Whether you’re just getting started with a content marketing initiative, or have been practicing the art for years, you’re bound to hit a few bumps along the way. Not only are all of the challenges present that occur with all initiatives, like budget and staff, but there are also the challenges of encouraging adoption of a non-traditional method of marketing.
Last year, Curata surveyed over 500 marketing professionals and published the results in the 2014 Content Marketing Tactics Planner. These 500 professionals gave insight into their biggest challenges with content marketing, these included the following (in order of importance): limited staff, limited budget, creating enough content on a regular basis, finding the best sources to create amazing content, organizational culture, measuring the impact of content, and promoting content.
Curata’s findings are quite telling in many ways. First, it sheds a light on to the importance of monetary resources available. Second, as Curata astutely points out, content measurement and promotion are on the bottom of the list. This is a big, big problem.
The thing we love most about a challenge is the opportunity it creates to overcome it. Below, we’ll address how we see the challenges of content marketing and how to address each one.
Content Marketing Challenge #1: Limited Resources
As we mentioned earlier, focusing on promotion and measurement is paramount in successful content marketing. However, for content marketing to even be considered, you must answer this question first.
The answer to this is simple: content marketing costs less than traditional marketing. In fact, it costs 62% less than traditional marketing does and generates approximately 3 times as many leads. The bottom line is that marketing dollars are better spent on content marketing.
But what about the headcount? You can probably make room in the budget for a content marketing initiative, but hiring a full time writer, social media specialist, SEO, graphic designer, and even videographer is harder for one to make happen.
Here’s when outsourcing is your friend. Hiring specialists in the field of content marketing makes your job much easier and hedges your bets for success. Check out our list comparing and contrasting hiring an agency versus building an in-house team here.
If you decide to hire a reputable agency, you won’t have to address the challenges of creation, promotion, and how to measure results. Go you! But, if you’re building an in-house team, here’s how to address those issues.
Content Marketing Challenge #2: Content Creation Processes
Building processes is never simple and content creation is no different. However, laying this groundwork of processes is essential for creating killer content on a regular basis.
The first step here is to take a look at your buyer personas (or create them if you haven’t yet). From these buyer personas, you’ll generate content topics and types. A monthly or quarterly editorial calendar should then be created where you’ll plan out the dates of publication for the content you will create.
The editorial calendar is also where you’ll plan your curation strategy. Curated content should be 25% of your overall content marketing mix. Within this content, you can share relevant industry news as well as quality 3rd party content that will support your own created content.
Content Marketing Challenge #3: Promotion
Many people get so wrapped up in the content creation phase, that they forgo the attention that promotion requires.
When you’re starting a content marketing campaign, expect that you’ll be spending 50% of your time on “content” and 50% of your time on “marketing.” While that may seem absurdly fundamental, please do carry it with you.
Content marketing promotion may take many forms, including promotion on owned, earned, and paid channels. Common methods of content promotion are:
- Social media (unpaid)
- Social media (paid)
- Content promotion networks
Content Marketing Challenge #4: Measurement
There are really two facets of the measurement content marketing challenge. The first is to know what to measure. The second is understanding what those measurements mean.
To address the issue of what to measure, it’s imperative that you have concrete goals. Your KPIs will vary depending on the type of goals you have set. Understanding what your goals are is the first step in addressing measurement issues.
After you have determined and calculated your KPIs, it’s time to understand them. You may have had a 59% increase in followers. Great! So what? What does that mean for your brand? Does this indicate an increase in brand awareness? Are those followers of high value? The only way to answer these questions is to dig into your data.
Content Marketing: Accomplished
By addressing each of these big content marketing challenges, you’re on the road to content marketing success. While tackling limited resources, creation process, promotion, and measurement issues early make your ride much smoother along the way.
Are there any other challenges that you would address? What are your content marketing hurdles?