Whether you’re part of the spread of online content or not, there is substantial evidence that a majority of business to business (B2B) marketers are using content marketing as a large part of their entire marketing strategy. If you don’t, you should be, and if you have no idea what it is, then keep on reading.
Content marketing is a type of online marketing that revolves around the creation of online product like social media, videos and blogs, and then the sharing of these things across the wider network. While it’s not directly involved or focused on promotion, it does so in a roundabout way that will stimulate interest in products or services that the company specializes in.
Think of it as a way of digital storytelling. It’s not clear though if content marketing is simply a product of an intelligent consumer base or just another way for marketers to tap into untapped markets, one thing is clear is that it works. Studies show that content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing.
What are the Challenges?
If you’ve already read this far, highlighting the challenges could be something that you’ll likely think about. It can be quite a process to create powerful content marketing because despite what research says or whatever user polls might tell you, content marketing can be considered to be a very “hit and miss” approach. Sometimes things will work and sometimes they won’t.
Producing the content that resonates with your target audience is arguably one of the hardest challenges to overcome. To guarantee the success of content marketing, you’ll need to do thorough research to find what your users want, how they want to see it, and the best way to put it all together. Even then, it might not be a completely successful campaign at the end of the day.
History will tell us that not everything we plan for tends to happen. If you take a look at the US Elections or Brexit, most media outlets and poll counts were leading towards Clinton and Remain respectively, but the results can sometimes differ.
Some of the biggest challenges that you could face with content marketing could be down to a number of different things, but we’ve highlighted a few of the most glaringly obvious challenges that you may come across while trying to deliver a top-quality content marketing piece.
- Content is King
Content is truly king in today’s day and age. Search engines are becoming more intelligent and people who browse are beginning to figure out what they should and shouldn’t be clicking. The same is true of content. The likelihood of someone clicking your content if your heading says, “15 things you don’t believe you’re eating”, has decreased somewhat since the birth of social media.
You’ll want to ensure that you have content that’s easy to read, content that’s easy to follow and most of all, informative and interesting pieces. Nobody is going to look at your content for rinse/repeat stuff that can be found anywhere else. The problem with this is that uniquely engaging and interesting content is going to cost money. This is where you’d find a traditional Venn diagram between Fast Content, Good Content, and Cheap Content. If you can only pick two of them, which 2 would you pick?
- Shifting Trends
Something else that weasels its way into the above category too, is that the trends that are being discussed and talked about are always changing. If you’re about to release a post discussing a movie or series, make sure you plan it in the appropriate time. There’s nothing worse than a football match content marketing piece going out in the offseason. You’ll have no interest, you’ll have no clicks and most of all, you’ll lose the faith of some of your viewers.
Focusing on content that is on trend is important and it’s a great way to get people interested in your content (again, if it’s good). If you’re really good, you’ll get to a point where you can anticipate these trends, but in this scenario, you’ll be left with a few hits and miss scenarios.
- Expecting Too Much
Don’t ever expect your one amazing, on-point content marketing post to change the world and instantly sky-rocket you into the stratosphere of search results. You’ll need to consistently release good posts and have the information shared out appropriately to capture the right target market consistently. Once that happens, you may have people coming directly to you, which may or may not be your end goal.
Linking up with the previous challenge, you’ll need to develop schedules around your content marketing. Consistency is the key and if you release one piece on a random Thursday, and the next, a few weeks later, you’re not setting yourself up for success in content marketing. People enjoy a form of schedule and order, so make sure that you maintain a semblance of predictability so that if someone truly does enjoy your content, they’ll be able to visit your site the next day or week.
Believe it or not, but luck plays a huge part in content marketing, although may experts won’t admit it. People might say that they have planned for certain scenarios, or they are confident about the power of their content and have all their other ducks in a row. While this may be true, sometimes you can do everything perfectly right and still get no traction.
That’s why we say that luck is a fundamental part of it. You could find that pieces you haven’t planned to catch on, simply get a massive influx from something you didn’t plan or weren’t planning to cater for. That’s just life in the world of content marketing and luck plays a part.
- ROI Measurements
The difficulty in many facets of content marketing is if you have someone at the helm who doesn’t believe in it and is constantly going to try and measure the ROI of what is being done, you’re going to have a bad time.
It’s difficult to prove that content marketing truly ever “works”, but measuring the ROI is still a challenge even with all of the analytics we have at our disposal. You never really know how much of an impact one thing you did actually had on the greater return on investment. Do you ever really know how good content is once you’ve spent most of your budget on it? It’s a tricky scenario.
Be realistic and set goals you think content marketing should get you and then determine whether or not the ROI is worth it. Measure the how before you measure anything else and you’ll be able to bring something positive out of it.
It’s an easy thing to want to get into content marketing without fully understand what it’s all about. Make sure that whatever you’re doing can be sustained over the long run. There is no quick-hit secret to success to get everything in the world swinging your way, it’s a long graft and it’ll take time but if you do things right, you’ll see positive results.
If you’re spending good money on good content, then it’s going to cost you a fair amount of money, and if it does, you’ll likely need some deep pockets to keep that level of content sustainable. Don’t think of it as throwing money away, but rather investing money into the structure of what you’re doing as a business.
Ensure that the benefits of the content marketing that you do outweigh the cost of the content production. If you’re promising fresh, new content every day from world-class content generators, it’s going to get expensive, and the chances are slim that people are going to read back-to-back pieces anyway.
Content Marketing Use Cases
Content marketing is said to be cheaper than traditional methods of advertising and actually generates more buzz around the topic, obviously resulting in more leads. The great thing about it too is that it’s actually interesting. Some companies tend to forget that the messages they are sending are going to real people, and in today’s world, the average consumer is smarter than before, so it gets harder and harder to try and jam information into someone’s head, especially if they’re not interested in it.
According to a content marketing infographic found on SmallBizTrends, the sheer amount of positive feedback from customers and businesses is simply staggering. The business boasts a 6x higher conversion rate with content marketing, costs are 62% less than traditional modes of advertising, 82% of consumers feel positive about a company after reading tailored content. These are all massive percentages and all very positive highlights.
The relationship even runs a little deeper than that because 70% of consumers feel closer to a company as a result of their content marketing. This is something important because it builds a trust factor between consumer and company. It’s no wonder then that 72% of business have the opinion that it’s more effective than advertising in a magazine, and 62 % of markets claim that it generates better results than advertising on TV. Plain and simply put, it’s the new medium that encourages interaction, drivers useful and informative content, and allows consumers to be a big part of the success.
Entering into the Content Studio
To help you along the way, you’re going to need to find a way to streamline your social media and content marketing to ensure that ensure is as painless as possible, but still generates the kind of interest that you want to see.
With ContentStudio, you’ll be able to find and analyze the top performing content, plan, publish and monitor the results, all in real time while tracking KPIs and measuring performance across all channels. All in all, you’ll be given a one-stop content marketing tool that can outperform the competition, while still giving you all the industry knowledge you could possibly need.
Content Studio’s Discovery has a powerful search and query building which allows you to search by keywords, domains, authors or hashtag. You can create custom topics, use Boolean operators and much more. You’ll get to see exactly what is trending right now across trending scores and past engagement data for each post as well as access to custom sources and RSS feeds. There are multiple regions and languages supported too.
With the insights, you will be able to use AI and complex data-analysis techniques to extract the most usefully information and be able to read it in its simplest form. You can see activity by history and check out the best performing days, domains and authors. It truly gives you license to dive deep into content and find out what works, what doesn’t work and what your next few steps should be.
With Publish, you’ll get to put up your content wherever you want to. You can have it translated, rephrased, planned and put up however you want. The world is truly your oyster when you want to put content up, no matter where you want to do it.
|Built-In Image Editor
At the very base of the product range, you’ll be given a single workspace with up to ten different social accounts. You’ll be allowed to run 10 automation campaigns with unlimited posts per month on social and blog, with unlimited search per day too.
Some Extra Tools to Help Your Success
With content marketing being the kind of massive job that it is, across varying channels with a wide range of target markets, audiences and platforms, there are some tools that can give you a bit of help when you’re looking to create your next big piece.
SEMRush will allow you to capitalize on SEO by checking out keywords and see who is bidding what on the most competitive words. It’ll give you ideas as to what you can cater your keywording towards and see which keywords are getting organic rankings.
We found that MailChimp is an essential part because content marketing extends across all forms of communication. The dashboard is simple and easy to use and if you’re starting out, you’ll be able to use its depth of features for free.
When you’re looking to jump into a competitive field, Ahrefs is essential to see what your competitors are doing. You’ll be able to learn why your competitors are ranking as highly as they are and what you need to do to outrank them. It’s not an infallible system, but in combination with smarts and everything else, it can help.
While perhaps not strictly a content marketing tool, the likelihood is that you’ll have a team of people working on projects. Trello is the perfect team-based option for anyone looking to collaborate on work. You can stay organized and productive, send out messages and share content all in one tidy little spot.
SiteProfiler is one of the tools that come with the Mangools SEO tools package, each of which has the goal of improving your website’s performance, reputation and ranking.
SiteProfiler shows at one place DA, PA, CF, TF, Alexa Ranking, number of Referring IPs, Facebook shares, important insights about site’s backlink profile. Also, it shows top performing content and insights about the site’s audience. Very nifty tool that shows so much valuable data.
It’s a difficult world, content marketing. People love it and people hate it. With the right tools in your hands, it can be a wonderful thing. It can even be a successful thing; all you need to do is use the tools the right way. ContentStudio is one such tool that makes a difference each and every time you use it.
As someone who does content marketing, you’ll need to ensure that the brand you use and establish is strong and has the legs to go the distance. No longer will someone in your existing company be able to do this on the site, or will you be able to allocate resources from one department to another? Content marketing is a fundamentally important part of the business that needs to be taken seriously in order for a business to compete in this intelligent consumer-based market.
When we discuss content internally, we always think about what we’d like to see. It’s not a new technique, nor is it anything special, but it’s important to use because we believe it. You wouldn’t want to read about something that’s not appealing, so why would you write about it? The only thing worse than starting a new book and finding out that it’s really bad is being forced to sit through it. Nobody would sit around to do that, so you’d just close the book. The internet is exactly the same although it’s much easier to hit the “X” than it is to put down a book.
Guest blog post by Kristian Ole who is from Denmark and lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand since 2009 – From where he runs two online marketing companies. One of his main interest is high-quality content creation and its effective distribution.
Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.