The content challenge

Content is king when it comes to online marketing.  In fact, it’s been king so long that the phrase has become somewhat of a cliché.  So we weren’t surprised to read of new research which shows that producing engaging content on a consistent basis is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers today.

Let’s face it, writing is only half of the battle.  As the wonderful Anthony Trollope said 100+ years ago, the main difficulty when it comes to writing lies in applying the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair.  Jump forward to 2015 and you’ve got the added challenge of switching off from the constant buzz of social media/email and text messages.

The next challenge lies in deciding what themes your content should cover. Writing about your own products all the time really won’t hold your readers’ attention for long.

Naturally, people return to company websites time and again for both entertainment and information.  Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, they want new insights into the problems and challenges they’re facing, new perspectives and well- articulated solutions.

So content marketing only works when you know your subject inside out and are able to convey your experience, expertise and opinion in an engaging way.  No wonder so many company blogs are started with enthusiasm which quickly wanes!

Interestingly, a lack of budget is cited as the third major challenge in content marketing, closely followed by difficulties in measuring effectiveness.

Certainly, in our experience, creativity is more important than budget.  A well-maintained blog is more cost-effective than a one-off corporate video or a sporadic attempt at SlideShare.  Start small, maintain quality and then build your range of content over time.

Tangible measures should definitely be part of your plan. When we deliver content marketing services, we look at whether more people visiting the website? Are they staying longer? Are they engaging with the content?  Are they returning to the site time and again?  Are they sharing content or contributing comment? Is the content impacting the site’s rankings on Google and other major search engines?

We also use measures which are less tangible, ensuring the content adds value by positioning the client as experts in their field, demonstrating subject matter expertise and authority in the marketplace, defining competitive advantage.

It’s also wise to look at how you get maximum marketing mileage from the content you produce. A well-planned content marketing strategy can give you sufficient quality material to use across all your marketing channels, from your website to your social media and your email newsletters.  Relevant stories can also be pushed out to your local and industry media, giving you valuable publicity and high quality back-links which are so vital to SEO.

The online marketing world changes fast but it’s likely that engaging content will retain its importance in influencing prospective customers and maintaining search engine rankings.

If you’re considering content marketing but aren’t sure where to start, or if your current efforts aren’t producing the results you need, please get in touch on 01606 610808.