On your path to success, you will encounter a lot of bumps. That is perfectly normal, regardless of the type of business you run. Being aware of the challenges that might await you, helps you prepare yourself and counter the negative effects these might cause.
1. Producing engaging content
Producing engaging content has been identified as the top challenge by a large group of marketers. Creating content might be easy, but creating good and engaging content is not. It requires a lot of time and effort. It requires research and devotion. Finally, it requires writing and editing skills. With all the other tasks and active campaigns, sometimes content creation can become a challenge.
One of the ways to overcome this challenge is to outsource content creation. Hiring someone to do this task for you will free up a lot of your time, which could be invested into different projects and assignments. Still, this imposes an additional cost for your business, which is why you have to be sure that this fits your overall business planning and budget. In this case, you will have to find a person who is able to deliver content of a certain standard.
Exploring different content types and tactics can also help with increasing the level of engagement. Your goal would be to explore metrics for each type and determine the formula that brings most benefits.
2. Measuring content ROI
Many businesses have difficulties in measuring ROI of their content marketing efforts. When analyzing ROI, there is a need to identify how each part of marketing strategy affected the return, and for this, you have to be able to quantify the exact return from the piece of content in question. This can often be quite difficult, as you do not always have the way of knowing which content results in a conversion.
The conversion path can also be difficult to track. For example, a user might find one of your articles, which got him interested, which is why he signed up for a newsletter. Later on, you send an email campaign, and after the same user clicked on an email link, he eventually bought from you. In this case, the conversion tracking will show that the email campaign resulted in a conversion, but in reality, it was the content that helped you gain a new customer. There are more situations like these, where tracking conversion becomes an obstacle due to numerous factors, complicated conversion path being only one of them.
One way to increase the number of trackable conversions through content is to have a CTA in the actual content. This way, with that piece of content you immediately provide the link to the landing page, where you expect a conversion to happen. If the users click on the CTA in the actual content they have found, you will be able to track such conversions through the website analytics and in this case, you will be able to properly attribute the conversions to the content marketing.
When tracking is not possible, try comparing the overall influence the content has on your website performance. Compare the number of visits, signups and other metrics before active content marketing strategy and after that strategy has been implemented. Even though you still will not be able to calculate the exact ROI, you will get the insights into trends and tendencies affected by content creation and publication.
3. Producing content consistently
It is obvious that there is a tendency to publish content frequently, as all the research, white papers and case studies are showing that producing content consistently, such as once a day, does bring better results. Be that as it may, you will have to balance between quality and quantity. Keeping up with a busy publishing schedule might just set you out to fail. This kind of strategy requires lots of resources to keep the quality at the same level. Otherwise, the content quality will suffer.
In such a situation, one might be facing a real struggle. Is it better to keep up with the recommendations and publish once a day even if you are not completely satisfied with the content you have created? Or is it better to publish occasionally when you finish working on an extraordinary post? The answer is somewhere in between.
First of all, if you have the resources to keep the quality and quantity on a high level, then you should do so. Otherwise, try sacrificing quantity first. Instead of every day, go for one or two excellent posts per week. Then analyze the metrics and check the performance of the content. Once in a while, try to repurpose content to save time.
Even though publishing consistently at high standards is difficult, it is better to create truly amazing content occasionally than to publish low-quality content each day. Your audience will appreciate the quality over quantity because after all, it is better to interact with less content but to find that content truly worthy and useful.
4. Gaining visibility
Gaining visibility is another challenge that content marketers have. After you have spent so much time working on the content and after it is finally published and available for everyone to see it, it can be a bit disappointing and frustrating when there is no one actually watching. When you get no reactions, no visits, no feedback. This produces no results for the website, and even more importantly, it can influence you to start doubting your content, your ability to create content, etc.
For starters, have in mind that the amount of content published each day is astonishing. One look at the live stats, and you can see that there are more than four million blog posts published today and the number is going up by the second. This means that gaining visibility is a challenge most marketers will face.
To combat this challenge, you will have to work on building your reputation. Gaining reputation online means that you get a group of followers who are loyal to your brand and who will interact with you through social media, emails, blog comments, etc. Quality is also a great way to work on your visibility because the content of high quality naturally earns links and shares, which also means that it will naturally work its way up in the search engine results.
5. Paid promotion
Another trend that has been taking over is the paid content promotion over platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. These are great ways to promote your content using advanced targeting options and getting the right people to see your content. It helps with growing your audience and it generally helps you with gaining visibility. However, the main problem with paid promotion is the budget you will need to prioritize for this form of advertising. For smaller companies, and sometimes even for the large ones, it can be a problem. When you also take into account the difficulty of calculating the ROI, the budget for the content promotion sometimes just might not be a priority.
To overcome this obstacle, start by focusing on what you have to work with. Even it if is a tight budget, come up with a plan on how you can use it to maximize the efficiency of paid promotion. Set up your goals properly, and try to find the best way to reach them. For example, with a limited budget at your disposal, try using paid promotion on Facebook only, leaving Twitter and other social networks with no paid advertising. Another way to get paid promotion is to work with influencers. You give them your product to test and to review, and in return, they share their opinion online with their followers.
A good thing about being aware of these challenges is the possibility to prepare yourself. When you analyze each challenge and how it can actually affect your business in a negative way, you will develop a strategy that predicts the obstacles that might occur along the way. As a result, you will be able to prepare solutions for the obstacles if and once they occur. This allows you go along your path without disruptions while staying on track with content marketing strategy.