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Successfully leveraging a collaborative content marketing platform.

Successfully leveraging a collaborative content marketing platform.

We wanted to point out a few key concepts that are common across all brands successfully leveraging collaborative content marketing platforms. The goal of content marketing is to build familiarity, likability and trust. These concepts will help you achieve those goals.

Make it horizontal

Your content moderation has to operate under the assumption that no one person is better than any other person. Of course, you should moderate your community content to weed out inappropriate content, illegal hate speak, racism or misogyny, and to filter spam. But outside of this, you'll only get true social leverage if all content is created equal. That means that irrelevant, poorly constructed content is not deleted. Instead, it's gradually phased out as better, more relevant content comes up. A lot of the time the community itself will dismiss radical or unintelligent content. This principle maintains the authenticity of your community, encouraging people to keep sharing whatever they deem appropriate without fear of censorship.

In horizontal communities, great content is better than bad content, but bad content is better than no content at all. If you think about Wikipedia’s content creation process, most pages start (or have started) with little (or bad) content. Users contribute to make pages better over time, correcting mistakes and inaccuracy.

Check out 'Uberisation' on Wikipedia as an example of a page in its very early stages -

Create interesting media, not a marketing scheme.

As Chris Anderson once said, “It’s very hard to find industries in which community-driven companies won’t ultimately win”. 

The marketing strategy for your community should consider what drives you audiences' curiosity, pain and desires. Your audience, not your brand, should be the center of your strategy. Keep that mantra in mind at all times.

As Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of WordPress said, “Whenever this moment comes up, always bet on the community, because that’s the difference between long-term thinking and short-term thinking.”

Make it a game.

If you depend on contributors for your site to have relevancy (think Yelp), you need to make your site engaging, interesting and fun. There are exceptions, like Wikipedia, where users will upload, review and moderate each other’s contributions with no gamification. But Wikipedia is a unique giant that got in early and has always played on the sense of community and social conscience. Communities with a less committed member base will often be contaminated by spam, hacks or SEO tricks.

TripAdvisor is a great example of how content contribution can be made into a game. It awards its users with badges for their contributions and interaction, enticing further engagement with rewards for repeat usage. You get points for posting photographs, reviews of tourist attractions, hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, bars, etc. These points get converted into specific badges that accumulate on your profile.

Think of a way to encourage your community to engage regularly, give them a sense of achievement when they do.

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