Developing great content is one of the most important aspects of any successful online marketing strategy. However, it can also be one of the most challenging and time-consuming, especially for business-to-business (B2B) operations. Yet, it is totally worth the effort. In fact, B2B buyers report spending more than 70% of the decision-making process using content for research. So, no matter how great your sales team may be, if your content is not connecting then your sales team may never get in the game. There are a number of different content marketing challenges that you’ll face when creating and implementing a content marketing strategy, but don’t worry – we’re here to help!
In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 content marketing challenges and how to overcome them. By doing so you will be able to build awareness and credibility. You can also effectively differentiate your product offerings and layout your value proposition.
Content Marketing Challenges: #1 Failing to plan
Benjamin Franklin said it best, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” This is especially true when it comes to content marketing. The top reason why companies don’t see an ROI on content marketing is because they do not have a well-detailed plan in place.
For example, Company A is hoping to increase its connections on LinkedIn to help identify leads. The company decides to start posting a few times a month. They don’t create a content calendar or even plan out the content in advance. They just write up something on the spot and post it. The results are that very few people comment, like, or share the posts. So, the content fails to deliver any leads and they stop posting.
Company B, on the other hand, sets a goal to utilize LinkedIn to position the company as an industry expert and leading solutions provider. The metric is to increase sales leads by 10% within the year. The company comes up with a strategy to post motivational tips on Mondays. They post informative product videos on Tuesdays, deliver industry advice on Wednesdays, and PR articles on Thursdays. Then they promote their blog on Friday. They also carve out at least 1 hour each day to engage with connections. This includes liking and commenting on other’s posts, and responding to every comment their receive on their own posts.
Company B also reviews its social media analytics monthly to see which pieces of content perform best. They then adjust their content calendar accordingly. Once it achieves one goal, such as 15 new followers, it sets another attainable goal like increasing post engagement by 5%.
Having a comprehensive plan like this can help you clearly define your content marketing goals, objectives, as well as processes. The best use of that content is to get it in front of as many potential customers, as often as possible.
Content Marketing Challenges: #2 Keeping quality high
The next challenge to overcome is creating high-quality content. The focus should be on developing informative, beneficial, and insightful material that focuses on the needs of the reader. This can be a difficult task, but there are a few things that you can do to improve your chances of success.
First, make sure that you have a clear understanding of your target audience, and what they are looking to consume. Engineers are going to read much different content than a CEO would.
Second, take the time to research your post topic inside and out. Are you just rehashing old info or are you actually giving someone actionable advice? Developing content that engages the reader is critical for your success. We’re all tired of being sold to and bombarded with salesy, marketing messages. Good content is not about self-promotion or filled with claims of how great your products or services are. Ask yourself is this content about us or them? Always make it about them.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional writer if you need it.
Content Challenges: #3 Being consistent
The 3rd challenge is staying consistent with your content marketing efforts. Content marketing is not a one-time thing; it’s an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and attention. If you want to be successful, the key is to create and distribute relevant and consistent content. It must engage, inform, nurture, and convert prospective buyers into qualified leads. It can be difficult to stay consistent. However, if you do, you will see the rewards. These include increased traffic, higher conversion rates, and more engaged customers.
It is important that your content addresses your audiences’ problems and provides them with solutions.
Initially, it can be beneficial to create a variety of content and see what resonates with your growing audience. Focusing on people, infusing your content with authenticity, and using formats like good old storytelling will make a huge difference.
Challenges: #4 Getting overwhelmed
At some point, you may feel like you are hitting the wall. Let’s face it, creating quality content is time-consuming. Plus, it’s not easy coming up with a variety of compelling content ideas. There may come a time when you may need to bring in some help. This is where it gets tricky for B2Bs.
While there are a ton of young marketing people out there that can run super successful social media campaigns for consumer brands, they typically fall short for B2Bs. This is especially true if your industry or products are more complicated. There are however marketing agencies that work exclusively with these types of businesses.
At Rankin PR, we have found that while content attracts prospects, PR content attracts more and better prospects. This is because well-written, properly placed public relations articles (earned media) will educate your prospects pushing them further down the sales funnel.
PR articles published in top industry journals are the single most effective way to reach your target audience. In fact, according to MediaGrowth Research, 97% of readers take action as a result of the articles they read in trade publications.
Articles, such as this, have helped our clients build trust, improve conversions and connect with more potential customers. When frequently published (like several times a month) you create the ultimate competitive advantage.
One of the most significant benefits of PR articles is they can be integrated into other forms of content marketing: blogs, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, and emails. Sounds like a win-win, right?
Challenges: #5 Measuring success
Finally, don’t forget to measure the success of your content marketing efforts. Measuring the success of your content marketing strategy can be difficult due to the fact that there are a lot of different factors that you need to take into account. These may include our website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, and email subscribers. However, if you use the right tools and metrics, you should be able to get a good idea of how well your content marketing strategy is performing.
However, the most effective way to see if your content marketing is working is by looking at the bottom line. If your business is growing and your sales funnel is filling up, then you definitely hit pay dirt.