Content marketing has always been with us. It has been called different things, but the creation of engaging content by brands has been a lynchpin of marketing for decades. In recent years, online marketers in particular have been forced by improvements to search engine algorithms, the ubiquity of social media, and users’ increasing immunity to traditional advertising methods to up their game in the content arena.
Many, however, remain to be convinced, seeing content marketing a passing fad or a distraction from the tried and true marketing and SEO tactics of the past. The naysayers have a variety of arguments that are frequently used to stymie content marketing advocates, and those advocates are faced with some real problems when implementing content marketing campaigns. We’re going to have a look at five of the most serious problems content marketers face and offer possible solutions.
We Can’t Produce Enough Content
I hear this a lot. Producing content in sufficient quantities to keep hungry search engines fed and social media followers engaged seems a daunting task.
One way to solve problems is to check the assumptions that underlie the difficulty. How much content is enough and what is causing your business to fail to match that quantity? For small businesses, it’s not necessary to produce a constant stream of videos and articles. One or two blog articles per week of a sufficiently high-quality is enough to begin with. Not being able to match the content marketing of Coca Cola is not a good reason to avoid it altogether.
We Don’t Know What To Write About
Many businesses have this problem because they’ve failed to lay solid foundations for their content marketing campaign. Market research, development of customer personas, an understanding of the purchase cycle, keyword research, and a clear grasp of the business goals that content marketing is supposed to address can all feed into the creation of a content calendar which will provide content ideas and a necessary level of focus and conformity to a business’ needs.
Additionally, content marketing isn’t all about products and sales. Every department of a business is a potential source of content, from customer service and public relations, to manufacturing and shipping. Every area of a business that affects customers is a potential source of content, because each of those areas produces concerns and questions that can be addressed while capturing search traffic at the same time.
Management Don’t Support Content Marketing
Business is, or should be, results driven. The way to convince management is to show, firstly, that the problems involved in content marketing are not intractable and, secondly, that content marketing can provide an ROI equal or superior to other marketing methods.
Luckily, examples and case studies of successful content marketing abound. Take your pick:
We Don’t Have The Necessary Talent
If content marketing is demonstrably effective and likely to contribute significantly towards achieving business goals, and yet a business is ill-equipped to carry out content marketing, then there is, or has been, a failure to nurture talent, recruit, or outsource properly. In other words, this problem is a management problem.
Ideally, content marketing is largely an in-house process. But if a current lack of available people is preventing a business from producing their own content, then outsourcing to a reputable inbound marketing agency is the solution.
Business often have bad experiences with outsourcing their SEO and content creation, and that makes managers hesitant to repeat the experience . But, as we’ll see below, effective content is not cheap, and contracting with content farms or shady SEO companies who offer bargain basement deals is bound to produce poor results. There are highly effective and diligent inbound marketers available. Do your research, check out the word of mouth on a company, ask for evidence of previous results, and don’t be tempted to cut corners.
Good Content Is Expensive
Yes and no. It’s not as cheap as some hope, nor as expensive as some fear. Companies get what they pay for. Content marketing compares favourably with PPC advertising and traditional SEO both in terms of cost and ROI.
A major benefit good content marketing has over traditional SEO is that content is an owned resource that will bring ROI over the long term. Producing evergreen or updatable content will ensure that it generates links and traffic into the future.
High quality content is also algorithm-change-proof. Over the last year many sites have seen their SERP positions destroyed by Google algorithm changes. Conspiracy theories and SEO chest beating aside, this happened because those sites were ranking as a result of dodgy link-building schemes or some other signal that Google has since decided aren’t a true reflection of the site’s quality.
Excellent, original, imaginative content doesn’t have this problem. If publicised properly it will always attract links of the right sort and drive traffic into the future. Sites will have stable SERP results and that’s something worth paying for.