10 Problems Content Marketers Face - dummies

By Stephanie Diamond

As every content marketer knows, even if you try to do everything right, you always face problems. Following are 10 problems that content marketers may face, spread across those categories. Consider the “Five Cs” framework to examine some of the problems you may encounter.

  • Company focus

  • Customer experience

  • Content creation

  • Content promotion

  • Check-back analysis

Company focus

The question to answer in this category is, “what do you want to achieve and how will you make it happen?” The problems in this category revolve around setting a company strategy and creating goals and objectives related to your content marketing.

Inadequate budget

This problem is usually high on everyone’s list of content marketing problems. No matter your company size, you can always use more money and or resources. But if you are significantly short on budget or resources, you need to demonstrate to management how your competition is beating you.

Lack of buy-in

If you don’t get buy-in from other staff, you have to deal with the situation directly. Content marketing projects are complex enough without adding opposition to the mix. First try speaking to the staff member or members themselves. If you get no mitigating response, you may need to involve others.

Customer experience

The question to answer in this category is, “who are your prospects and how will you serve them?” In this category, the problems are related to what kind of experience your customers have when they engage with your company. Read on for some of those problems.

Your content isn’t categorized for the buyer’s journey

You know that effective content marketing puts your customer at the center of your strategy. If you don’t provide content that supports each part of the buyer’s journey, you are not allowing your customer to learn everything she needs to know to choose you. Regardless of whether you do that, be assured that your competitors will.

Your content isn’t personalized

If your customer feels that he is just another faceless prospect to you, you are not doing a good job of personalizing your content. Technology tools allow for varying degrees of customer personalization. The key to making this tactic work is to determine what kind of personal experience your customers want to have at each touchpoint. Do they want to have something simple, such as having newsletters address them by name, or something more advanced, such as receiving discount coupons based on their last purchase?

Content promotion

The question to answer in this category is, “how will your prospects find your content?” Problems in this category relate to being able to get your customer’s attention.

It seems as though no one is listening

If your content marketing is just getting started, you can fully expect to feel as though no one is listening — it takes time to build a readership. But rather than sit around hoping to be found, your company should engage guest posters and evaluate syndication deals. If you have been around for a while and the data still suggests that no one is listening, you need to do a better job of developing your customer personas. You may not be talking to the right audience.

You’re not working with the right partners

Have your recent campaigns fallen flat? One reason could be that you are not working with the right partners to develop some synergy and excitement. Sometimes you need to bring in more marketing muscle to engage a bigger audience. Major companies like Pepsi often partner with TV shows or celebrities when they launch a campaign.

You can do the same on a smaller scale. Many “Internet famous” people would be happy to partner with you. For example, you could get a person who is well-known in a specific part of the business world to do work with you in exchange for some publicity.

Content creation

The question to answer in this category is, “who, what, and how will you create quality content?” In this category, the problems are related to the value of your content and the ability to choose topics that your audience cares about. Following are some of the problems that may arise.

Running out of good ideas

All the content marketing advice you see says to keep a running list of ideas so that you never run dry. But what about really good ideas? Not all ideas are created equal. You may find that you don’t see anything very stimulating on your list.

One good way to generate new ideas is to ask a guest poster who disagrees with your company’s method of doing something to write a post. Ask that guest poster to take a post that’s already been published and rewrite it to include her opposing opinion. Then ask for feedback from your audience. That might help generate some new topics. If you can add some humor, you might get a greater response.

Decreasing content quality

Decreasing quality is the content marketer’s worst nightmare. If you find that you are losing blog readers and newsletter subscribers, you may be providing poorly written content. Look back at your approval process and see whether everything is being properly vetted.

Check-back analysis

The question to answer in this category is, “how will you know that you met your goals?” Problems in this category relate to measuring and meeting your goals. Read on for what some of these problems may be.

Not effectively monitoring customer sentiment

Millions of conversations are happening online. Are you listening? If your company doesn’t adequately analyze social media data, you are missing out on key information about your customers. Don’t make a half-hearted attempt. Find free online tools to help you gather information.

Inadequate measures to determine action

Your company has set specific goals of all kinds. It has business goals, operational goals, sales goals, and more. One problem you may encounter is that no one is accurately measuring what your department needs to know.

This can be a very real problem for content marketers, who may command less attention. If you know of specific data that you want collected, make sure to lobby for it. Your profile in the company will rise when you can show that your efforts are making a significant contribution.