From the day when the term Content Marketing was first coined to this day when this term is almost a cliché, content marketing is becoming more and more important each day.
Despite the fact that you find so much content available that it sometimes becomes unbearable for the audience, content is still the king and it will always be one of the most formidable ways to convince, convert, sell, and prosper.
For content marketers, achieving the goals set by their managers and clients is a very big challenge. Today, we break down this big challenge into 'six challenges of modern content marketing'.
We will talk about how these challenges restrict the content marketers and marketing managers from getting the desired results. Also, we will talk about how we can cope with these challenges.
Challenge#1- Delivering Quality Content; Every Single Time!
One of the major components of successful content marketing is that you publish content consistently; failing to do so means you are going to lose your audience gradually over a period of time.
Consistency is not a very big challenge; most of the content marketers manage to form a publishing schedule and tend to follow in on a regular basis. However, the challenge that comes with consistency is quality.
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Many big companies with a lot of audiences try to get away with mediocre content, and that is where their doom starts.
To address this challenge, the content curators/writers/producers need to remind themselves all the time what quality means in content marketing.
Quality content is the content that is no fluff, draws attention and engages the audience. It is not only optimized for the SERPs but also for the readers as well. Quality content doesn't bore the reader and also gives him useful information.
Most importantly, quality content gives something new to the reader that he doesn't find in your competitors' channels.
Content marketers succeed in producing quality content on a consistent basis only when they know the needs and preferences of their audience.
Challenge #2- Ensuring Continuous Engagement
So we now have a solution of our first challenge; the content has to be engaging. Every content marketer knows that it is easier said than done. The second challenge is ensuring that the content you produce is actually engaging and effective, and stays relevant and helpful for a longer period.
Because, as we will elaborate while discussing further challenges, content marketing is a long-term process that asks for continuous efforts at many fronts until you are the hero for your audience.
Talking about being a hero, let's talk about the famous Hero, Hub, Help method, content plan engineered by YouTube content strategists. This plan is a result of rigorous research and analysis of the user behavior on YouTube.
The Hero, Hub, Help strategy is applicable on any content plan of today because the content marketing of today is all about getting to know what people want to read/see and then create content that fulfills the demands of the audience while also pitching for the company's product or service.
Let's briefly explain the Hero, Hub, Help Strategy for a better understanding.
The Hero, Hub, Help strategy, as the name implies works through three different fronts, where every front has its own way of execution and purpose.
1. You are the Hero
Present yourself as a hero of your niche through the art of storytelling. The goal here is better brand awareness and better reachability, achieved by producing content that forms an emotional relationship with your audience. Adverts, viral videos, and campaigns are part of this strategy.
2. Transform into a Hub
Produce regular content so that the audience that you have gathered with the Hero content keeps coming to you for more exciting content and considers you a central hub of whatever you are selling.
In addition to regular publishing, the goal should be to target the segments of the audience according to their preferences and choose multiple channels to reach them such as email campaigns, blogs, adverts, and so on.
3. Help your Audience
Become a reliable source of knowledge and provide answers to your audience's questions. This can be achieved by publishing detailed guides, live QA sessions over social media, how-to blogs, FAQs, tutorials, and product/service descriptions.
Challenge#3- Coping with the Paid Content
Organic versus paid content was once a hot debate, but no more. Paid content is the winner because the people who control the internet have redesigned their platforms in a way that they always prefer paid content over the organic content; it's as simple as that.
If a content marker decides to go against the tide; creates flawless content and publishes regularly, he will still lose from a competitor who invests his time and resources ($$$) into paid promotion.
The only solution is to find a way between the two. While building an audience and engaging it through organic content is invaluable, there are times when you need to reach maximum people in lesser times and most of the marketing mediums of today such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter won't allow you to do that; unless you opt for paid promotion.
This further means that you would also have to rethink your budgeting preferences. While allocating funds for content creation, you will need to allocate a considerable sum for your content promotions.
Challenge#4- Winning Enough Budget from the Managers and proving ROI
Some readers might argue that budgeting and ROI are two different challenges and should be addressed separately. You are right, but the sole reason to discuss both under the single umbrella is to highlight a very important relationship between them.
When you prove your ROI to your managers, they will never hesitate to increase their budget for content marketing efforts. One statistic which might help content marketers in this regard is that the returns on content marketing are 6 times greater than those of paid promotions.
There is no denying the fact that the more budget you get to work on your content marketing, the better results you can provide to your managers. The challenge here is to convince your bosses that your content marketing strategies are really working and bringing some real ROI.
Modern analytic tools that calculate ROI on content marketing efforts have made the work a lot easier. A content marketer can leverage different tool that calculates the ROI and present it to the manager.
But before start using the ROI calculation tools, a content marketer first needs to clearly define the goals of his content marketing, and the channels he has been using to achieve these goals.
Once you have established these two things, measuring the accurate ROI is now possible as you will set up the analytic tools considering every factor that counts as a factor in the ROI of your content marketing efforts.
Challenge#5- Finding the Right Resources
You need a team to realize your content marketing goals; a team that delivers quality without making many holes in your pocket. A team that develops the right strategies and funnels, produces top-class content and unrolls it at the right time.
A team that gets your content in front of right people through link building. Or simply, a team that does the magic while staying within your budget.
There are two options to build a team; either build an in-house team or outsource your work. Both options have their strengths and risks.
Having an in-house team means that you can always have first-hand interaction with your team members and you can also monitor and track the pace of work and how it is done. At the same time, building a team costs you more as the team takes your office space and other resources.
Outsourcing your link building and content marketing work to a remote team is a cheaper yet riskier option. You need to look extensively for the credibility and the ability of the team before you assign your all-important work to them.
Challenge#6 - Expecting the unexpected
In the ever-changing business arena, companies don't stick to a specific product/service for long and their preferences change every quarter.
In such a situation, one of the greatest challenges that content marketers face is convincing the business owners or managers that their content marketing efforts are going to need some time until they bear some fruit.
This is where content marketers face a multi-faceted challenge; they not only have to concentrate on their marketing efforts; but also have to consume their energy on encouraging their bosses to remain patient and have enough faith to keep pumping funds for the marketing activities.
The solution is pretty simple; convincing the business owners/ managers that building an audience and their faith in your services/products takes time.
This becomes easier when content markers discuss the scope of the project with the managers long before the project starts and set a realistic time frame. If possible, break down the long-term goals into small milestones which can be presented to the bosses from time to time.
This will help boost the morale of the business owner. Also, it will help the content markers in sighting the success rate of their strategies and change their plans in time if the small milestones are not being achieved.
Anita Sambol is a content strategist and graphic designer at Point Visible digital marketing agency. She has years of experience in designing graphics for web and running social media and content marketing campaigns. She loves cooking and football.