Helpful Solutions To Some Common Content Marketing Roadblocks
In general, producing and publishing quality content is a valuable practice for marketers but it comes with its fair share of challenges and problem areas. You see, in reality, content marketing is so much more than publishing a few blog posts every week.
As a result, it demands commitment in terms of time and resources and you may also come across several obstacles and roadblocks. Some are obvious and easy enough to deal with. Others may require an in-depth diagnosis to find a cure. Let’s look at 5 such content marketing issues.
1. No Objectives
Content marketing is like any other marketing strategy; it requires planning. Before you produce and publish content, you need to know why you are doing so because your strategy will be informed by it. For example, are you creating content to close sales more quickly or are you creating content to influence your industry and ergo inspire recognition and respect? Maybe you’re thinking about customer support! By the way, who are your main customers?
In short, no matter what your reason is for hopping onto the content marketing bandwagon, you need to have clear objectives and a strategy.
2. You are being a “Jack of all trades, master of none”
If you are creating content for multiple channels including your business blog, social media profiles, in-person channels, webinars, podcasts, print magazines and videos (for example to upload on YouTube), chances are, sooner or later, you will start feeling overwhelmed. Having your hand in too many pies at once can result in either a nervous breakdown or in you spreading yourself too thin.
The solution? Choose a couple of channels that you are great at and become a leading information provider on those platforms. Alternatively, a second solution would be to invest in some great pieces of content that you can then repurpose into other formats to push across the different marketing channels you use to reach and impact potential customers.
3. Content Quality issues
Content marketers face two big challenges.
- They need to produce a steady stream of content
- They need to produce content that’s engaging and valuable
Both tasks are easier said than done and that probably explains the high prevalence of little or no original content on websites even though Google has been constantly stressing over the need for quality content with Panda updates, some more major than others, every couple of months.
In essence, the following is what you need to do:
- If you’re creating content, make sure it’s useful and informative
- You need to provide more value than your competitors
- You need to be credible
- Content you publish should be unique, specific and high quality
- Use images to add color and life to your online presence
- Avoid broken links and/or grammar/spelling mistakes
- Avoid auto-generated, scraped and thin content
Basically, never compromise on quality when it comes to content marketing. Remember that nothing really dies on the web.
4. You are Being too Sales-y
Although subtle, there is a difference between content marketing and copywriting.
- Content marketing seeks to educate readers
- Copywriting is meant to generate action whether it’s buying a product, following a company’s Twitter account or subscribing to a monthly newsletter
Sure content marketing and copywriting have lots in common. After all, they both seek to influence the purchasing decisions of prospective buyers and they do require the skills of an experienced writer but content such as blog posts, ‘how-to’ guides and white papers need to be lower key than landing pages, sales pages and infomercials.
So for successful content marketing, kill the hype. Instead, focus on producing and publishing content that will build a community around your brand and inspire trust and authority among your buyers. Hard selling is not recommended. In fact, it’s allowed!
5. You’re are Hung up on SEO Techniques that no Longer Work
Some SEO techniques such as spammy guest blogging, optimized anchors, keyword heavy content and quantity of links over quality have long since stopped working but you would surprised how many marketers still swear by them. In particular, keyword stuffing, which is probably one of the oldest but most importantly easiest tricks in the SEO playbook, is now old news.
Don’t get confused. Keyword research is undeniably one of the highest return activities in search marketing but how the technique works has changed. Optimizing content for search now follows a bell curve. If you add a keyword once or twice throughout your content, you’ll gain some rank up the SERPs but keep adding keywords and your rankings will soon slip into oblivion.