Whether you have a blog, YouTube channel, or social media account, you need quality content to move in the right direction.
And if you’re reading this, you also know that content marketing doesn’t come without its challenges.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to every content marketing challenge you’re facing right now or might face in the future.
In this post, we’ll talk about the 9 content marketing challenges and how you can turn them into growth opportunities.
Let’s dive in.
Content Marketing Challenges Marketers are Faced with Today
Challenge #1: Insufficient Resources
One of the biggest challenges today’s content marketer faces is the lack of resources. It’s easy to create content; it’s not that easy to create quality content.
Many small business owners prefer to handle their content marketing efforts on their own, which is great. After all, who better to communicate the message of your brand than you? So, you’re the ideal person to blog about whatever you’re selling.
However, since you also need to invest your time and energy into growing your business, blogging can easily take the back seat quickly. Alternatively, you can hire someone to write your content for you, but in this case, the lack of budget can get in the way.
And, if you hire someone cheap, how do you make sure the content is up to par? So many business owners are unable to move forward with their content marketing strategy at the right pace because of this challenge.
How to Turn It into an Opportunity?
Realize that you will have to pay for the content, one way or another. If you don’t want to put in the effort yourself, you’ll have to hire someone, which would cost you money.
Whereas handling it yourself would mean you’d be paying with your time. So, think about where can you get the most out of your efforts. If working on growth opportunities seems like a more important task, you might want to outsource content marketing.
Challenge #2: Increasing Competition
Whether you’re starting a blog around DIY projects or your small business, other people have already been talking about it for a while.
Your competitors already have your audience’s attention. The challenge here is to pull that audience towards your brand by producing not less than excellent content, and that too, frequently.
This can be a challenge.
How to Overcome It?
No matter how many blog posts you think you should be posting per week, never compromise on their quality.
However, keep in mind that expecting to hit the mark every single time would be unrealistic. Even the best blogs end up publishing mediocre content once in a while.
What you should do is make sure your blog posts are as good as they possibly can be. Plus, don’t just hit the publish button, promote your blog posts on various platforms to widen your reach.
Expert Tip: Use your own authentic internal media. Do not use stock media. Media that is unique and authentic to your brand will always resonate with your audience and indicate a higher level of expertise (quality) no matter what your subject matter is. On the flip side, nothing says “we through together some quick content like paid ads”.
Challenge #3: Shifting Trends to Paid Ads
It’s fair to say that every business likes to generate quick results. Paid advertisement can speed up your marketing efforts, which is why brands with deep pockets get in front of the audience before their competitors.
Sure, organic content is still very relevant and should never be taken lightly but, it does take time to make things happen for your brand.
On the other hand, paid ad platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads offer features that are too good to ignore as a marketer.
Facebook ads let you reach a very specific group of people with your ads, and that too, for the right price.
Organic content promotion on social platforms might work to some extent. But, if you want to reach a wider audience fast, consider exploring some paid options as well.
After all, content that doesn’t get enough eyeballs can’t help you meet your marketing goals.
How to Turn It into an Opportunity?
Start small, track your analytics, and increase your advertising budget at the right pace.
For social media ads, several variables dictate the success of your strategy, including:
- Target audience (Demographics, psychographics)
- Their online behavior
- Your content type and desired outcome
By fine-tuning the smallest of the variables, you can improve your ad’s ROI (return on investment).
Now, no matter how much you decide to put into your paid ad campaigns, define your goals beforehand.
- Do you just want to put your content in front of as many prospects as possible?
- Maybe you want to build an email list?
- Or it could just be to increase your following
Expert Tip: capture your audience! Rather than letting your audience ‘go’ after paying for them to view your content, implement a strategy to capture their contact information, ie email address, so you can directly reach them later. A simple way I like to do this is by including an ‘Send It To me So I can Read Later Form’. Just include an email and name form the user can input to get the article sent to their email.
Another way is by offering a lead magnet in the content. Create a piece of content that further adds value to the topic and be sure to include an opt-in for that in the content .
Challenge #4: Unrealistic Timeline Expectations
One of the biggest challenges content marketers of today face is dealing with unrealistic expectations of their management and teammates.
The fact of the matter is you have to wait for several months if not years before your organic content can start showing any results. In my experience, a well written blog post takes about 8 months to capture any traffic (see my Youtube vid on this).
This, interestingly, doesn’t have to be a drawback; you see, content marketing is a long-term game. And in order to build a sustainable online presence, you need to be a little patient.
However, most of us are used to the traditional way of advertising, where you can expect a quick return on investment.
Even if you’re the sole decision-maker of your business, convincing yourself to invest in content marketing can be hard.
How to Overcome It?
Don’t wait for ‘organic’ results!
Instead use your content in the sales and nurturing process! This is actually my #1 priority with content – not organic traffic. Put the content directly in front of the most valuable sets of eyes you have.
In my local home service businesses we use specific content in automated email campaigns, and Facebook ads that go out to leads, that have not yet made a decision.
And we don’t keep it all automated. If a sales lead asks a questions, we’ll typically answer it personally and then cite a blog or related piece of content. In doing this we get the benefit of expert positioning from our content, and get real user interaction with the content and our website which likely feeds back to Google.
Challenge #5: Creating Useful & Relevant Content
The role of content in content marketing is to help readers make more informed decisions. Producing in-demand, helpful content positions your brand as an industry leader, which helps influence your audience.
You can’t expect to do that when your content isn’t:
- Useful: Help readers decide
- Relevant: Satisfy searchers’ intent (What they’re looking for)
When your content doesn’t tick the above two boxes, your chances of converting the reader will be thin. But, if it is helpful and relevant, readers will more likely trust you, which would lead to more conversions.
On the flip side, irrelevant and useless content has the opposite effect; vague and basic content doesn’t help with conversions.
How to Overcome This?
Simply, understand what the user wants by analyzing user intent.
- Are your target customers just looking for a piece of information and not yet ready to buy?
- Or, are they actively looking for expert opinions in order to make a purchasing decision?
In addition, do the proper research beforehand and make sure your content is super useful and helpful.
Challenge #6: Maintaining Publishing Schedules
Now, with the sheer number of posts out there, and an overwhelming amount of content being published every day, it can be hard to decide on a publishing schedule.
As a content marketer, you’re probably faced with the following two challenges:
- How much content should you create to cut through this noise and get noticed?
- How do you craft a perfect balance between quality, quantity, and expenditure?
Although publishing daily can be great, what if your resources don’t allow you to do that?
How to Overcome This?
If you want to hit that publish button more frequently while maintaining the quality of your content, you need to invest more resources.
If that’s not possible, the quality of your content will take a hit. It’s important to maintain a balance between quality and quantity.
But, if one had to be compromised, always put quality above quantity. It’s always better to publish one high-quality post per week than to publish 3 mediocre ones.
With so many content marketers trying to grab people’s attention, the only way to stand out is by creating quality content.
Your focus should be to provide valuable, helpful content consistently, rather than publishing several times a day or even a week.
Challenge #7: Going too Broad (Or too narrow)
A common challenge content marketers face is working on a topic that’s either too broad or too narrow. Keeping a balance in focus can be difficult even for well-established blogs.
Working on a broad topic generally puts you against industry giants. As a result, you end up fighting an uphill battle, which often leads to a minimum to zero results.
Whereas, try to zero in too much on a niche and you’ll have a hard time coming up with enough topics and broadening your reach.
How to Overcome It?
If your target market is too broad, divide it into several subcategories. Pick one category and start by writing on more granular topics.
As your content matures and starts getting traffic, slowly broaden your niche to expand your reader base. Give yourself enough space to write on new and exciting topics.
Challenge #8: Content Creator Burnout
Burnout is something not many content marketers would talk about, but it needs to be addressed effectively.
Most content creators aren’t able to draw the line when it comes to the number of words they should write each day. They often end up doing more than they should, which leads to burnout.
Here’s how burnout is bad. It affects your physical and mental health adversely. This may lead to a drop in the quality of your content. Most readers would pick that drop, which can damage your brand’s reputation.
It’s important to realize that even the most talented and hard-working writers have capacity limits. And, pushing yourself more than you should can lead to disastrous outcomes for your health and business growth.
Here are a few symptoms of burnout:
- General dissatisfaction
- Losing interest
- Sloppy work
How to Overcome It?
If you’re experiencing burnout symptoms, create a content system for your business.
In my experience, the burnout often happens when you just look at a mess of media, and say “I have no idea wtf to do any more” or “we’ve covered everything”.
The system in my local home service businesses starts by anyalzing the photos of projects that were completed in the past week. From there we look for the best photos, and then explain what the project was and why the customer chose what they did.
In doing this we have a system for always creating new content and avoiding burnout.
Also consider, repurposing content. Repurposing content can seemingly amplify the amount of content that you have, thus minimizing the amount of content that you need to create. For example, when you write a blog post that contains your own images, take the image and make a separate post on each social platform with a snippet from the original blog. If your blog post has 3 images you can easily create 3 social posts on all your social platforms. In this post I cover some of the best tools for repurposing content.
Challenge #9: Not Using KPIs
It’s virtually impossible to understand the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy without defining and tracking KPIs (Key performance indicators).
Without KPIs, it’s difficult to understand:
- What type of content works
- Which content platforms are right
- If your content strategies are effective
The good thing is that there are plenty of free and paid analytics tools you can use to track your KPIs, including:
- Google Analytics
How to Overcome It?
You want to make sure that your KIPs are directly tied to your business goals. For example, if your goal is to build your brand, a good KPI would be to track your website’s traffic.
Want to estimate the usefulness of your content? Your email sign-up rate can tell you just that. Defining and measuring KPIs can significantly improve the chances of your success.
Content marketing can be a great way to connect with customers and build relationships, but it can also be challenging. Fortunately, the solutions are just around the corner; you just have to be willing to implement them.
What are the challenges you’re facing with content marketing? How have you overcome them? Let us know in the comments below.