In recent years, content marketing has continued to be one of the most popular online marketing strategies utilized by both B2B and B2C businesses. However, despite its widespread usage, businesses large and small continue to face challenges that keep them from feeling successful with content marketing. Whether the blame gets placed on a lack of time, budget, knowledge, training, or other difficulties involved in consistently producing the type of content that promotes engagement, it seems there are certainly some obstacles that need to be cleared before companies can become more comfortable going “all-in” with content marketing.
To help get to the bottom of the issues so that our industry can start clearing them out of the way, I’ve asked eight top content marketing experts to share what they believe is the biggest challenge for businesses that want to go all-in with content marketing, and their suggestions for solving the problem.
The #1 challenge: “The number one challenge preventing businesses from going all-in with content marketing is that we have yet to go all-in with content. Most every organization today relies on outdated content production methods, like handcrafting content from scratch each and every time we need to communicate something to someone. Until we fix this, we’ll not be able to make content work to maximum benefit.”
How to solve it: “What’s needed is to think about content strategically, as a business asset worthy of being produced efficiently and effectively. If content were viewed as a line item on a balance sheet (as I believe it should be), we could see the cost of creating, managing, and delivering it, as well as the financial benefits of harnessing it for maximum impact.”
The #1 challenge: “The biggest challenge for companies that fully embrace content marketing is often neglecting to understand how important content amplification really is. If you make it, they will not necessarily come.”
How to solve it: “You need to create useful content that people actually want to consume — absolutely. But you also need a great system for making sure people know that content exists. It takes production and promotion to succeed with content.”
The #1 challenge: “For most businesses, going all-in with content marketing is a journey. The number one challenge is reaching the ‘maturity’ stage in their journey to understand that they need to go all-in. So many businesses dabble in content marketing with false expectations. Going all-in with content marketing is like committing to running the Boston Marathon. It’s a huge commitment that requires a plan. It cannot be done lightheartedly. But, it starts with the understanding that to get the desired outcome, you have to go all-in.”
How to solve it: “Start with the goal. For most businesses, the goal is some combination of brand building or lead generation or both. The plan has to identify the desired audience to reach, the topics they care about, and a content calendar. Study the competition to know how much better you need to be. Then, identify the resources needed to create content. In many cases the resources needed will be a mix of internal and external resources. If you’re serious about content marketing (all-in), build the plan and just go do it!”
The #1 challenge: “The biggest mistake that businesses make when they go all-in on content marketing is that more than great content is needed. Specifically, marketers are so focused on the need for amazing content that they overlook critical factors.
How to solve it:
- “The need for appropriate resources (aka budget and employees): Strong content requires more than just text; it needs editorial direction, design/formatting, images, copy editing, and technology.
- The need for content marketing distribution: Great content by itself isn’t sufficient to attract an audience. It must be distributed across owned media, social media, and third-party platforms. In some cases, it requires advertising support.
- The need for effective website marketing: Remarkable content can inspire prospects to click through to purchase. But if your landing page(s) and purchase process aren’t efficient and effective at conversion, you’ll lose the sale.”
The #1 challenge: “Patience. Do you have the staying power? The world seems to have awoken to the idea that content marketing can improve your marketing ROI and win business, but many sleep through the part about time.”
How to solve it: “Going all-in begins with a plan that documents goals, establishes processes, assigns roles, and measures different degrees of response. You need to factor in good-sized chunks of time, prepare to invest substantial resources, and refine perpetually.”
The #1 challenge: “The biggest challenge I hear of is a lack of resources. Companies know they need to have a content marketing strategy but they don’t have the time/knowledge to execute it.”
How to solve it: “As someone who has been in this situation, external help is often your best bet. There are some great companies out there that can help you get a strategy created and executed. Even if you have a small budget, services like Contently can be extremely helpful. I used them for six months or so and it was an easy way to get content created. You have to dictate the topics a bit, but the content they put out was good quality and helped me get things moving much faster than had I tried to do everything in-house.”
The #1 challenge: “Get beyond ‘random acts of content,” where every silo in the organization creates content at its own cadence and tone, and with no strategic purpose. It’s often the case that a business will try content marketing in a limited way, see initial success, and then fail miserably when they try to scale it.”
How to solve it: “The way through this challenge is by actually providing centralized content marketing the investment, resources, business processes, and power it needs to thrive. This can only be done when senior management, quite literally, buys in. It’s one thing to say we’re going all-in — and it’s quite another to actually do it.”
The #1 challenge: “Finding the time to do it.”
How to solve it: “There are many ways to address not having the time to get content done. The most popular method, of course, is to outsource the content writing to an agency. Probably half of the companies producing great content today are using this method. But you also want to consider using content technology/intelligence tools like PaperShare, Inbound Writer, Kapost, OutBrain and TrapIt. All of these tools help you get content done easier and quicker. Finally, you want to be sure and use a marketing automation tool like HubSpot. Using a tool like this will also bring efficiency to your content operation and, more importantly, help you measure it to ensure you get a solid ROI from your efforts. Outsourcing, leveraging, and automation are your friends when it comes to content!”
What is your biggest challenge to go all-in with content marketing? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Want more insight from instructors like Arnie Kuenn on how to manage today’s biggest content marketing challenges? Sign up for our Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification program. Access over 35 courses, created by experts from Google, Mashable, SAP, and more.
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