Do you know when the best content marketing campaigns end?
In fact, they’re not even campaigns. They’re continuing efforts that inform and engage an audience. Great, audience-focused content will attract an audience that you can then market your product or services to – so why would you ever stop? In a perfect world, you wouldn’t. But the world is not perfect, and creating high quality content at a healthy cadence isn’t necessarily easy.
If you’re managing a content marketing initiative, or just launching one, here are the most likely pain points where things can get bogged down.
Pain Point No. 1: Not understanding your audience. When you start content marketing, it’s imperative that you create profiles of your customers. These tell you your customers’ likes and dislikes, habits and patterns, and should guide your team as they create content.
But what if you got it wrong? Or what if the audience has changed? If you believe you’re creating high quality content, but it isn’t resonating with the audience, it could be that you’ve miscalculated. Maybe you don’t know your audience as well as you think you do. If this is the case, you need to get a better handle on your customers. The best way to do this is to talk to them, and ask pointed questions about what type of information they’re looking for, as well as their content consumption habits.
Pain Point No. 2: Not having the right talent. This can be a significant issue for legacy marketing teams that have tried to retrofit people into content marketing jobs. Or, perhaps you have a team of writers when you really need a community manager and a videographer. It isn’t always easy to get the right people in the right seats on the bus, particularly when the bus is already in motion.
You can address this by supplementing your team with an agency or a freelancer (or two), as long as it fits into your budget. (When you’re setting your budget, it’s wise to leave some wiggle room, knowing that you likely haven’t solved for every scenario.) If there isn’t room, you may face some hard decisions about switching out the talent on your team.
Pain Point No. 3: Not getting the content in front of the right audience. This is a question of distribution. You’re surely spending a lot of effort creating content, but are you spending much time and money pushing the content to the right audience? This might mean working social media or creating an influencer network. Or it could mean paid promotion. Or all of the above.
Whatever it takes, promotion and distribution needs to be a large part of your content marketing process. So assess what you’re doing (if anything), make adjustments, and dial up these efforts as much as possible.
Pain Point No. 4: Having gaps in your content. You should understand the buyer’s journey for your product or service, and map the content to this journey. However, it’s common for companies to not have all the content they need to move prospects along the sales funnel. You may have killer top of the funnel content, and a big gap in the middle of the funnel; if so, it should be obvious what happens – prospective customers stop moving towards a purchase.
Take a step back and assess whether prospects are stopping somewhere along the journey, and how you can create content to fill this gap in the journey.
Pain Point No. 5: Measuring and adjusting. This doesn’t just apply to content marketing; it applies to all marketing. Over the last few years, we’ve become obsessed with collecting data. However, that data is rarely put to use.
At the outset of your content marketing initiative, you should have determined which metrics you are tracking. What do these metrics tell you? If everything is perfect and no adjustments are needed, congratulations, you’re the first company in the history of companies to get it right the first time.
If you’re everybody else, look at the data. Discuss the data, and what it means. Figure out which tweaks you need to make, and make them. And don’t be afraid to experiment with A/B tests that can help you find the right answers more quickly.
If you’ve hit these pain points and your content marketing initiative is bogged down, here’s the good news – you’re not alone. These are common points for organizations to get bogged down. The key is to not stay bogged down – you must do something to reset the situation and move forward.
If you’re stuck and want to discuss getting unstuck, shoot me a quick email at [email protected]. I promise no pressure, no hype – just an honest discussion of what can move you forward.