Content marketing has exploded in popularity over the past decade; so much so that nine out of ten modern businesses use it in some way, shape or form. Unfortunately, only 30% of marketers in 2016 rate their content marketing efforts as effective.
These two statistics are telling of two content marketing truths. First, the value of content as a marketing tool is widely perceived, understood and adopted. The second, however, is that many businesses are either unequipped or underprepared to deal with its challenges.
In this blog, we’ll outline four of the most common content marketing challenges and what you can do to combat them.
Producing consistent output of content
Content may be king, but consistency is key. Producing content regularly ensures that you uphold your quality standards, and of course, maintain your writer’s touch. Consistent output also gives your readers a chance to become loyal followers. If you’re producing and publishing fresh content regularly, you have a greater chance of people subscribing, as you’re constantly updating readers with new, relevant information or articles. In addition to this, consistency allows for your brand to develop strong keyword rankings. This puts your brand in an authoritative role online and helps drives more traffic to your site.
But consistent output can be extremely challenging without a dedicated content production team. It can also be difficult investing time and money into producing regular high quality content when you’re not seeing immediate results.
How to conquer it:
Practice makes perfect – both in terms of quality and an efficient writing process. Just make sure you have a thorough QA process to keep the quality of your content in check. As for getting content out there frequently, consider sourcing blogs and articles from people throughout your company. It needn’t take much of their time, and the diversity of experience and voices can add depth to your overall content offering. A comprehensive content calendar can help organise who’s writing what, as well as keep everyone on track.
Another great way to maintain consistent output is to repurpose or rework existing high quality content. For instance, you can write a number of blogs around core ideas in one of your eBooks, or you can update and republish high-performing older blogs. For more on this idea, check out our previous blog, “How to repurpose existing content for your life science content marketing strategy”.
Maximising your content exposure
There’s little point in creating great quality content if nobody actually reads it, which is why content amplification is so important. Adequate exposure will help you get the most value from your content, as well as ensure that you have actual data to report on.
This can be quite challenging for marketers, however, as many traditional social channels like Facebook limit the number of people who actually see any given post from your company’s page. This significantly limits the organic lead potential of your shared content.
How to conquer it:
To distribute content effectively, you need to harness the power of emails. This works especially well if you have a database of subscribers or leads who may find your content interesting and relevant. While social media can be a powerful tool for distribution, always remember that “likes” alone are more of a vanity metric and do not guarantee content exposure. Instead, focus on key metrics like shares, activity and website visits.
Measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts
This is arguably the biggest content marketing challenge, and it stems from a misunderstanding of what content marketing actually is and what success should look like. This is a challenge for many because of the gap between their results and their expectations. Content marketing isn’t meant to show results overnight; it’s about building a long-term base of followers who respect your insight and find inherent value in your content.
Even if you’re writing the best blogs and articles that position your brand as a thought leader in your industry, it can take years before that content translates into an increase in sales. In the words of Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi, “Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.”Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Another key issue here is knowing what to focus on to determine progress, especially given the marathon-esque timeframe needed for your content strategy to build momentum.
How to combat it:
To determine the effectiveness of your efforts, you need to hone in on and measure key metrics. Monthly reporting allows you to stay up to date and develop an in depth understanding of your content’s performance. Key performance metrics include page visits, downloads, click-through rates on CTAs and conversion rates, to name a few. Just make sure to be patient and manage your expectations.
Translating internal technical expertise into engaging content
This last challenge is felt more by marketing professionals in the life science industry. They’re sitting on a content goldmine in the form of internal experience and expertise that can potentially be used in their content strategy. But making the most of this great source of internal expertise can be challenging for those who aren't experts in the area. This is especially the case for marketers who either need to produce scientific content or touch up and polish content produced by internal experts.
How to combat it:
One way to combat this challenge is to work closely with your internal experts on content creation. That said, this can be a tricky and time consuming approach that infringes on their already limited time. Its time-consuming nature can also make it harder to publish high quality and informative content on a consistent basis.
Another solution is to outsource elements of your marketing strategy to experts in your field. Life science content marketing agencies can shoulder your content creation while maintaining a high level of technicality and industry know-how. For more on picking the right company to partner with, check out our blog, “How to find the perfect partner for your life science content marketing needs”.
To learn more about getting the most from your life science content marketing, download our free eBook, “The Life Science Marketer's Guide to Content Marketing”.