should be viewed as ecosystems. 

“Ecosystems matter. You’re not just buying a CMS, you’re buying into a community. Before you buy, look for documentation, look for discussion, and look for a partner network. The ecosystem is the soft place to land when things go wrong,” Barker explained in an interview with GatherContent.

H - hybrid content development

Another tactic you can explore for improving collaboration is the hybrid content development model. Hybrid content development or content organisation structure combines the best of both worlds—the autonomy of a decentralised model and the streamlined benefits of a centralised structure. 

To understand what a hybrid content collaboration model is, let’s take a look at the individual definitions of a rebel content organisation approach and a centralised content organisation framework, as described by the Content Marketing Institute:

  • Rebel: “A decentralised model where content teams work independently with limited coordination across teams.”
  • Centralised: “A single team works across business units to receive and deliver requirements related to content creation.”
Three ways companies can organise around content: Rebel,, hybrid and central. Image shows dots and lines to represent each of these structures.


From totally decentralised (no collaboration) to 100% centralised (one team controlling content ideas from different organisational departments), many companies find a sweet spot in the hybrid model of content collaboration (Image Source).

A hybrid model, then, gives the different departments in your organisation a generous amount of leeway in influencing your overall content marketing strategy given their respective goals as discussed above. At the same time, it frames this autonomy within specific parameters to ensure that all efforts are in line with your bigger content marketing direction. This fosters collaboration by allowing everyone to contribute following clear guidelines while reinforcing a single content marketing narrative.

E - external partnership opportunities

While discussions on improving content collaboration primarily centre on internal practices, marketers should not overlook external collaborations as well.

A low hanging fruit when it comes to external content partnerships is guest blogging (like what you’re reading now). Gregory Ciotti, Help Scout’s first marketing hire, helped the company grow its email list by more than 36,700 new subscribers through guest blogging alone.

Aside from guest blogging, there are several channels that you can explore to open a multitude of external content collaboration opportunities for your company or brand. For example, you can use the #journorequest tag on Twitter to search for journalists, publications, bloggers, and other content creators who are looking for experts or subjects to feature in the content pieces they’re currently working on. 

R - results reporting

The final piece of the G.A.T.H.E.R. framework for better content collaboration is reporting the results that your content marketing initiatives have achieved. This must be done within the context of your overall marketing goals and the objectives of the different departments in your organisation. 

If your peers and colleagues invested their time and resources to contribute to the planning, execution, and management of your company’s content marketing, make it your mission to show them the fruits of their hard labour. Likewise, there’s an old adage that positive results are addictive. The more positive results you report, the more motivated they will be to continue contributing to your content marketing cause—a fuel that keeps the flame of collaboration burning.

Over to you: Time to G.A.T.H.E.R. your team and get to work

Sustained, high-impact, results-driven content marketing is extremely difficult if it rests on the shoulders of one team member or one department. In a highly competitive, creative, and strategic endeavour such as content marketing, where a lot can be gained if it’s done right, the results that you achieve are directly proportional to the level of collaboration in your organisation. 

We hope that this G.A.T.H.E.R. approach helps you jumpstart a more synergistic content marketing strategy in your organisation.

It takes a village to produce high-impact content that drives business results (and do it consistently). Unfortunately, for most businesses, content marketing is getting hurt by a silo mentality.

The detrimental effects of silos on businesses have been widely studied and discussed for the past four decades. The Business Dictionary defines silo mentality as a “mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.”

Content marketing is a key business function that is negatively affected by this great divide, as seen in a 2019 Content Marketing Institute survey outlining the biggest challenges content marketers face. The results show that lack of collaboration causes these challenges:

  • poor integration of content marketing efforts and requirements across departments and sub-brands
  • lack of consistent content marketing messages
  • never-ending need to convince stakeholders about the benefits of content marketing
  • corporate messaging not aligned with marketing audiences
The Content Marketing Institute's bar chart showing the unique challenges enterprise content marketers face.


Lack of collaboration among departments and team members leads to several challenges that prevent marketers from creating content that produces tangible results (Image Source).

Fostering collaboration in your organisation to create an efficient content marketing system that functions in unison doesn’t happen overnight—it takes purposeful, concrete, and specific steps. To guide you through the process, we’ve put together a framework to help you achieve a more collaborative culture for more effective content marketing initiatives. We call this the G.A.T.H.E.R. approach.

G - goals integration

The performance of most business functions is assessed with a set of KPIs that are linked to goals. Here are a few examples:

  • Sale: Number of new sales, lifetime customer value
  • Customer service: return %, refund %, customer satisfaction %
  • Brand marketing: brand awareness, brand retention, brand preference rate

It may not be obvious at first, but almost all of these goals can be linked to content marketing. For instance, customer satisfaction may seem unrelated to content marketing, but having robust product knowledge content on your site and other marketing channels can contribute to higher customer satisfaction. 

That said, the key to kickstarting content marketing collaboration across your organisation’s different departments is integrating these goals into your content marketing strategy. 

For some departments, these goals can be combined in a single content marketing funnel. For instance, the sales goals of your on-site/on-ground sales teams can be integrated into your content marketing’s lead generation goals as sales acquisition goals, as this is the logical next step after lead generation. 

Integrating goals and finding the common denominator across seemingly unrelated areas brings everyone on the same page to appreciate the value of content marketing. It also creates the right environment for collaboration.

A - authorship sharing

Brand-authored content is a staple in any content marketing playbook. Giving subject matter experts an opportunity to contribute is invaluable. It develops a higher level of ownership, which gives rise to more stakeholders who are invested in the success of your content marketing initiatives. 

This also addresses the consistent challenge of generating fresh content ideas, which is a familiar challenge for most content creators. 

This is not to say that you take the Wikipedia approach and allow several writers and editors to work on one article at the same time. In fact, one small pilot study of Wikipedia articles concludes that the “article creation process may more closely mirror the traditional writer/editor process than it does the ‘crowd as writer-editor’.” 

When you create your content calendar, be clear that you intend to rotate the authorship through different members of your core content marketing team, as well as your organisation’s departments.

T - technology maximisation

The thoughtful and strategic use of technology has redefined how companies do marketing. It led to funnel automation, granular customer segmentation, and high-level sales retargeting—and yes, to better content planning, creation, and management.

Technology can drive your content marketing collaboration ahead of where it is today. That said, not all content marketing collaboration technologies are created equal. You should look for content collaboration essential features such as autosave, new changes notifications, version history, version control, commenting, user tagging, and scalable storage, just to name a few. 

Look at collaboration technologies the same way you look at content management systems, which according to content marketing expert Deane Barker, should be viewed as ecosystems. 

“Ecosystems matter. You’re not just buying a CMS, you’re buying into a community. Before you buy, look for documentation, look for discussion, and look for a partner network. The ecosystem is the soft place to land when things go wrong,” Barker explained in an interview with GatherContent.

H - hybrid content development

Another tactic you can explore for improving collaboration is the hybrid content development model. Hybrid content development or content organisation structure combines the best of both worlds—the autonomy of a decentralised model and the streamlined benefits of a centralised structure. 

To understand what a hybrid content collaboration model is, let’s take a look at the individual definitions of a rebel content organisation approach and a centralised content organisation framework, as described by the Content Marketing Institute:

  • Rebel: “A decentralised model where content teams work independently with limited coordination across teams.”
  • Centralised: “A single team works across business units to receive and deliver requirements related to content creation.”
Three ways companies can organise around content: Rebel,, hybrid and central. Image shows dots and lines to represent each of these structures.


From totally decentralised (no collaboration) to 100% centralised (one team controlling content ideas from different organisational departments), many companies find a sweet spot in the hybrid model of content collaboration (Image Source).

A hybrid model, then, gives the different departments in your organisation a generous amount of leeway in influencing your overall content marketing strategy given their respective goals as discussed above. At the same time, it frames this autonomy within specific parameters to ensure that all efforts are in line with your bigger content marketing direction. This fosters collaboration by allowing everyone to contribute following clear guidelines while reinforcing a single content marketing narrative.

E - external partnership opportunities

While discussions on improving content collaboration primarily centre on internal practices, marketers should not overlook external collaborations as well.

A low hanging fruit when it comes to external content partnerships is guest blogging (like what you’re reading now). Gregory Ciotti, Help Scout’s first marketing hire, helped the company grow its email list by more than 36,700 new subscribers through guest blogging alone.

Aside from guest blogging, there are several channels that you can explore to open a multitude of external content collaboration opportunities for your company or brand. For example, you can use the #journorequest tag on Twitter to search for journalists, publications, bloggers, and other content creators who are looking for experts or subjects to feature in the content pieces they’re currently working on. 

R - results reporting

The final piece of the G.A.T.H.E.R. framework for better content collaboration is reporting the results that your content marketing initiatives have achieved. This must be done within the context of your overall marketing goals and the objectives of the different departments in your organisation. 

If your peers and colleagues invested their time and resources to contribute to the planning, execution, and management of your company’s content marketing, make it your mission to show them the fruits of their hard labour. Likewise, there’s an old adage that positive results are addictive. The more positive results you report, the more motivated they will be to continue contributing to your content marketing cause—a fuel that keeps the flame of collaboration burning.

Over to you: Time to G.A.T.H.E.R. your team and get to work

Sustained, high-impact, results-driven content marketing is extremely difficult if it rests on the shoulders of one team member or one department. In a highly competitive, creative, and strategic endeavour such as content marketing, where a lot can be gained if it’s done right, the results that you achieve are directly proportional to the level of collaboration in your organisation. 

We hope that this G.A.T.H.E.R. approach helps you jumpstart a more synergistic content marketing strategy in your organisation.

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About the author

Prafull Sharma

Prafull Sharma is the Founder of content marketing agency LeadsPanda. He shares tips to 2x your content marketing results on the LeadsPanda blog. Connect with him on twitter @prafullsha.

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