Often, a company will dive into a marketing trend simply for its buzz or because another brand is doing it. But identifying the potential pain points of a marketing vehicle before you get started is vital to its success. If you know the roadblocks you’ll face, you can put processes in place to avoid them from the beginning.
I was fortunate enough to spend time with some of the brightest minds in the marketing industry at the CMO Club Summit and the iMedia Content Summit, where I gained valuable insight on current marketing pain points.
Here are the four most common hurdles for content marketing:
1. Generating Original Content
Matt Preschern, senior vice president and enterprise CMO at Windstream, brought up a great point during a session about the challenges of getting your employees to develop content. He said that you already expect a lot out of your employees performance-wise, so asking them to use their expertise to write content adds quite a bit to their busy schedules.
Usually, these people are developers, designers, or in other positions that require no writing background. Obviously, this is an opportunity to plug Influence & Co., but even if you keep your content creation in-house, there are processes you can put in place to minimize the burden of creating content.
Create a process that makes it easier for employees to share their expertise, and make sure they understand the benefits of their contribution to the company as a whole. Whether it’s bringing in sales leads or increasing your brand’s web presence, if employees feel that they’re truly helping the company grow, it will keep them more engaged.
2. Getting Buy-in From the C-Suite
I recently wrote an article about common objections to content marketing. But judging by the audience at the CMO Summit, there seem to be common communication barriers between heads of marketing and their CEOs. I even heard a joke that a company CEO’s wife has more pull in marketing than the CMO.
If you can’t communicate well as an executive group, how do you expect your staff to deliver results? One suggestion was to have more one-on-one meetings with each team lead versus one large executive team meeting.
Put your pride aside, and stay open to others’ ideas.
3. Creating a Content Strategy That Ties Everything Together
All too often, brands lack a comprehensive content strategy. You aren’t going to experience the full value of content marketing unless all the pieces are working together to accomplish your business goals.
One brand showed a phenomenal whitepaper it had crafted, but it was having trouble getting people to click on it. The brand’s audience couldn’t find it. This is a prime example of a brand that had high-quality content but missed out on some value by not creating a content strategy that tied everything together.
4. Deciding Between Internal or External Content Creation
My favorite question to answer is whether a company can do what we do in-house. Honestly, for some companies, it’s wise to keep content creation in-house, but for others, it’s a no-brainer to hire externally.
I recently wrote a Forbes article that addresses the drawbacks of only producing content internally.
It’s important to ask yourself two questions: “Why aren’t we doing it already?” and “Are we certain that we can implement this effectively?”
These two questions will help you make your decision. If you consider why you haven’t put effort toward an in-house content team, you will identify barriers such as limited capacity or focus.
It’s also important to commit to doing content right. Too many companies dabble in blogging or sporadically write about different topics. To be effective and earn a good ROI on your content, you have to be consistent and devote serious time to it. If you don’t have the internal resources or capacity, then hire it out.
Companies have the expertise to create content; they either don’t have the time or haven’t devoted enough resources to develop an effective strategy behind it.
By opening up communication with your team leaders, putting forth the effort to develop a content strategy, and deciding whether to hire an in-house content team or outsource your content, you can get your brand’s message in front of your audience and see a real return from your efforts.
Post by John Hall