Content marketing is vital to the health of your business, yet comes with overwhelming challenges that can suck the life from your day When that happens, you are taken out of your “zone of genius” and left spinning in a downward spiral of unproductive hours. But, it doesn’t have to be that way!
“In 2015, 54% of B2B marketers and 50% of B2C marketers cited “producing engaging content” as a top challenge. For B2B marketers, it was the most commonly cited challenge.” — HubSpot
Here are the 5 most commonly faced content marketing challenges and practical steps to overcome them:
Challenge #1: Insufficient Resources for Execution
Producing content may seem easy; but, producing “good content” is harder than you think! Aside from time and the necessary skills, you need to have an idea of how to optimize your content for the search engines.
Marketing agencies handle everything from your customer persona to ideation to scheduling and planning to rough drafts to the final result. Being a business owner or lean startup team comes with time constraints and may require more resources than you can allocate toward these tasks.
Owners have to choose between quantity and quality when they decide to do their content marketing in-house.
The Solution to Challenge #1
Whether you decide to do it in-house or outsource it, here are some keys to ensure you can do it well.
- Employee onboarding: Onboard for talent and culture and show every employee how their tasks affect the entire team. Whether they are in the marketing department or not, they can contribute.
- Create a content marketing plan: Having a content marketing plan saves time, effort, and money. A content marketing plan should include monthly topics, platforms and channels, and CTAs at the very minimum.
Challenge #2: Your Competition
No matter what industry you’re in–from tech startups to real estate–the competition is stiff! Your competitors are striving to rank for the same keywords you are. This means there’s only one way to stand out: create awesome content frequently and repurpose it to get maximum ROI.
What will this take? The need for highly skilled creators with the knowledge you need for your brand to stand out and stay top of mind.
The Solution to Challenge #2
There are no guarantees in content marketing. As they say, half of all marketing works; you just have to do all of it to find the half that works. Some of your efforts might fail and some might help you scale exponentially. But one thing is certain — if your content sucks, it is not going to work at all.
Providing value in every piece of content you publish–no matter the channel or form–is the key to inviting your audience to engage with you. Although frequency is relevant, it’s not as crucial as providing valuable content. Here are three tips to incorporate your high-quality, high-value content into everything you publish:
- Create SEO-ready marketing content like case studies, blogs, testimonials
- Have a marketing library you can pull from
- Keep an ongoing list of topics you want to rank for
Challenge #3: Inconsistent Content Marketing
Most businesses begin with a commitment to creating regular, consistent content. Yet, many fall flat within months of making that commitment. Why? It’s hard. It’s time-consuming. They experience content fatigue.
The person responsible for content spends hours researching and studying the competitor’s content, only to feel that his content doesn’t stand up to par. Or perhaps he can’t face the arduous task of editing and optimizing for SEO. So the half-finished blog or other content sits, unused, unposted. And, before you know it, the consistency doesn’t matter.
(You’ve witnessed websites with no updates for 3 years, haven’t you? I have!)
The Solution to Challenge #3
The first step to overcoming content fatigue is to know you aren’t alone. Over 50% of brands admit to a lack of publishing consistent content. Next, don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison always leads to dissatisfaction.
Challenge #4: Paid Promotions Are Necessary (and Expensive)
Simply publishing great content pieces isn’t enough. It usually requires support, and that support often means paid ads. That’s right! Sometimes organic traffic just isn’t enough. And this challenge takes us back to Challenge #1 — lack of money.
Running a business requires a budget. With the impending recession, brands will start cutting budgets. The first to go? Marketing! Ouch! When times are lean or troublesome, that is the best time to make sure you have a marketing budget.
The Solution to Challenge #4
Start small to gauge the effectiveness of the campaigns you are running on different platforms and identify the one that works the best for you. After carefully identifying your audience, research the various platforms and see which one they prefer.
Once you’ve discovered which platform your audience engages with most frequently, create a value statement sharing the solutions your business offers to them. Finally, with a specific goal in mind, set a budget and test your campaign.
Remember, don’t have unrealistic expectations. Content marketing takes time. Allowing for a minimum of 90 days is often a good rule of thumb.
Challenge #5: Difficulty in Measuring ROIs
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”
Consistently creating content, publishing, and promoting it on a variety of channels will get you nowhere. Or perhaps it will, just not where you were hoping to go.
The Solution to Challenge #5
The metrics, or KPIs, are different for every business. Before investing in paid ads, know what your intention is. Only then will you know whether you have an ROI.
Here are a few questions that can help you determine what you need to measure:
- Are you trying to generate leads
- Would you like more followers
- Do you want conversions
After you know these answers, you can track the metrics and measure ROI. Until then, all roads lead to nowhere.
For more tips on content marketing, check out these other blogs.