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Technology Tip

Technology Tip
Dave Pelland has extensive experience covering the business use of technology, networking and communications tools by companies of all sizes. Dave's editorial and corporate experience includes more than 10 years editing an electronic technology and communications industry newsletter for a global professional services firm.

Collaborating on Content Production

Collaborating on Content Production

Coming up with ideas for your company's blog or content marketing efforts can be tricky, but attracting assistance from team members and business partners can help.

In many situations, business partners, employees or other companies with overlapping customer bases, can team up to provide insights into local market conditions, using each company's products or services more effectively, or other areas where a company can provide ideas that benefit another company's audience.

Sharing Ideas and Audiences

This type of collaborative content marketing can provide several benefits for everyone involved. Developing a blog post with a company that shares a similar customer base, for instance, can help expose your company to the other company's customers and prospects.

In addition, any content you and your partners create together will likely help each other's search engine optimization efforts. It will also provide an implied endorsement that improves each other's credibility with customers and prospects.

There are numerous industries where a small business can team up with another to provide potentially interesting blog ideas.

For example, a wedding planner and a florist can jointly create a blog post about trends in wedding fashions, floral arrangements, popular colors, or other information that's interesting to local couples planning their big event.

Similarly, a real estate or property management firm could collaborate with a plumber about winterization tips or preventing pipe leaks, or other service professionals about home maintenance and avoiding common repairs.

In these situations, both companies gain an opportunity to share their expertise, and to potentially introduce each company to a broader audience then either could reach by themselves.

Customer Ideas

Your customer service and sales teams — the people who interact with customers and prospects most often — can provide a variety of content marketing topics and suggestions by relaying the kinds of questions people are asking them.

Preparing a blog post that addresses this question can provide several benefits. First, it can help increase your search results if someone is researching a topic and has a similar question. In addition, answering the question demonstrates your knowledge about the topic.

A Shared Process

An important early step in any collaborative process is identifying potential partners. As a small business owner, you may already belong to a few networking, community or industry organizations, and have probably met a number of fellow business owners (and potential collaboration partners).

If you think another business owner is interesting and potentially a good fit, a short conversation about the idea of collaborating can help get the process started.

As with any marketing effort, identifying your goals ahead of time can play an important role in determining how to approach your collaboration. You and your potential partner, for instance, should talk about whether you hope a blog post would generate a lead, or help improve local search engine results. Since this distinction could help influence what you say and how you say it, it's a good idea to talk about your goals before you start to write (or edit each other's draft).

By teaming up with your company, you can help improve each other's content marketing and search engine results while expanding your audience and potential customer bases.

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