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Becoming a Flexible Powerhouse of Content Creation

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Content Creation Becoming a Flexible Powerhouse of Content Creation By Andrew Wheeler on June 22, 2021 Su bscribe to our monthly newsletter , Content & Context, to receive future insights and updates on the content marketing world from Skyword CEO, Andrew C. Wheeler . In the beginning, creative ruled marketing. Then tech took over. But the future? It’s all about talent. I’m not talking about bloated orgs and endless agencies of record. We’ve been there, done that. I’m talking about flexible collaboration models designed to leverage the right talent at the right time. Blended teaming is now an undeniable force reshaping workplace. In 2020, 90 percent of business leaders reported freelance talent platforms would be very or somewhat important to their organization’s future competitive advantage. What makes them so important? Forty percent of freelance talent platform users say that highly skilled freelance workers helped improve their speed to market, boost productivity, and increase innovation. These days, great talent comes with great leverage. Especially in a post-COVID world, top creators don’t necessarily want full-time employment. At the same time, organizations are under pressure to reduce fixed costs—marketing, in particular. Our research reveals that 73 percent of brand marketers who use freelance creators today plan to rely more on them in the next 1-2 years. Leveraging freelance talent gives brands flexible bandwidth, unlimited choice, and the ability to scale content quickly. Scale is the #1 motivator behind blended content marketing teams, according to our survey respondents. But what are the implications of a shift from project-based content creation to an always-on, on-demand creative workforce? For one, marketing doctrine is morphing. Here are just a few examples: Notice a theme here? Brands are waking up to the fact that old command-and-control policies actually stifle the creativity and agility they’re meant to support. Blended teams are proving to be more nimble and innovation-centric. Besides the marketing mindset, there are ground-level changes brands need to make to scale freelance collaboration effectively. Our recent research provides some clues into the areas ripe for transformation. 1. Bridge the brand knowledge gap. Fundamentally, a marketer’s role is to externalize the brand. Yet nearly a quarter (23%) of brand marketers cite transferring brand knowledge as the #1 challenge of working with freelance creators. To get creators on the same page, content marketers need to be equal parts curator and translator—centralizing information typically locked within brand silos and distilling it into resources that are easy for content creators to use. At a minimum, brands should have an easily digestible set of content guidelines on deck to streamline this task, along with clear examples of what “great” content looks like. Supplementing guidelines with briefs that detail the brand’s key points of view, which solutions ladder up to them, and which internal SMEs a creator can reach out to for more information also helps. In a recent discussion with a panel of freelance writers, it was estimated that only around 10 percent of brand clients have content guidelines to share with […]

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