Content marketing seems to be the craze now – it’s fun, in vogue, and many companies are desperately hiring content marketers without, it seems, much idea of what a content marketer is supposed to do. Likewise, the job market is over-saturated with content marketing wannabes, eager to be part of the fun content culture that the people at companies like Buzzfeed showcase. What people do not often talk about are the pain points of content marketing. Here are some of them.
Content marketing doesn’t really fit into the whole KPI, OKR structure. Depending on how your targets are set, your content marketing strategy may shift. The three most common ways of measuring a content marketer’s targets are: (1) amount of content produced (2) sales leads generated (3) web presence garnered, with the last of these measured by likes and shares over various social media channels.
If you’re unlucky enough to be measured against (1), you might not have the time to produce good content at all, instead focusing on content that can be easily mass-produced. The conflict that arises between (2) and (3) is something more serious, which brings us to…
Dealing with bosses
Your boss and you may be not sure the same vision when it comes to what a content marketer is supposed to achieve. Most higher-ups tend to focus more on something that’s more substantial i.e., sales leads. Yet, if you solely produce articles that are all about hard selling, hardly anyone would read it and your web presence cannot grow. In fact, most people ignore content that is designed only to sell, going instead for content that they can empathize with or are interesting to them.
Explaining the content marketing sales funnel to your boss might seem like a losing battle, but it’s essential that you try. Getting your boss to understand how sales leads can actually be generated from content that’s not designed (purely, at least) for that purpose is important in ensuring your job is not all about throwing content into a deep silent well.
Generating Engaging and Original Content
What can you do that hasn’t already been done before? That’s a question that content marketers face each day. It seems like every single idea you can come up with has already been done by some other company. And if it hasn’t been done before, it may not be all that interesting and engaging to the audience, right? One way to solve this problem is to ensure your quality stands out from the rest of the content that’s being put out there. Even if the topic has been discussed before, if your content is clearer, more attractive and informative, and more well-presented than the existing ones, it has a high chance of succeeding.
The final “pain point” we touch on encompasses everything we’ve discussed so far. So your content has to be engaging and original, or at the very least, of a high quality. This costs money. Yet, it’s hard to measure how successful your work is, especially when it comes to sales leads or directly adding on to your company’s revenue, which may lead to your bosses’ reluctance to release more budget for you. This is one of the key problems content marketers face and it mirrors the chicken and the egg problem: which comes first? Well-performing articles lead to more budget and more budget leads to well-performing articles. This is something you will probably have to talk to your boss about and explore.
Content marketing is very new, and that’s the part of its charm. That’s also a huge part of the problem with content marketing though. Not very much has been tried and tested and most content marketers have to work things out as they move along.