Essential Challenges in Your Content Marketing and How to Meet Them
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
It is true that Frederick Douglass was not specifically talking about content marketing when he first uttered that quote. However, the principle still applies to this arena as well.
If you want to build your online presence and enhance the quality of your content marketing strategy, then you should expect to encounter plenty of challenges along the way. The good thing is that, as Mr. Douglass once stated, this means that progress and growth are right around the corner. The only downside is that you must overcome the various challenges that come with the territory to achieve them. What are some of the challenges that you will encounter in the world of content marketing and how can you overcome them?
The “Lottery Machine” of Randomness
When the winning lottery numbers are selected, this process is usually completed with the assistance of a lottery machine. The machine is designed to take the collection of balls, select them individually at random and fire them away once they have been chosen.
There is not a structured schedule or strategy that focuses on which number should be chosen in advance and properly prepared. They are just randomly chosen and posted. Whoever is responsible for reading the numbers has no control over the selected numbers. Even if they had quality feedback to share, the machine would not be able to address or respond to it simply because it is just drawing random numbers and posting them.
See where is this going?
Multiple reports claim that 70 percent of companies do not have a structured content marketing strategy. It is true that the amount of content posted by companies and brands continues to increase year after year – especially when you consider the tens of millions of companies that use social media within the U.S. alone.
However, without any strategy or structure, you are essentially basing your content marketing on the haphazard nature of a lottery machine.
To overcome this challenge, you must take the following steps:
- Avoid Random Topics: Make sure that you have a strategic approach to the topics that you consider and write about. Focus on trending topics within your niche and other topics that you know your audience wants or needs. Choosing your topics at random can hurt your online presence and search engine optimization more than help
- Stick to a Posting Schedule: In addition to avoiding random content, you should also have a structured approach to posting that content. Stick to a consistent posting schedule that is easy for you to maintain and (more importantly) easy for your audience to expect.
- Those who avoid gambling pay no attention to the lottery. Those who choose not to gamble on quality content will pay no attention to the “lottery machine content” randomly posted by creators and marketers without a structured strategy in place.
Inactive vs Interactive Content Development
Another challenge that you will encounter in the world of content marketing is finding the line that separates inactive from interactive content. In today’s age of instant gratification, online conversations and real-time feedback via social media, consumers enjoy engaging content that allows them to interact with and contribute to the conversation. More importantly, the bar of expectation has now been raised across the board were most consumers expect to explore this level of interaction with all forms of content – including yours.
According to Inc.com, 81% of marketers agree that interactive content effectively captivates the attention of its audience more than static, inactive content.
To overcome this challenge, you must find creative and consistent ways to interact with your readers and viewers with your content. Below is a quick list of some (not all) of the ways in which you can accomplish this:
- Integrate your social media profiles and platforms into your content (i.e. widgets, embedded posts, etc.)
- Respond to the “healthy” comments posted by your audience members
- Take constructive feedback seriously and make the necessary adjustments in a timely fashion to prove to your audience that you are taking their contributions to the conversation seriously.
As referenced above, developing content that is both interactive and engaging requires creativity. What may seem interactive today can quickly become outdated and even irritating tomorrow. It is imperative for you to stay connected to what grabs your audience’s attention, but also what throws it away.
Words and Punctuation Are Not the Only Forms of Content
It is easy for content marketers to shift their focus exclusively to the words on the page. They treat their online presence as if they are novelists – focusing on creating pages and pages of words without anything else embedded within it. When someone reads the content, that is essentially all that they get: lines and lines of words and punctuation.
Studies have shown that consumers enjoy content that is packaged with a lot more than just grammar. They expect you to use the many other forms of engaging content available that you can use to season those wordy lines – such as:
- Social media posts & pics
- Online surveys and polls
Research shows that marketers are experiencing major spikes in traffic and ROI just by embedding images and digital videos within their content. Regardless of your business type, target market or brand message, there is always something that you can create, post or share that checks off the above-referenced ideas from this list of interactive “seasoning” for your content. You should make it a goal to find creative yet consistent ways to use them.
If You Remember Nothing Else, Remember This…
Mr. Douglass was correct. You cannot expect to make any progress without first enduring struggle to get there – especially when it comes to your content marketing strategy. However, you should always remember that some of the most difficult things to accomplish in life also lead to the biggest rewards!
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