While at Lead Gen Summit, I led a roundtable discussion about content marketing with other marketers in attendance. Because the topic of the roundtable was so broad, I decided to make the focus of the discussion on the participants’ biggest content marketing challenges. This turned into a very interesting and engaging discussion, where everyone not only had a particular content marketing challenge of their own they wanted to address, but also had wonderful and useful insights to offer for others to think about. Here are some of the challenges that we discussed:
Challenge #1: Finding enough people to write content
This is a very common challenge when it comes to content marketing. We know we need to be producing content on a regular basis, but we don’t have enough resources to help produce that content. Many times, marketers are left on their own to create it entirely by themselves, while others have a small team either in-house or outsourced to help churn it out.
How to overcome this challenge: If you have subject matter experts (SMEs) in-house, get them involved with the creation of content. Time can be an issue for many of these experts, so think of types of content that can be produced with their help, without having to ask them to write a large amount of content. For instance, a blog might be a good way to get them involved in periodic, less time-intensive content creation, as would webinars. Here at Search Mojo, most of our staff contributes to our blog at least once per month, and periodically presents webinars.
Challenge #2: Planning the production of content
Planning the creation of content can also be quite time-intensive. You have to factor in research, draft-writing, reviews, design, and a plethora of other tasks just to get a piece of content created. In a fast-paced company where timely content is key, getting bogged down in this process is not ideal.
How to overcome this challenge: Develop an editorial and production calendar that outlines the who, what, when, where and how of your content pieces. In addition, a good project management tool (we use Wrike) will keep everyone on task and on schedule.
Challenge #3: Getting stuck in a content rut
One roundtable participant talked about how her organization was constantly churning out the same kind of content that wasn’t moving people down the sales funnel.
How to overcome this challenge: It’s important to know who your buyer personas are, then determine what content is going to address the pain points those personas experience during the buying process. You can then map your existing content to your personas and to the sales funnel, determining along the way where the biggest content gaps are. This will help to not only change the content you’re producing, but also make it more effective for moving leads down the funnel towards a buying decision.
Challenge #4: Producing relevant content that speaks the right language
Another participant was faced with the challenge of being the “go-between,” responsible for interviewing the SMEs, and then writing content that speaks the language of the target audience. She herself was not an SME for her particular industry, but needed to be able to correctly interpret the information from her company’s SMEs into content that would resonate with buyers.
How to overcome this challenge: As with challenge #1, getting the SMEs more involved in the production of content can help ensure that the information is being conveyed correctly for the target audience. Webinars and speaking opportunities at industry conferences are a great way to do this, without being too much of a time drain. At the same time, these types of content can also help build a strong thought-leadership position for both the individual and the company.
Challenge #5: Getting the organization on the same page regarding content marketing
Yet another challenge a particular marketer had was that those in sales and marketing at his company all had different definitions of what they thought content marketing should be. This led to disjointed views of the strategy.
How to overcome this challenge: I recommended that the marketer meet with all involved to determine overall business goals and objectives of marketing, without bringing content marketing into the discussion at all – which would do nothing but distract them from the main purpose of the discussion. That way, he could get everyone focused on what marketing is meant to achieve, then come up with a strategy that includes content marketing, which would accomplish those goals.
What is your biggest content marketing challenge, and how are you taking steps to overcome it?
Don’t miss the upcoming webinar Breaking Down the Buy-In Barrier for B2B Content Marketing, happening Thursday, October 10th at 2pm ET.