In our last post, we took a look at the most important goals of content marketing. We found that content marketing is a proven way to increase exposure, drive more impressions, build engagement, and drive sales (if done properly).
But not every company is as effective at accomplishing these goals as others.
Let’s take a closer look at the most significant barriers to content marketing success…
In Ascend2’s recent “State of Content Marketing” they share the results of a recent survey of marketing influencers. One question they asked was “What are the most significant barriers to achieving important goals?” Here’s what they found:
Let’s dig deeper into each of these:
Lack of an effective strategy.
Too often we see companies jump into content or social markeitng with a lot of tactics, not a strategy. Content marketing should be part of your overall marketing and communication strategy. You should tie specific goals, objectives, messaging and metrics behind it–and continually adjust. At BARQAR, when we approach a content marketing strategy we start by examining the target audience, look at their biggest pains/challenges, and then look to build solutions (through content) to those problems. Our goal is to position our clients as thought-leaders and consultants–which makes the actual sale so much easier!
Lack of content creation resources.
Content marketing works – if you have good, consistent content! All too often we see content marketing efforts start off great, then wane in months two, three and four, only to disappear after. Why? It’s not because it doesn’t work, it’s because it takes a dedicated effort. Too often companies through the task of content marketing on their current staff that is already overloaded with job duties. This is a recipe for disaster. We recommend making sure whoever is in charge of your content marketing efforts has dedicated time and resources available each day to commit and be consistent. You can also look to outsource this to a content provide. Between BARQAR and our sister company Haley Marketing Group, we handle content marketing for nearly 300 companies across North America. From content strategies to implementation, analyzing results to adjusting plans, we make sure content marketing is consistent and drives results.
Businesses are tasked with doing more, for less. Budgets certainly can be a challenge but if done properly, content marketing is an investement that yields abundant returns that can help eliminate budgetary concerns. A recent study by Hubspot actually shows that the cost of customer acquisition through traditional sales efforts can be 3x more costly than through inbound, content marketing for medium sized businesses. Looking at those numbers, failing to develop a content marketing strategy is more costly!
Inability to measure effectiveness.
This is tied directly to not having a solid strategy. If you don’t define the goals of your content marketing strategy, it’s impossible to measure effectiveness! We start by identifiying goals (increased traffic, increased impressions, more visits to contact pages, product pages, online sales, etc.). The great thing about online marketing is that everything is trackable! If you just take time to define the goals up front, building in measurables is easy!
Increased sales revenue.
If done properly, content marketing will lead warm prospects back to your brand and your website where they can take action. At BARQAR, we look closely at key conversion pages like Contact pages and forms to make sure that the content we produce is not only driving traffic but is driving inquiries–and in turn, revenue.
Lack of cross channel integration.
This one amazes me and I see it a lot. Too often companies put all their eggs in one basket. Whether it’s a Facebook campaign, or Instragram or something else, companies too often rely on one channel. The way we approach this is using your content (often hosted on a blog on your website) as the hub. We then use as many platforms as possible to get that content in front of the right people. From YouTube to Facebook, Twitter to Instagram, email marketing to PR. Use all the tools at your disposal to expand your reach. The hard part is developing the content, the easier part is distributing it though multiple channels.
Lack of compelling content ideas.
Coming up with good content consistently can be a challenge. Here are some tricks we use:
– Write about questions your customers ask every day.
– Use tools like BuzzSumo.com to help brainstorm ideas.
– Become a cosumer of content – newsletters, magazines, websites, blogs, etc.
– Survey your audience about their challenges
– Type in a topic into Google and look at “related search terms” at the bottom of search results.
– Look at Google Analytics to see what topics received the most traffic in the past and build a series of posts.
Lack of content variety.
Don’t limit yourself to just text posts. Create video (Here’s are example of how we turn our own marketing webinars into video). Create infographics. Post photos, podcasts, etc. Look at different ways and different mediums to share your content so that you have a well-rounded content marketing plan.
Looking to add content marketing to your business?
At BARQAR Marketing we offer a full team of content marketing consultants. From overall strategy to writing blog posts and whitepapers, to social media marketing, we can help make sure your company sees improvement in all of the above areas.