Consumers are being deafened by content, yet brands continue to turn up the volume. That is putting pressure on your content marketing strategy to work even harder if you want to reach those key audience groups. Make sure that these five challenges aren’t needlessly preventing you from doing just that.

Failing to plan (and publicise that plan)


Very few organisations can succeed with a completely ‘off the cuff’ content marketing operation. Yes, brands can succeed by doing ‘off the cuff’ content, but only as a tactic that supports a more planned, more sustainable content marketing strategy and editorial schedule.

The starting point for a successful content strategy lies in having a documented strategy and schedule that is both accessible to, and aligned with, the wider business.

Ensuring that your editorial plan is accessible and communicated to the organisation helps you to achieve the support of key stakeholders and breaks down the silos that often hold organisations back with their content strategy.

Not understanding your audiences’ wants and needs


What a brand wants to say, and what an audience wants to see, hear or know, are often two different things and this challenge runs at the heart of many content marketing challenges.

Understanding what your audiences need, what they want and what actually motivates them to engage with branded content should be the primary concern of any brand investing in content marketing, because consumer expectations are only getting higher.

Consumers are being bombarded with more and more content and, as they try to filter out that content to determine what they actually want, they are looking for content that talks to them on an increasingly personal level. Personally tailored content really is king.

Understand what your audiences want, what their pain points are, what they like to engage with and what content they avoid – and give them more of what they want.

Not reaching them at all


Don’t rely on people finding your content.

Organic content discovery is a difficult and often unpredictable process. Social media algorithms are increasingly rationing the amount of branded content that organically ends up in front of users, and relying heavily on organic search leaves you at the whims of search algorithms. Yes, organic has a role but in order to really reach your audiences, you need to actively push your content out there.

That means looking at how your audiences are likely to engage with your own channels, the paid channels that you could utilise, and any media space that you could go out and earn, and look at how your message can be translated to each and every channel or platform.

Don’t just stand there, shouting in an empty room. Go out there and find the people that you want to attract.

Content that just doesn’t make an impact


The internet is full of “me too” content. Content that exists purely to fill space, to tick a box, and that actually achieves very little.

We have already mentioned that audiences are becoming more discerning; they are making judgements on whether to give up their time to consume your content based on whether it meets their personal needs, and the same applies to the quality of your content.

If your content doesn’t offer something of value, if it doesn’t add something to the debate that nobody else is adding or if it doesn’t help your audience, that audience is going to disappear fast.

Think carefully about the core issues that your brand needs to, or has a right to, talk about. How do you add a new perspective to it? How does it affect your customers and audiences, and how can you solve those problems?

Focus on making your content stand out from the crowd, rather than simply joining it.

Failing to measure the impact of your content


Let’s not avoid the question. At some point, you are going to want to understand just where all that investment has gone and whether it has paid off.

Be clear on what you expect from your content marketing, have consistent KPIs and be realistic as to what role your content can play to the wider picture.

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