collaborative content marketing

Why is it that 10% of your business’s blogs generate 38% of your blog traffic?

A study done by HubSpot in 2015 uncovered these Pareto-like stats regarding blog traffic. During my years as an SEO professional, I have independently witnessed the same pattern. I call these 10% of posts “black holes,” because of their ability to devour the top organic results for every relevant keyword.

After a great blog posts gets an organic foothold for a handful of keywords, it benefits from the compounding effects of positive user engagement, social shares, naturally earned backlinks, and positive branding feedback.

By now you’ve heard the stats and your real question is – how do I create a compounding blog post?

The answer is embarrassingly easy – produce collaborative content.

I recently read a book by Charles Duhigg called Smarter Faster Better. The following quote captures the essence of what I gleaned from this fantastic book, and is the reason why content and collaboration are the key to better marketing.

“When people believe they are in control, they tend to work harder and push themselves more.”

Help someone feel like they’ve built something with you, and you’ve got a fast friend. This effective approach calls for blog collaboration ideas, guest posts, expert commentary, and several other types of collaborative marketing.

6 Examples of Collaborative Content Marketing

Now that you know why to pair content and collaboration, let’s dig into how you can make this happen.

1. Guest Posting

Guest posting is an age-old link-building technique. Guest posts won’t land you guaranteed SEO results, but they’re a great addition to any marketing strategy. While guest posts are a great way to build links to your website, they can also help tap into relevant audiences in exchange for your valuable insights.

Start by identifying a site that is both authoritative and relevant to your business. Authority is a generally subjective measure, but there are models like Domain Authority (DA) that can help simplify this dimension. Generally, and site with a DA of 20 or more is worth approaching.

An example would be a cosmetic surgeon reaching out to a plastic surgeon association website, or a race-car ecommerce business reaching out to a racing club website.

Now that you’ve found a site relevant to your industry with an acceptable DA, reach out to the editor or marketing manager and share some blog collaboration ideas. You can find the right contact by searching for the company on LinkedIn, and then searching for an “editor,” “writer,” or “marketing” associate. To be effective, you must make this exchange a give and take, not just a take and take.

Recommend a blog topic for their site that you’re an expert in, but also let them know what you can do for them. If you’re writing for someone’s site, they’ll likely attribute your post with a link. Why should they potentially send their readers away from their own website to visit yours?

Examples of what you can do for your host include sharing the finished post with your large social media audience, or linking to the guest post on their business blog from your own website.

In the end, guest posting can establish strong and lasting relationships that will help improve your collaborative content creation and your marketing in general.

2. Case Studies

Case studies are examples of collaborative marketing with your customers. This is a way to build something with your customer, making them more loyal in the long run. It’s also a great way to show future customers the success that you’ve helped your current patrons achieve.

I recommend combining numbers and storytelling to make your case study the most effective. For example, at MARION, we’ve leveraged case studies that show the financial upside to working with our team, as well as the business growth our customers enjoyed as a result.

Documenting the entire transformation of a customer’s experience with your product or service is a win for your new customer acquisition, and it’s a win for your relationship with the customer from your study.

3. Quote and Mention

The quote and mention technique is when you find an existing quote from a relevant subject matter expert, include it in your business blog post, and then cite the author. After you’ve published your blog post, you can send them a friendly email to let them know you’ve sung their praises. Alternatively, you can share your post through social media and tag the quote’s author.

This type of collaborative marketing relies on flattery to work. By quoting someone’s previous work, you’re affirming that they are a thought leader in the industry.

The Quote and Mention has a twin brother, the Original Contributor Quote, that we’ll discover in the next section. The Quote and Mention is the weaker of the two. The reason for this goes back to the Charles Duhigg quote about decision-making causing someone to work harder and become more involved.

When you work with someone in your industry to build something, you’ve formed a bond in addition to the enhanced content you’ve created. However, when you simply let someone know you’ve built something without them, it toots their horn but they’re no more involved than before.

4. Original Contributor Quote

The original contributor quote is a way to harness content and collaboration to create something both original and valuable. This example of collaborative marketing builds you a new relationship with another industry professional and a unique piece of content that will upgrade your marketing.

Similar to a guest blogging approach, reach out to someone from a related but non-competitive industry. For example, a construction company could partner with a house plans company. This could form a bond that not only creates great content but forges a referral system between companies.

5. Expert Roundup

An expert roundup can be approached like either the Quote and Mention method, or the Original Contributor Quote method.

This involves getting quotes and insights from several industry experts around a single topic. You can either hunt down existing quotes about your topic and alert the sources afterward, or you can solicit original insights and involve your target thought leaders in the creation of your roundup blog post.

Involving the industry experts is a great way to leverage content and collaboration to create something both new and compelling that your audience will love. In addition, there’s a good chance these experts will share your content with their own audiences, facilitating greater exposure than you could have gotten on your own.

6. Original Interview

An interview is similar to the expert roundup, but instead of going an inch deep and a mile wide, you’re taking an in-depth look at a topic with a single thought leader. This helps personalize your experience with an expert in your industry.

This process could start by reaching out to someone via email or social media and sending them a list of interview questions to answer. For a more human touch, you could schedule a call or even a face-to-face meeting to interview your industry expert of choice.

The more involved you are with your interview candidate, the more likely they will be to share or even link to your content. This helps you establish another meaningful industry connection while also improving the effectiveness of your collaborative content.


Podcasts are a method of the Original Interview technique above, but instead of transcribing a conversation, you just record it and let your audience enjoy the raw experience. Podcasts are generally a rinse-and-repeat process of interviews for several experts within a single industry, or surrounding a certain type of psychographic.

If you need more tips on how to choose an SEO company or content marketing firm to help your business grow, feel free to comment below or contact me on LinkedIn. Hopefully you’ll be able to act on some of the types of collaborative marketing from this guide to upgrade your new content.