(And How To Overcome Them)
Content marketing can do wonders for your business. It has become more than just a buzzword and is now one of the most critical elements in a digital marketing strategy. Content marketing is one of the most powerful tools available for connecting target customers with your products or services and works as an outlet for telling your brand's story. In fact, 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships. However, if you've ever had to make a case for content marketing to your business partners, board of directors, managerial team, or even to yourself, you probably already know that there are some associated challenges of integrating content into your overall strategy.
Let's take a look at 6 of the biggest challenges associated with content marketing and how to overcome them:
1. Redefining Marketing In Your Mind
Often one of the greatest challenges of content marketing is overcoming your own thoughts about what marketing should be. We are so used to traditional marketing tactics where you hand out coupons, then customers buy from you immediately. Effective content marketing offers a different kind of value that doesn't always include an instantaneous results. It is a process that includes demonstrating your expertise by educating prospective and current customers about your industry, products and services, and company culture. Nowadays, people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. It can be difficult for business owners to wrap their head around how becoming a thought-leader in the industry or telling your brand's story is going to deliver a high return on investment. But when conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters, the numbers speak for themselves.
2. Producing Engaging Content
Creating content is easy. Creating quality content is much more difficult. Without focus and clarity, content can come across as meaningless noise and people have gotten really great at tuning out the noise! Engaging content excites and informs your audience on a consistent schedule. It should be relevant to a question or issue they have right now and educate them on the answer. Understanding your target audience and intimately knowing their challenges is essential in producing focused, valuable content in order for it to be truly profitable. Also, keep in mind content comes in all different forms of communication from blogs, videos, landing pages, white papers, etc. Having knowledge of these different platforms will help diversify your content and keep your audience engaged.
3. Maintaining A Publishing Schedule
After narrowing down your target audience, discovering what moves them to action, and choosing the best platform to get your message across, the next step is making a schedule and sticking to it. Consistently creating quality content is key to customer engagement. Many marketers will tell you that publishing at least once per day is essential for content marketing success. However, balancing quantity and quality is crucial. All of that work is pointless if the content does not compel your audience to open and view it. It's better to publish one outstanding post than six mediocre posts every week.
The real challenge? Maintaining that schedule for the lifespan of your business if you hope to build and sustain a sizable audience. Sure you may have to tweak it over time, but content marketing does not have an expiration date, it is here to stay.
4. Insufficient Resources
Having enough time and resources to create and distribute quality content is a struggle for anyone tackling content marketing. A lot of people see content marketing as “free marketing,” but even if you choose to do your own, you're going to pay for it in one way or another. Producing engaging content on a consistent basis requires ample amounts of research, skills, and time to do it right. The last thing you want as a business owner is to get caught up with content marketing, and forget about actually running your business. Instead, many successful business owners outsource the creation and distribution of the content.
5. Increasing Competition
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72% of marketers are producing significantly more content than they did a year ago. Which means there is a lot of competition out there. No matter what industry you're in, HVAC, pest control, or construction, chances are someone else has already been blogging about it. The best way to combat this? Understand your audience better than anyone else and make the best content that you can.
6. Measuring the Effectiveness of Content
Since content marketing offers so many opportunities to make an impression, it can be difficult to attribute the conversion of a lead to a certain action. This makes it a challenge to prove return on investment of your content marketing efforts. With that being said, there are many ways to measure the effectiveness of your content including: content downloads, website traffic, social media chatter, form completions, Google Analytics, email list subscriptions, click-through rates, and conversion rates. One of the best overall ways to figure out if your content is effective is to look at the length of your sales cycle. The shorter your average sales cycle becomes, the better your content marketing ROI.
Making the decision to integrate custom content into your marketing strategy is a major commitment, one that cannot and should not be rushed. Content marketing is the long march down the field, with a lot of smaller plays along the way. This marketing approach is not just a few blogs here and one video there, it is a process that requires consistent delivery of quality content to build your audience and ultimately your business.
At Splash Omnimedia, we embrace these challenges and meet them head on by attending trainings and conferences with the most influential thought leaders of content marketing. We have content specialists who live, breathe, and eat content and are ready to conquer any of these challenges you may be experiencing. If you are ready to take your content to the next level, contact us today!