Sonora Birnie

In the modern world, marketers have a big job to do and a responsibility to stay up with the current trends. You can think of these content marketing problems as speed bumps on your journey to success, something that might take some preparedness but nothing that should stop the progress. 

While there are many content marketing challenges, we will list the 10 most common problems every marketer faces. But not only that  — we’ll also offer potential solutions to keep you moving forward on your adventure toward your goals. 

1. Understanding Your Target Audience

Regardless of where the content will end up, one of your main goals is for someone to see it and take action. 

The Roadblock 

To advertise and market correctly, you have to know who your target audience is, which is a common content marketing challenge. Without this knowledge, it’s like packing up the old van with all the essentials, filling it with gas and wandering out into the middle of nowhere without an end target. This is a waste of time, money and energy in the long run. 

The Solution 

Completely understanding your target audience is an ever-changing goal. Still, your team should be actively trying to attract an audience interested in what you offer. However, many businesses need help attracting the right people with their content marketing strategy. Even if you have social media and an active website, some serious roadblocks could prevent you from marching onward. Let’s take a break, refuel and reroute your content marketing. 

2. Producing Relevant Content

Now that you know your target audience, it’s time to create some content that will attract them. Even flawlessly developed personas won’t matter if you don’t have relevant content waiting for them. 

The Roadblock 

I’m pretty sure that we’ve all been there… you’ve got your car packed with snacks and the dog is in the back seat. You turn the key and rev the engine, ready to hit the road, only to find you haven’t filled the gas tank up! You must take a precious extra 15 minutes to stop by the gas station. 

The reality is that there are so many different options for making content that it can seem overwhelming. But there are some key elements that you can evaluate within your current and new content to determine if it’s relevant. 

The Solution 

Use what you know about your target audience to your advantage, including age, pain points or preferred social media platform. With this complete understanding in mind, you can make content that your demographic will find helpful and attractive. You can do this by approaching your content with authority using relevant tools. Content marketers should use keyword research and other search engine optimization tactics to ensure that the content is served to the relevant audience. Afterward, you can use user session recordings to learn more about your audience and optimize your content. Once you get that gas in your tank, there will be no stopping you! 

3. Delivering Consistent, High-Quality Content

OK, we’ve got our destination and our fuel… now, it’s time for the fun part: making the actual content. If you know the audience and what they’re looking for, you have a great starting point to publish digital marketing materials. But it’s not as simple as all that, is it? 

The Roadblock

From the design team and writers to the strategists, there are many people in our metaphorical Suburban — and while this can be an advantage, they must all be on the same page. Not only does the content need to be high quality, it also needs to be delivered consistently. Without the right leaders and an effective workflow, this can be difficult. 

The Solution

Making high-quality content (and delivering it on time) is no easy feat, which is why many companies require outsourcing. To be successful, every team member should be in constant communication and use an effective workflow. A content schedule is a must! Evaluate every angle, from initial content creation to content repurposing strategies. When making and delivering items, implement a content management strategy that works well for your goals. And, to stay organized, consider adopting a content marketing platform that keeps track of workflows and content calendars.

4. Promoting Brand Authority and Thought Leadership

Everyone knows that a good road trip needs good music, tasty snacks and games… all to keep morale high. Your marketing team is similar, but instead of the ideal playlist, you’ll need to consider boosting your brand’s authority through reliable thought leadership. 

The Roadblock

We all know that even the most prepared journey can get tedious after a while. It can be difficult to promote authority if your content marketers aren’t confident in their knowledge of their specialty. You’ll have to address what sets your strategy apart from the rest and present your team as reliable experts. 

The Solution

A simple way to build an authoritative reputation is to work toward injecting expertise and credibility into every content asset. After all, the goal of your content marketing effort is to be constant. If the audience repeatedly sees your brand associated with reliable and useful information, they’ll come to your team for help when needed. 

5. Aligning Content With Different Stages of the Customer Journey

It’s your job as the content marketer to create content for the right audience at the right time. But ensuring the assets are delivered at the exact time of the customer’s journey is just about as difficult as hauling the old ‘90s Suburban up a hill. 

The Roadblock

There are 3 main components of the buyer’s journey:

  1. Brand awareness.
  2. Consideration.
  3. Decision. 

You should be creating valuable content for what the customer wants at the point they are in their buying journey. If you’re unsure where you are sending the content, it’s unlikely to resonate with the audience correctly. 

The Solution

To solve the problem of content misalignment, you’ll need to address what the potential customer wants in the first place. Is the audience just looking for an answer to their problem? Are the viewers already aware of your product or service offering? Once you’ve correctly identified what stage of the customer journey the audience is in and what they want at that point in time, you have the extra push you need to get over the hill. 

6. Creating Different Types of Content

If you’re a content marketer, you know the struggle of creating fresh, new ideas to serve your viewers. But you must offer different types of content to keep audiences on their toes. 

The Roadblock

Creating engaging content regularly is an overwhelming task; if you feel that way, you aren’t alone. According to Hubspot’s State of Content Marketing Report, finding new ideas is one of the biggest challenges marketers face. 

The Solution

Not every asset is the same, so your content strategy shouldn’t be stagnant, either. Try something new with every video, blog post or landing page and refresh your approach. There are many different things you can do on many different platforms. Get together with your team and create a variety of great content that has consistent quality. 

7. Selecting the Right Channels for Content Delivery

Let’s get back to the ol’ road trip metaphor for a second. There are many different routes to get to the same place; some of them take longer, while others are more scenic. How do you pick the right one? Do you know where I’m going with this? Yes, that’s right: content delivery channels. Pretty slick, I know. 

The Roadblock 

There are so many options for content delivery that it may seem impossible to pick, like a million different routes stretching out before you. Which is the best one for what you want to achieve? When should you use it? There’s a lot to consider before making a choice. 

The Solution 

Finding the roadmap to content marketing success is simpler than you might think. Pick the path that leads you where you want to go and meets your long-term goals. To put it simply, the first step is to discover where your target audience is most likely to reside. Once you understand that, you can serve your delicious content to the right people. 

8. Cutting Through the Noise

The reality of modern content marketing is that the competition is fierce, and we’re all scraping to get those precious views and attention. Differentiating yourself from others can be difficult. 

The Roadblock 

In America, about 307.2 million people use the internet in some way, meaning that content marketers all have access to their attention. According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than 70% of B2B and B2C marketers use content marketing to reach their goals. One thing’s for sure, there’s a lot of traffic on the road and you need to stand out from all those other truck stops on the highway of good content. So how do you capture the audience’s attention with this saturated media landscape? 

The Solution 

If you find yourself in this predicament, the first thing you need to do is to examine the competition. Determine who these companies are and what they do to survive in the marketplace. Find out what they’re doing successfully and which of their strategies fell flat. There’s no need to start from scratch; you can use their wins and losses to your advantage. From here, you can strategize how to put a unique spin on a tried and true methodology. Suddenly, the road seems a little clearer! 

9. Producing Quality Content With Limited Resources

Whether your content marketing team is large or just starting with a few team members, we all know the reality of working to make quality content with limited resources. At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Are we there yet?” Hold on; we’re almost to our destination. 

The Roadblock 

Making the most out of your marketing budget may seem like a tall order, but you can get where you need to be without the newest and fanciest car, especially if you’re a strategic thinker. Your team might not have the biggest budget or fanciest marketing tools, which could seem a disadvantage. But there are ways to be successful with limited resources. 

The Solution 

If your team doesn’t have the ideal marketing resources, you need to work with what you have. Don’t waste time or precious resources by failing to set clear goals right away. You’ll also need to keep track of all costs, their effectiveness and the return on your investment. If the numbers aren’t adding up, it’s time to adjust. This process should continue regularly so that you maximize what resources you do have. 

10. Using Metrics Correctly 

In marketing, metrics and data are extremely valuable when setting goals and measuring success. But having data points is one thing, and using them is another. We all have access to a roadmap, but the quality of the trip depends on how you use it. Content marketing is much the same, and using your metrics correctly can make a huge difference. 

The Roadblock

These days, you can measure just about anything — social shares, traffic, customer retention, click-through rate, time on page — the list could go on forever. Not only do you need to collect this information, but you need to create a content marketing strategy based on this intel. Your team needs to know if their content is performing well and driving conversions. 

The Solution 

On your road trip to success, you’ll need to watch the speedometer, the gas meter and keep an eye on the dash for those annoying, blinking lights. With content marketing; your team should outline their goals and track their progress continuously. Measure key performance indicators (KPIs) and report them to your strategists. 

Phew! What a drive. Now it’s your turn to take the wheel because I need a nap (yes, you can choose the music now). But don’t worry; you’ve got some great tips to help guide you forward.