If content is so important and useful, why do so many organizations struggle with it? Even marketers, who have seen firsthand the benefits of content marketing, often leave content on the backburner.
This can be a big mistake; your prospects are out there, looking to engage with content that helps them better understand their problems and how to solve them. 71% of buyers trust brands that provide useful information without making a hard sell, and B2B companies that share this type of information generate 67% more leads than those that don’t.
So why are businesses like yours constantly putting off content creation?
Four reasons why your content is falling behind
- Everyone is busy and time is at a premium. This is especially true of small business owners who wear a lot of hats. The work of keeping your business running day-to-day and engaging directly with clients always comes first.
- Results take time. If you send your sales team to a trade show on Monday, they might come back with 100 business cards on Thursday. That’s a quick turnaround with concrete results. Meanwhile, the results of your content marketing will take time to become clear. If you write an article on Monday, publish it on Tuesday and promote it on Wednesday, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to attribute 100 leads to it on Thursday.
- Writing can be intimidating. If writing isn’t something you’re comfortable or confident doing, you’re that much more likely to put it off. And while you might know your subject matter better than anyone, and you may even be a capable writer, you may not be sure how to create content that fits well as part of. A marketing strategy.
- The return on investment isn’t always clear. Even if you have the time and skill to write, that’s only part of the solution. Building a reporting system to track and measure the effectiveness of your content requires at least a basic knowledge of a tool like Google Analytics, and if you really want to understand the value of your efforts, you’ll want to integrate your website and its content with a marketing automation solution as well.
We understand these aren’t just excuses — these are legitimate challenges for many businesses. But there are solutions available to help you overcome them!
Make content marketing work for you
What follows are just a few common ways businesses can break through their content barriers and start producing great content.
- Set time in your schedule. When you’re running a small business, it may seem like no two days are the same, but routine matters. Mark time in your calendar, and stick to it; ensure your staff knows that time is important and you shouldn’t be uninterrupted for anything less than urgent. Turn off your email and your phone and focus. if it has to come outside of business hours, that might be a sacrifice that you need to make.
- Be patient. Understand that results take time, and allow your content the time it needs to work. But also keep in mind that your content can have multiple uses; be sure to share it regularly and on different channels, and explore ways you can break down individual pieces into other formats to make the most of your investment. (And the good news, if you want to go back to that trade show example: Attending a trade show is expensive! Content marketing can be much more budget-friendly.)
- Get some help. If you can’t find the time in your schedule or find the task of writing just isn’t for you, help is available. You can hire a full-time (or even part-time) content marketer, an agency or a freelancer to help; there’s a firm or a writer out there that will fit your needs and your budget. These resources will have the skills and expertise to create great content, and to ensure your content is being put to good use.
- Set yourself up for success. Whether you create your content yourself or work with someone else, you still need to build mechanisms to track its success. At the very least, you’ll need Google Analytics set up on your website to monitor traffic; ideally you’ll also have a marketing automation platform and CRM solution integrated as well, to provide a better understanding of what the traffic is actually doing when they visit you and how they’re engaging with content. This is also an area where you may need a hand — either from a marketing agency or from the vendors of your chosen solutions themselves.
Every business is different (and every budget is different too!). It may take some legwork or trial and error before you find a solution that works for you. But that effort will be worth the time when you see the results that content marketing can deliver.