Many different components go into creating a top-notch content marketing strategy. With this in mind, it's important for marketers to prioritize their goals and know how to overcome various challenges in order to get the best results. Curata's third annual study, Content Marketing Tactics Planner 2014, surveyed over 500 marketers on their current and upcoming content strategy tactics. Among the results were insights into the top content marketing priorities and challenges.
Top Content Marketing Priorities
1. Drive leads: Increasing sales was the number one priority for marketers utilizing content marketing. This goes to show that content marketers have not lost site of the importance of gaining leads. The study also revealed that over 60 percent of marketers saw an increase in the quality and quantity of leads due to content marketing. Getting consistant, quality content up on your site or blog drives a higher quality of visitors and in-turn, increases sales. The more recognition your brand receives, the more likely people will be to read your content.
2. Increase Customer Engagement: First-class marketers know that engaging buyers and influencers is the name of the game for content marketing. Once customer engagement improves, so will leads. Curata's 2014 tactics study showed that 76 percent of marketers saw an increase in buyer engagement as a direct result of content marketing. Content that provides value for readers will draw them in and start conversations. Find out what type of content your customers want, publish on these topics consistently and engagement will increase. Keep this engagement up by actively participating in conversation, whether through social media or blog comments.
Top Content Marketing Challenges
1. Limited Staff: Readers expect fresh, relevant content every day, but marketing professionals are tasked with other responsibilities. With a limited staff, it can be difficult for businesses to produce enough content to keep up with competitors. If your content can't keep up, your readers will go elsewhere for information.
2. Limited Budget: Outsourcing to freelancers or paying your staff overtime to create original content creates additional costs for marketers. Constantly researching and writing articles from scratch could break the bank for some businesses.
3. Consistent Content Creation: Publishing new created content daily is enough to burn out your marketing team, as well as a hole in your pocket, with a limited staff and budget. Marketers have a hard time balancing consistent production of fresh content with the resources they have at hand. Without consistent content production, your content can get buried under the thousands of articles written every day, where your readers may never see it.
4. Finding Reliable Sources: With all the clutter and white noise in today's online publishing world, it can be difficult to manually find sources that are relevant to your brand AND reliable without spending hours on research. Using relevant sources, however, is imperative for a quality content marketing strategy. For marketers who already know which sources they want to monitor, RSS feeds are a simple way to get on-topic information quicker.
All of these challenges make it difficult for marketers to reach their prioritized goals - driving leads and increasing buyer engagement. However, marketing technology is paving the way towards simple solutions to these content marketing obstacles.
The Real Challenge
Although limited staff, limited budget, creating enough content and finding the best sources are all challenges that content marketers need to address, they can be easily solved.
With the implementation of content management systems and curation tools, (like Curata) these challenges are quickly resolved. Content management tools, such as an editorial calendar, help content marketers manage staff and content production. Curation tools can drastically help out a small marketing team, stretch a limited budget, make it easy to publish relevant content daily and discover the best sources in minutes.
Though the marketers surveyed placed these responsibilities at the bottom of their list, the real challenge lies in measuring the impact of content as well as promoting existing content. Find out what types of content is valuable for readers and then work to further promote it to your targeted audience. Don't forget to market your marketing or you won't reach all of your potential readers.
Measuring the Impact of Content: Analyzing the impact of content needs to move up to the top of the list for content marketers. The ability to measure the impact of content will provide insight into what is popular for readers and what types of topics/formats aren't working. Without measuring the reach and effectiveness of content, marketers may be producing too much of the latter. This could be as simple as tracking how many times your blog posts are shared or how many mentions/retweets you receive on Twitter each week.
Promoting Content: Promoting existing content is another important component of a successful content strategy. Many marketers publish great content, but then fail to get the most out of it before pushing it to the wayside. You put a lot of time and effort into a great piece of content, and chances are the entirety of the audience you want to reach won't see it before you publish something new. Use the content marketing pyramid method. Turn eBooks into webinars, webinars into infographics, infographics into a series of blog posts, blogs into social media campaigns, etc. Make sure you saturate your target market with the information you want to get across. Get as much mileage out of great content as possible and break through the noise of today's content overload.