Content is king and looking after the king is no easy job. Great content takes a lot of hard work and time to create. In any task, there’s bound to be some challenges. Here’s some of the biggest roadblocks to successful content marketing.
Measuring success: Many inbound marketing agency marketers report tracking the ROI on their content marketing efforts one of the most difficult parts of the process.
‘’Many aspects of content marketing are intangible, says James Nutall, content specialist at Ben Sherman. ‘’If the aim of your campaign was purely to get links from other websites, and you receive 10 links from it, then this can be considered a success and you have something to physically to show for it.’’
However, James feels that showing ROI on your content marketing isn’t always that simple. ‘’Tracking and analysing conversions that have come as a direct result of a specific piece of content can be very difficult,’’ he says.
Believing in success: Content marketing is not an easy job and success doesn’t happen overnight. Some marketers give up because they feel their efforts aren’t getting any recognition.
‘’The biggest roadblock to a successful content marketing campaign is faith. Content marketing doesn’t create millionaires overnight,’’ says Marc Ensign, CEO of LoudMouse. ‘’It’s not easy and it’s a ton of work!’’
He feels that ‘’if you are willing to put yourself through all of that work, be consistent and push through times when nobody is reading your content, it will begin to pick up momentum. You just need to have faith!’’
Content needs to be new: The fresher the content, the better the results, right?
‘’One of the biggest challenges to content marketing efforts is the mentality that you always have to be creating something new,’’ says communications specialist, Maree Jones.
She feels that repurposing and recycling older content (that’s still relevant) doesn’t get the attention it deserves. ‘’When you’re always thinking that you have to create something new, things can get expensive and people on your team can burn out. It skews ROI. But part of the appeal and value of content marketing is that it can rely on material that’s already been created, ‘’ she says.
The teams and companies that understand this and embrace it see much better results over the long haul, ’she adds.
Limited time and resources: For the past couple of years, marketers have been preaching ‘’content is King’’. This drive to constantly produce huge amounts of content has put a strain on SMBs workflow, while simultaneously diminishing the end product.
‘’For many content marketers, or any creative group for that matter, the biggest roadblocks are the time and resources required,’’ says Bryan Koontz of Guidefitter. ‘’As team members are spread thin across projects while deadlines remain, the quality of content produced diminishes,’’ he adds.
His top-tip? Incorporate user-generated content. ‘’This engages your community and encourages them to share their contributions with their own personal and social networks. It also helps alleviate the strain on your creative team when user-generated content serves as a consistent pipeline for producing relevant content.’’
Inbound Marketing Manager at EdgeThreeSixty, Hannah Corbett also finds resource to be the biggest challenge of content marketing. ‘’We do all of our marketing work in house, and we’re a small company (less than 10), it’s often difficult to get the support of other teams in the business for our content marketing efforts, ‘’ she says. ‘’It could be something relatively simple like getting a designer to create an infographic or finding a developer to build an interactive web page. But our design and development teams are extremely busy working on clients’ website, they just don’t have the time to work on client and internal marketing campaigns.’’
Director of content production for SEO Advantage, Lance Buchanan, feels you need to be a master of time in order to be successful at content marketing. ‘’As a medium-sized SEO firm, we have a limited amount of both human and monetary resources, so we have to know which efforts are the best use of our time and invest in the infographic, video, slide share, social promotion, etc.,’’he says.
A successful content marketing strategy is all about choosing which efforts will have the biggest impact.
Storytelling or selling? What’s the purpose of content marketing? Do you want to raise brand awareness through storytelling or do you want to use content marketing to sell products and services?
‘’The most difficult part of content marketing is finding the right balance between storytelling and selling,’’ says Kristoffer Howes, chief executive office of Weal Media Corporation. ‘’The audience needs to be entertained while being educated. Often efforts to accomplish both of these are hindered by language. Not dialect but rather vocabulary.’’
He finds it a challenge to find the correct body of words to convey a message in a way that is clearly understood by the entire target audience. ‘’Audiences vary in gender, age, and education. This means that their use and understanding of vocabulary differs,’’ he adds.
Competition and quality: Everyone is producing content which means there’s a lot of it out there. However, when trying to keep up with the competition, the quality of the content often gets sacrificed.
‘’The sheer volume of content flooding our inboxes, social channels, and LinkedIn feeds is enormous,’’ says Fuze CEO, Allen Greer. ‘’With so much content being produced, great content is no longer good enough to stand out. In today’s digital landscape, only truly ‘’epic’’ content has a fighting chance to grab the attention and momentum to make real impacts.’’
Lack of feedback: Many marketers say the lack of feedback in the form of usable data is one of the biggest challenges of content marketing.
‘’When the content creators don’t have visibility into what’s working and what’s not, they’re limited in how they can improve,’’ says content marketer Melissa Caravella.
Not only is lack of feedback a problem but paying attention to audience behaviour’s is also hindering your content marketing efforts. Melissa feels it’s important to close the loop on what’s resonating with your audience and what’s not by using current performance as an input to future strategy.
– This post was written by Emma Vince – former Digital PR Lead at Tinderpoint.