Developing and maintaining a strong content marketing system is something that most businesses know they should do. But, very few actually do. This isn’t for lack of trying but rather an inability to overcome some of the many content marketing challenges that companies face nowadays.
Luckily, our team of content marketing specialists has years of experience overcoming these very challenges. That’s why we compiled this list of the 30 biggest content marketing challenges you’re likely to face and how you can overcome them.
Table of Contents
1. Measuring ROI
When it comes to content marketing, the amount of investment that goes into creating each piece of content is fairly clear. But, the return on it can often be blurry. This is because many businesses don’t know how to properly equate things like views, shares, likes, and comments into actual value.
To solve this issue, you need to sit down beforehand and determine what you’re trying to accomplish with your content. If you’re trying to get brand awareness, then views are the main way to measure ROI. However, if you’re after lead generation, then you should focus on the number of subscribers through CTAs.
2. Finding Relevant Topics
Writer’s block is a very real and crippling issue for many businesses. Figuring out what to write about in the first place can often be even harder than actually writing the content. A great way to get around this is to keep a database where you can store all of your content marketing ideas and refer back to them whenever you need to.
An effective technique for coming up with content ideas is to get into the mindset of your target audience. Think of common questions that they’d likely ask. Then, work to create content that provides an answer to their question.
3. Writing About a Boring Topic
Not every topic your content covers will be interesting. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no way to make your content at least a bit more interesting.
There are a couple of simple but effective strategies for turning a boring topic into an interesting article. Try spinning a narrative story out of the topic or connecting the topic to a recent trend to increase relevancy.
4. Understanding What the Audience Wants to Read
Something you consider a great topic might end up getting poor views if it doesn’t resonate with your target audience. It happens all the time in the world of content creation and it’s one of the biggest content marketing challenges.
In order to prevent this from happening, you need to find out what your audience wants to read about. A smart way to do this is to look at your competitor’s content marketing topics and see which ones perform best. You can also use one of the various tools available to see which keywords are currently trending. As long as you write content based around these high-performing topics, your content should do well with your target audience.
5. Creating Content Consistently
In order to make your marketing as effective as possible, you need to publish new content on a regular basis. Putting out one new post every three or four months simply won’t cut it. You need to give your audience enough value with your content, which means publishing new pieces frequently.
However, it’s even more important to be consistent with your content. Let’s say that you put out three new posts in a week and then nothing for two months. Your content will probably perform much worse than it would if you had spaced them out evenly. That’s why you need to make sure that you set aside some time on a regular basis to create new content for your site. You also need to selectively publish it so it’s properly spaced out but also consistent.
6. Making SEO-Optimized Content
One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is that it allows you to further optimize your site for search engines. However, in order to take advantage of this benefit, you first need to know how to go about doing this.
There are many different ways that content can be SEO optimized. Some of the more common methods are to include:
- adding a fair amount of subheadings
- making sure to include your target keyword often
- creating a meta-description
7. Locating the Perfect Place to Publish
Many small businesses think that it’s enough to post their content on their own site. But if you’re after maximum exposure, then this is only a drop in the bucket. In order to make your content perform even better, you also need to publish on multiple other platforms.
Finding the perfect place for your content is going to depend heavily on the industry you’re in and the specific topic you write about. The best way to find out which platforms are best is to Google the keywords that you used for your article and see which sites pop up first in the results.
8. Setting Up a Content Calendar
It’s easy enough to find time to create and publish content during a slow week. However, when the workload increases, this can easily slip your mind and result in no new published content for weeks or even months at a time. This can be incredibly damaging to a site, which is why it’s always recommended that you set up a content calendar.
These handy schedules provide you with reminders as to when you should create certain content as well as when it should be posted. This helps to ensure that you put out new content on a regular basis.
9. Writing Informative Yet Interesting Material
You always want to walk that line of informative yet interesting. When you try and dump too much information into a piece of content, it can come off as dry.
The best way to try and strike a perfect balance between these two concepts is to infuse thought-provoking real-life examples with data acting as a supportive element rather than the base of the article.
10. Meeting Recommended Word Counts
One of the biggest content marketing challenges is determining the proper length for their content. If it ends up being too short, then it won’t perform well online. On the other hand, if it’s too long, it’ll likely overwhelm readers and result in lower engagement. Therefore, you need to hit that perfect middle ground where it performs well online with both search engines and target audiences.
The exact word count depends on the specifics of the content. Though, it’s generally recommended that a piece of content should be anywhere from 700 to 1000 words.
11. Writing Complicated Pieces
For someone who isn’t a content marketing specialist, writing an 800-word article might seem like a challenge. This can often result in someone spending several hours writing something that would take a professional less than an hour to create.
In the world of business, time is money, which means that most small businesses waste both by trying to get their staff to create content for them. By getting some content marketing experts to create content for you, it can end up saving countless hours of work and result in a far superior product.
You could write one of the best pieces of content in the industry, but if you don’t properly promote it, it won’t go far. This is because every piece of content you put out has to compete with the thousands or even millions of other pieces from your industry. A lot of that content also get published around the same time.
A good strategy to help promote content as successfully as possible is to use social media to its fullest extent. This means publishing across multiple platforms and doing it when your target audience is most active. These times can be determined using one of the many available content publishing tools.
13. Making Time for Content Creation
A common mistake that most businesses make is trying to create content on an as-needed basis. The problem with this strategy is that you thrust yourself into a sticky situation. You’re left to create content during inconvenient times.
A much better strategy is to set aside several hours every month where you can sit down and create a few pieces of content all at once. Then, use a content calendar to remind you when the best time to publish each one is.
14. Maintaining a Consistent Style
When someone visits your site, they expect to see a consistent style across every page. The same applies to your content. That’s why it’s important that each piece you put out follows the same general style.
One of the best ways to ensure this happens is to set up a style guide that includes things like:
- the type of font
- the type of spacing preferred
- guidelines for inserting images
This will help your content look more or less the same and come off as more professional.
15. Creating Eye-Catching Headlines
In our online world, headlines are often all someone sees before they decide whether or not to read something. So, if your headlines repeatedly lack in quality, you’ll get a much lower percentage of views.
There are many different tips and tricks for creating interesting headlines. But, one of the most effective is to utilize the 4U formula. This involves ensuring that your headlines are as useful, urgent, unique, and as ultra-specific as possible.
16. Maximizing Retention Rate
Although your content is important, the structure is crucial, too. If there’s an endless block of text that’s not broken up, it’ll most likely perform poorly with your target audience.
You need to ensure that your content is structured in a way that uses a lot of subheadings and lists. This will help to make your content more digestible and will reduce your bounce rate.
17. Integrating Keywords
Audiences are well aware when you try to shoehorn certain keywords into your content. This is because it often comes off as being very unnatural and makes the writing read worse. To solve this, put out content that seamlessly works keywords into sentences without interrupting their natural flow.
18. Finding Relevant Keywords
Speaking of keywords, it can often be a challenge for businesses to come up with relevant keywords to use in the first place. The keywords that you choose are crucial since they have a major impact on how many people end up seeing your content.
The best way to figure out which keywords to use is to utilize an online keyword planner system. The system will provide a list of the top-performing keywords relevant to your topic, taking weight off your shoulders.
19. Providing Quality Interlinking
Using links is an important part of content marketing. Yet, it’s something not nearly enough people pay attention to. There are a lot of nuances regarding using links in content, which makes it tricky for any inexperienced individuals.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you never want to use links that navigate to a competitor’s page. You also don’t want to include too many links in a single piece of content.
20. Freshening Up Old Topics
As mentioned earlier, tons of new content is published every week. What this means for you is that pretty much every topic has been written about at one point or another. Don’t let this discourage you from writing about that same topic, though. After all, it’s obviously something that people want to know about. A critical factor to keep in mind is that you bring a fresh take on an old topic.
If the majority of the pieces surrounding this topic have been brief, consider doing a deep dive into it. Even by including recent information so that it’s updated can sometimes be enough.
21. Properly Utilizing Statistics
Statistics can be one of the best ways to turn your content from good to great. However, you need to make sure that you’re not including statistics simply for the sake of it. In the end, they’ll only create a busy page filled with dozens of links, half of which are irrelevant. Instead, you need to include stats that further enhance a point being made.
22. Getting Guest Post Opportunities
Posting content to other sites is just as valuable as posting content to yours. Of course, getting other sites to accept your content isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s beneficial to learn how to successfully get guest post opportunities.
Once again, there are multiple ways to go about doing this. But, there is one in particular that’s easy and effective. Most of the time, all you need to do is Google a keyword that’s covered in your content followed by the words “guest post”. This will come up with a list of websites that accept guest posts and publish content relevant to your industry.
23. Boosting Site Credibility
Credibility is necessary in today’s world where you often compete with other online businesses. You need to do everything in your power to make your site look as credible as possible.
An effective way to do this is to create content that’s well-done and covers popular topics within your industry. If someone sees your website has a lot of expertise regarding various industry topics, they’re far likelier to see you as a credible source. This may even lead to them engaging and doing business with you.
24. Making Content Visually Engaging
No one enjoys staring at a giant block of text. Content marketing that doesn’t include a lot of visuals often performs poorly. In order to prevent this from happening, include valuable images, infographics, and even videos within your content. If there isn’t at least one visual element for every 150 or 200 words, you’re doing something wrong.
25. Using Content Tags
Just like keywords can be a useful tool for finding your content, so can content tags. Tags are used by people on your website who want to find content written about a specific topic.
If you’re not utilizing tags in your content, you make it harder for your readers to find specific articles. This mistake can cost you countless views. It’s best to put multiple, relevant tags on every piece of content.
26. Maintaining an Appropriate Reading Level
Many content publishing tools have resources on them that give you an accurate look at how complicated your content is to read. This is something that you need to pay attention to because content that’s too complicated gets worse engagement.
You can often make content easier to read by using smaller words and shorter sentences. Although some businesses tend to think that bigger words make them sound smarter, it often just confuses readers. It also makes the content only relevant to a smaller group of people who have a deeper understanding of the industry.
27. Getting Visitors to Read Additional Content
An important strategy to use in content marketing is recommending other similar articles at the end of your content. Businesses that fail to do this miss out on a powerful tool that allows them to keep readers on their site for as long as possible.
If someone has read through your piece, then that usually means that they’re interested in the topic. Therefore, if you provide several other articles about similar topics, they’ll likely click on them, too.
28. Getting Content to Trend
An ultimate goal of online content marketing is to try and get your latest content trending on social media. However, in order to do so, you have to figure out a way to stand out from the sea of other content out there.
A good way to accomplish this is to include hashtags and keywords in the short excerpts that are linked to a current event or trend. This will make it likelier to show up in the social media feed of your target audience.
29. Combining Promotion and Education
Although self-promoting within content is a good idea, you shouldn’t do it too much. As soon as a reader sees that your content is essentially an ad, they’ll probably exit the page.
Instances of self-promotion should be casually sprinkled throughout the article rather than being the focal point. You can do this by using links that navigate to other sections of your site rather than writing big paragraphs about what your company does and how you can help.
30. Converting Readers to Customers
Having someone read your content is obviously a good thing. But if that person doesn’t go any further, you haven’t achieved the main goal of content marketing. The end goal is to turn a reader into a customer.
An effective way to do this is to create a sense of urgency, especially towards the end of the content, with CTAs. You can also use testimonials to let readers that you’re a trusted company.
As you can see, there are many content marketing challenges to overcome. However, the rewards are much greater than the obstacles. Don’t let the worry wash over you. Learn at your own pace, overcome your struggles, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package?
At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package.
Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.