In this series, we’re going to dig into some of the most common issues that arise within a content marketing program. These can keep you from starting or fully executing on their ideas. In each post, we’ll look at the data and discuss ways to combat the issues that impact most businesses.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 57% of B2B Marketers’ felt that not having enough time devoted to content marketing was one of the reasons they had decreased success over last year. While the time crunch could be due to many factors, it’s an issue for most marketers. Content marketing is not a set it and forget it type marketing approach. You do have to be active on a regular basis to earn and ultimately grow your audience.
So, how can we combat this issue? These marketers are right, content marketing is time-consuming when done right. However, it doesn’t have to be so time-consuming that you get frustrated or stop. There are ways to make the whole process more efficient.
If you’re managing your content marketing program in-house and struggling to keep up, look at your process and see if there are ways to improve efficiency. If you have enough staff, but they’re not making the progress you’d like to see, sit down and discuss it honestly. Do they have the necessary tools for the job? Does everyone on the team fully understand their role and responsibilities? Do they work well together?
If your team is still using Google docs or sending files back and forth during the content planning and development phases are items getting misplaced? Are there versioning issues? Does someone on the team lag on their review/approvals? It’s possible your team is ready to move from Google Docs/Excel/Emailed attachments to an all-in-one content planning tool. There are some amazing ones available today. Some will even publish your accounts and provide performance metrics all in one place. Sure, they can come with a hefty price tag, but if you’re trying to be a big content producer, it might be worth the investment.
If you’re finding that the team runs out of ideas or isn’t sure what to write about or how to plan, then maybe they need something simpler. It could be that the team doesn’t have a content marketing strategy written down. If they don’t have a plan, it’s hard to know what to focus on and where to go next. I also see companies run into issues because they don’t have a content calendar to work from. A content calendar is one of the critical pieces of any successful content marketing program – and it builds efficiency. It should be very easy to follow format that shows what you’re developing when and what’s publishing each day.
If your internal team is staffed OK and has the tools they need but you’re still not able to produce what you want promptly, it may be time to staff up. You can either hire more internal resources or partner with an agency. Either way, you increase the amount of content that’s being created without taxing an already over-stretched team.
The easiest way to ensure your content marketing program rolls on without taking away too much internal time is to hire an outside team. While this route naturally has, costs associated with it, it also allows you to free up your internal team. You can partner with an agency or freelancers to do most parts of content marketing.
If you want someone to do it all, you remain entirely hands-off, that’s an option. You can hire a content marketing agency to research your market, review your competitive set, determine content opportunities, set your strategy, create your content calendar and write every post. Heck, you can have them oversee your blog or website and do the social media updates and sharing. This approach works great if you have the budget to support outsourcing and can find a partner agency you trust 100% since they are representing your brand voice.
Look back at your bottleneck issues and determine where your team needs help. You can hire an agency to focus on the items that aren’t your team’s strengths. By taking this approach, you allow everyone to work to their strengths, and you should see better results. Efficiencies develop as people become more familiar with a task and do it frequently over time. If your team struggles with topic ideation but does a great job writing blog posts, partner with an agency for your content strategy. If your team can come up with the ideas but can’t write all the posts you need, it may make sense to hire a freelancer or agency to help.
There are ways to combat the time investment that’s required for great content marketing. A final thought is to try creating less content but make sure it’s exceptional. If you focus on one amazing blog post a week rather than 3-4 OK ones, do you get the same results? Run a test and see. Figure out what your sweet spot is for content production. It’s possible; you can get excellent results while producing less content. Now, this might not cut down your time commitment significantly as many of the in-depth pieces take longer to prepare, but you could save some time. Also, focus on re-purposing and re-sharing older content that’s still relevant.
There are ways to make your content marketing program work well and reduce the amount of time that you’re directly involved. Don’t feel like you need to give up. Hire additional help, get the right tools or partner with an agency. Content marketing does not have to be time-consuming for you. There are lots of ways you can make it work. If you want to partner with an agency, contact us, we’d love to help you meet your content marketing goals and give you some time back in your day!