Time is Marketers Single Greatest Challenge with Content, or is it?
If you were to ask any content or communications marketer what their biggest challenge is, I would bet they say time. Is the obsession with the clock just about seconds ticking by? Definitely not, and I’ll tell you why.
Although having enough time to execute any content marketing plan can be a challenge, additional factors more than likely will creep in: general organization or prioritization of tasks and goals from the get-go. Nothing puts more pressure on time than having too many goals, especially if any are unfocused, unrealistic, or lacking an organized process to achieve them.
If time is your greatest challenge, perhaps it’s time to overhaul your content marketing strategy and approach to time management. A content calendar gives foresight into branding for the year and lays out the necessary campaigns as they come to fruition. This will allow you to plan accordingly. Having deliverables on the calendar is necessary for success in any campaign.
Examples of content challenges noted in relation to time:
- Time to curate it all
- Finding the time to create it
- Having too many ideas, not enough time
- Finding time to research and write the content
- Developing valuable content in the most effective time
- Finding the time to handle all the phases
- Needing to take a content strategy from zero to 60 in less than a year
Creativity and Quality Confuse Marketers Far More Than Strategy or Analysis, But Isn’t That Expected?
When it comes to categorizing marketers’ greater challenges with content, themes related to the production of content and its credibility are usually the largest areas of concern. And maybe it stands to reason. Most marketers know the strategy of how they want to achieve their campaign, but executing and having concise content is where they fall flat.
Examples of challenges to creative and qualitative aspects of content:
- Making it feel genuine
- Creation of content
- Being clear and concise
- Compelling storytelling
- Offering insightful and relevant content
- Making abstract ideas tangible for audiences
- Creating useful and meaningful content for specific audiences
Just “Creating It” Leads the Pack of Production Challenges with Content, Or Perhaps Knowing Where to Start?
As marketers, we love the phrase “creating it” more than any other single phrase in articulating challenges. Simple. Concise. Yet, could it signify a general lack of direction in knowing where to start, or, conversely, creating content takes effort.
When all factors are combined, the creation of content — from generating ideas and finding talent to revising work and optimizing it for distribution — can be a laborious process.
Examples of challenges with content marketers noted in relation to production:
- Creating it (and enough of it)
- Producing at scale
- Original ideas
- Creative ways to captivate the audience
- Keeping up a consistent flow of quality content
- Writing content that supports the brand narrative
- Developing enough compelling content to move the business
Quality Itself Confounds More Than Engagement, or is it a Chicken-and-Egg Problem?
When it comes to the credibility of content — the aspects through which audiences connect with and establish trust with a brand — marketers are twice as challenged by the quality of content than its ultimate ability to engage. That being noted, one could argue you can’t engage without having quality content, to begin with.
Examples of challenges with content marketers noted in relation to credibility:
- Genuine content
- Getting users to engage
- Making it original and accurate
- Keeping content fresh and relevant
- Ensuring it meets our audience’s interests
- Producing high-quality content that provides value to readers
- Having a clear message and branding across multiple channels
Time Remains Ever Elusive, but Does it Speak to a Broader Challenge with Content Around Process?
As mentioned earlier, time is the number one challenge with content. Not having time could mean a lack of commitment, organization or process, or a general lack of resources.
Examples of challenges with content in relation to the process:
- Finding time
- Scheduling the calendar
- Organizing and tracking
- Managing the review process
- Getting all stakeholders involved
- Having time to get someone to do it
- Collaborating with different departments
- Planning and executing a sensible plan versus being reactive and random
Marketers Want Attention Wherever They Can Get it, But Do Specific Channels Matter as Much as We Think?
Let’s face the facts, Facebook and Google, although they’re Gods when it comes to channel marketing, aren’t the only players. Nowadays, there are just too many distribution channels to consider when developing a fully integrated content strategy, especially for B2C companies. Which apps and social channels work best for the target personas? There are so many options, that research is imperative to every campaign, big and small.
As of late, marketers seem laser-focused on tried-and-true search and social sharing as the most important emotional methods for engaging with their audience. Getting back to basics for content: If the message matters more than the method [audience behavior], then perhaps the method, matters more than the channel.
Examples of challenges with content in relation to driving relevant traffic:
- Making it viral
- Reaching everyone
- Getting high Google rankings
- Relating title and topics to SEO
- Inspiring others to share content
- Knowing where to distribute content
- Getting content found by the right audience
Converting and Generating Leads are Equally Challenging, But Does Their Cost Not Matter So Much?
When it comes to hitting KPIs, and please remember that not everything is a KPI, converting and generating leads tends to be a marketers’ biggest challenge. By contrast, ROI tends to be a pain point with measuring the effect of content for the majority of marketers.
Examples of challenges with content marketers noted in relation to KPIs:
- Converting sales
- Measuring improvement
- Cost per lead
- Traffic to lead generated through content
- Creating additional lead magnets
- Setting benchmarks and measuring results
- Tying content to conversions and delivering ROI
- Proving the business impact of content marketing
A Little Research Goes a Long Way – Audience and Targeting Strategies
As always, effective research is one of the biggest content challenges. Maybe most marketers have done their homework (and know how to research) or, on the contrary, most haven’t (and don’t realize the importance of informing their content with data). We’re hopeful that impactful and direct research will be valuable since a little research goes a long way. There are many tools available for marketers – both paid and free – so there is little excuse to not begin with research to make informed strategy decisions.
Examples of challenges with content in relation to strategy:
- Niche marketing
- Deciding what to produce
- Hitting all the stages of the customer journey
- Aligning audience needs with marketing goals
- Knowing what will appeal to potential customers
- Getting the strategy right so it works on many levels
- Knowing how much and what information to include
- Finding interesting and relevant research to inform our content
Finding Good Talent is Hard, But it Doesn’t Have To Be
Finding talented people is twice as challenging as finding a budget to hire them. When implementing a content strategy, the question of “Who’s going to do it?” often far outweighs the questions of “What content are we going to create?” and “How much is it going to cost?”
There are affordable solutions to this dilemma, where you can easily find and hire vetted agencies like HeartBrain Marketing to make your message come alive. We’re committed to making your company as successful as possible through strong communication directed towards appropriate audiences and digital channels. We have the time. We do the research. We create the content.
Product & Communications Marketing Director
chat at heartbrain dot marketing