If you constantly face content marketing problems (especially in B2B), you’re not alone. No matter your industry or company size, limited budgets, weak strategy, and ineffective content plague everyone. Although these obstacles are frustrating, you can overcome them all with the right knowledge and resources. That’s why we’re breaking down the most common challenges marketers face—and offering our best content marketing tips, tools, and fixes to overcome them.
The 5 Biggest Challenges Content Marketers Face
While every brand has unique challenges, the 2021 Content Marketing Institute B2B Marketing Report identified the top 5 challenges that hinder marketers’ success. (These may be painfully familiar to you.)
Our Best Content Marketing Tips to Overcome Them
How do you navigate these challenges in your organization? Don’t worry. Just try these content marketing tips to power through your roadblocks and build a more effective marketing operation at every level. We promise.
1) Strategy Issues
Whether you’re a one-person content marketing machine or the head of a huge marketing department, having a strong plan is the key to working efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately, many marketers have a weak strategy—or no strategy at all.
Only 43% of B2B marketers said they have a documented content strategy.
This lack of strategy is the biggest source of problems at every stage of content marketing, from ideation to distribution. That’s why it’s important to do your strategy work before you do anything else.
- Document your strategy. Make sure you have everything you need on paper to keep your team on the same page. If you’re not sure what a proper strategy requires, download our free content strategy toolkit, which includes the tools and templates you need to get through the process from start to finish. (Note: If you have an existing strategy, make sure you’re not making these common content strategy mistakes.)
- Review your strategy regularly. A stale strategy is just as bad as no strategy. Make sure your current strategy is up to date, approved by all stakeholders, and regularly reviewed to ensure it aligns with your larger brand goals.
Note: No matter how well you plan, unforeseen circumstances can affect the way you implement your strategy. It’s important to create a comprehensive yet flexible strategy that can adapt. That’s why regularly reviewing your strategy is so important.
2) Content Creation Challenges
Content marketers can—and do—generate more types of content than ever.
No matter how good your content is, if you can’t execute it, it simply can’t work for you. Without the right content creation resources and infrastructure, none of your good ideas will see the light of day. (We know firsthand how easily limited resources, lack of communication, and inefficient processes can sabotage any content marketing operation.) That’s why you need to strengthen your content creation infrastructure.
In general, we believe in working smarter, not harder.
- Optimize your process. See our guide to revamp your content creation process so you can work more effectively at every stage.
- Use the right tools. See our roundups of tools and resources to create content marketing, start a blog, produce infographics, ebooks, branding, copywriting, and more.
- Have your audience create content for you. User-generated content helps you take some of the pressure off your team while giving your audience an opportunity to tell your brand story. If you need ideas, here are 11 ways to create user-generated content.
- Bring in the right help. A content agency can be a huge asset to your team—if you find the right partner. (According to CMI, 49% of marketers outsource at least one content marketing task.) Here’s how to figure out if you should outsource your work. And here are our best tips to find and vet the right agency for you.
- Follow best practices for every type of content. There are more platforms and mediums available than ever before, and each provides a unique opportunity to engage your audience. But each type of content requires a different type of effort to produce. If you want to experiment with a certain format, see our guides to create…
No matter what types of content you create, always focus on telling a strong brand story and providing value to your audience.
3) Content Distribution Challenges
If your content doesn’t reach the right people, it can’t make the impact it should. Again, this comes down to planning and preparing. Distribution is a major part of your content strategy, and it requires its own strategy as well.
- Choose the right channels. Here’s how to find the right channels for your content.
- Partner with the right publications. Find out how a publication-tailored content strategy can help you expand your audience.
- Optimize for more traffic. Check out our guides to optimize your infographics and blog for SEO.
For more content marketing tips, see our complete guide to create a content distribution strategy that works.
4) Content Measurement Challenges
Your strategy is only as good as your ability to measure it. If you’re just churning out content without tracking its efficacy, you’re throwing content into the void. Before you brainstorm any idea, make sure that you have clearly identified how you plan to measure it.
- Choose the right metrics. Here’s how to figure out which metrics will matter most to your content strategy.
- Focus on ROI. See these 5 ways to measure ROI to make sure you’re seeing the investment you want.
5) Internal Cost-Cutting Measures
While lack of effective strategy and lack of content creation resources may be the most significant content marketing problems, both are related to another notable problem: budget constraints. In the wake of the pandemic and shifting industries, many marketers are facing frustrating budget cuts. (CMI found that 29% of marketers had to decrease their content marketing budgets.)
This can be a tricky subject to address, but there are ways to work with what you have—or work to get more.
- Ask for more budget. Try these tips to get the funds you need. (Psst: You’ll need dig into your data.)
- Do more with what you have. There’s nothing more frustrating than pouring your heart and soul into a project that, well, doesn’t have legs. If you’re putting in the work (and budget), it better work for you. Use a divisible content strategy to get the most mileage out of your content, and learn how to maximize publishing through microcontent.
- Repurpose or reuse existing content. This is one of the best ways to expand your reach. For example, an ebook can become a series of articles. Or an article may be condensed into an infographic. For more ideas, find out how to repurpose your ebooks, infographics, and data visualizations.
Note: Working with the wrong creative partners will also cost you more money in the long run. This is another reason why it’s important to vet any agency or freelancer you work with.
A Few More Content Marketing Tips Before We Go
With a strong strategy, content creation infrastructure, and distribution plan, you can do wonders. But don’t forget that the most important part of content marketing is the content itself.
- Brainstorm the right ideas. If you’re stuck in a content rut, think about your marketing personas. Who are they? What are their needs? And how can your content give them what they need? Try these tips to come up with unique and interesting stories, improve your brainstorms, and vet your ideas.
- Experiment with different content. It’s easy to get stuck in a creative rut, especially when it comes to the types of content you produce. Try something different, and experiment with these different formats.
- Curate the right mix. A content marketing strategy is like a well-balanced meal. Learn how to structure a healthy content marketing mix to serve your audience the things they want and need.
- Create consistent on-brand content. Every touchpoint of your organization is an opportunity to communicate who you are. From your sales pamphlets to your infographics, your content should tell your brand story in look and tone. See our guide to ensure every piece of content you create reflects your brand.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your content marketing efforts is stay educated—and ask for help when you need it. If you want to know what it would be like to work with us on your content strategy, see our FAQs or reach out. We’d love to help you bring your brand story to life.