Dealing with the 3 Major Challenges Your Content Marketing Team Will Encounter this year
Initially we thought we should write about marketing predictions for the year 2525, as the song goes. But people are generally poor in forecasting long term, so we settled for the 'here and now' - more relevant since these are three problems you will definitely encounter when practicing content marketing.
Challenge 1. Lack of time
We all know this problem, as marketers already work long hours on a never ending list of projects and in most cases use dozens of technologies on a daily basis: we don’t have time to properly do anything new, but we have to and are expected to.
- Invest in automation. Start by investing with the things that will actually make your job easier. But make sure to do your due diligence. No technology vendor will tell you his stuff is complex to implement and use. Make sure to do your research. Ask for references and ask those references the specific questions that matter to you about your existing toolset and how easy it is to add the new tool to that environment and how long did the implementation take and how does ongoing maintenance work…
- Invest in content strategy. By having a coherent content strategy backed by an editorial calendar and plan you can make sure that every effort you put into a new piece of content will be maximized. For example a series of blog posts can become an ebook as well as optimize your blog for SEO on a new search term that is of importance for your business. In short, this can help you get more results from each and every investment you make and help you reuse each content piece to the maximum – which will hopefully help you create less content and have more time for other things
- Select your project carefully. Make sure you don’t go in over your head with projects and goals. Always leave some availability for unplanned projects or opportunities that come up like a local event or trying a new automation solution. These opportunities can bump up your results significantly so don’t shut the door on them with the 'but I’m already chasing 30 other projects' approach
2. Distributing your content
So you created a lot of content. It could be open content for SEO purposes such as articles or blog posts or closed/premium content such as ebooks or webinars aimed to get you leads. How do you make sure your prospects know that your content exists? According to research by Altimeter, and quoted on Forbes, only 26% of marketers invest in content distribution.
Increase your content distribution
Here are some easy tips on how to increase your content distribution, (almost) for free
- Twitter: If you haven’t already setup an account now is a good time to start. Whenever you have a new blog post, video,infographic orebook you can post the links and brief description on Twitter. Few things to note:
- Make sure to use the proper hashtags. If there are several options you can try different ones and repeat the tweet across several days where once a day you try different tags
- If your employees have accounts ask them to share the content, too
- Try software services that can increase your Twitter audience such as http://followerfrenzy.com/ – most of them offer a free trial or a free version and with more readers your content will get discovered more
- LinkedIn: You likely have a personal profile in which you can share updates. Build one for your company and share the updates there, too. Again few things to keep in mind:
- Leverage all possible LinkedIn profiles: Personal, company’s, employees
- LinkedIn is very expensive – the cost per click is about $4 to $10 – so make sure you use its excellent targeting features to reach only the most relevant audience
- Sign up to LinkedIn groups with relevant audience as these groups allow sharing of content between group members
- Signing up to groups allows you also to send a message or connect to group members which is another way to increase your circle of distribution
- FaceBook: Similar to LinkedIn, though less professional, you can use your personal Facebook account as well as open up a company’s account to share updates and increase visibility. Facebook is the biggest social network and features good targeting features.
- Quora: Quora is a popular Q&A website. You can join and look for relevant discussions for your audience and industry and post responses that include links to your relevant content
- Popular website that accept contributed articles: Depending on your audience and industry look into websites that are popular and accept contributed articles. Note that these articles typically need to provide industry value and may not accept pure-promotional content. Some examples are Reddit.com, GrowthHackers.com, Inbound.org
- Industry bloggers: Look for popular bloggers in your industry and offer them to publish your blog posts or industry articles. Bloggers too are having a hard time creating quality content on a regular basis and some of them will accept quality content from others and will provide links back to your original content.
Add 1 and 2 together to find your 2015 hidden bonus: find a way to optimize your traffic source automatically!
3. Making your content mountain accessible to prospects
Practicing content marketing means you now have more marketing content than you can fit on a typical Web page.This means that when prospects are doing their online research on your website, you can’t guarantee that they benefit from all of your content mountain, right? And with attention spans diminishing you can’t really trust your audience to spend the time and effort to get to all your content. You need to make your content come to your anonymous audience.
- Use dynamic content recommendations. With the right predictive tools and profiling techniques such as behavioral or crowd behavior analytics, you can offer them the most relevant content items for each prospect and their individual buyer journey. Just make sure to consider a dynamic solution, that caters to the individual visitors and not to segments. Per #1 above go for solutions that are automated, are low touch and don’t require any ongoing efforts
- A/B test content offers on pages as a way to optimize what you have in case you can’t offer dynamic recommendations and must stay with static ones
- Remove ineffective content as a way to help your audience focus on the latest and most effective content. Even if you have a busy Resources section making it more focused on your best content items will help your audience navigate it more easily
- Consider using content Hubs from vendors such as Uberflip as a way to make your content more appealing and to get more results from your content
For a real life example of how BrightInfo helped a customer optimize engagement and conversion from existing website and traffic without any change or effort, read 'FortyCloud increases online leads by 76% in minutes with BrightInfo for WordPress'