Just as every writer needs an editor for maximum clarity, every content creator needs to work as part of a full team for maximum success. That’s because content strategy, writing, editing, and account services are specialized skills that benefit from specialized attention. In this way, content creation is a full-team affair.
At Influence & Co, each client is served by an account strategist, a content strategist, an editor, a team of freelance writers, a managing editor, and a director of account services. On top of that, design projects receive the attention of our creative strategist, and SEO efforts fall under the direction of our digital marketing team.
Our processes can vary according to the type of content being created — and our service lines allow for quite a variety — but each piece requires the insights and collaboration of multiple members of the team.
Each Influence & Co. client is served by a core team that focuses on delivering the strategically created content that will advance the client’s business goals. An account strategist serves as the main point of contact with the client and oversees the account’s strategy and execution. The content strategist conceives topics that speak to the right audience, communicate the right message, and serve the client’s overall strategy. The editor ensures that each piece of content aligns with the client’s preferred voice, desired tone, and strategic goals while conforming to the specifications of the platform where the piece will publish, whether that’s the client’s website or an outside publication.
After that, the managing editor conducts a final quality check on each piece of content, determining that guidelines are met, that grammar and style are refined, and that facts are checked. If the content’s destination is an external publication, the piece gets passed to a member of the media relations team, who works to get it placed. If the client plans to distribute the content via its own website, newsletter, or other platform, the account strategist delivers the final product to the client. Throughout the process and after publication, the client can find information on its content, campaigns, analytics, and more within Influence & Co.’s proprietary content marketing software, ICo Core.
Why do so many people work together to create content rather than asking just one person to synthesize a client’s goals, brainstorm a topic, perform supporting research, write the content, edit the content, and distribute and amplify it? Simply put, a few heads are better than one. Research validates this idea, finding that working together increases each person’s intrinsic motivation, task persistence, engagement, and success. Influence & Co. employees find the most value — and find themselves delivering the most value to clients — when collaborating on the following tasks:
Devising relevant content that speaks to the appropriate audience at just the right time through the best medium requires quite a bit of thought, which is why our teams often turn campaign strategy, topic ideation, whitepaper design, and more into fodder for group brainstorms.
“Getting into a room for one or two hours and throwing ideas at the wall” is the most satisfying way of fine-tuning ideas and concepts until they’re ready for prime time, says senior editor Josh Mosley. “Our team regularly meets to hash out whitepaper designs, and I believe our best results have come from us agreeing on a concept and bringing it into focus.”
Senior editor Emily Datz says she coordinates with her teammates when she’s tackling projects that require strategic decisions, such as content that’s search-optimized or created with an eye toward generating leads. “In these cases, I often reach out to get the team’s opinions on how I’ve structured a piece or whether I’ve included the best links to a client’s blog,” Datz says. “With their help, I can work to create more successful content for our clients.”
Senior content strategist Frances Gordon adds that getting the full team involved in strategizing helps everyone execute on his or her goals all the more effectively. “When we all work together and collaborate on a content strategy, and we each have some responsibility for it, I think it makes us better individually in our roles when we’re working with that client down the line.”
So much of content marketing is about problem-solving, from trying to answer prospective clients’ questions via how-to content to addressing challenges a client is facing. Regardless of the problem to be solved, it’s difficult to address it alone.
“Coming up with creative solutions is always easier when the load is shared,” Gordon says. “Because we all have different roles and skills, we’re all coming from a different perspective, which can end up producing some interesting ideas. Individual team members may not have been able to make the mental leaps all by themselves.”
Senior publication strategist Meagan Nolte says teamwork is most fulfilling for her when a team brings her a tough problem to figure out together, which allows her to hear others’ thought processes and see their creative styles. “More often than not,” Nolte says, “we end up combining our ideas or crafting the perfect solution from an offhand comment.”
One way our team collaborates is by tapping our co-workers to serve as ad hoc focus groups and assess the usefulness and quality of the content we create. The team can consult our human resources director, our office manager, or our product manager about the value of HR, facilities, or development content, for example.
Bringing in different team members lets everybody contribute their valuable insights and allows teammates to bounce ideas off one another, ask questions, dive more deeply into topics, and come to fresh revelations.
At Influence & Co., experience has repeatedly shown us that successful content marketing is a full-team affair. When it comes to creating and publishing high-quality content, teamwork really does make the dream work.