Publishing high-quality content consistently is a huge challenge for marketers in any industry. Here’s how your team can overcome those challenges.
In the age of digital marketing, content is one of your most powerful tools. Expert content builds search engine authority for your website, helps nurture prospects down your sales funnel, and increases brand thought leadership. If you want to be seen as a leader in your industry, high-quality content must be a marketing priority.
But if it were easy, everyone would do it. Consistently generating high-quality content comes with a unique set of challenges that cause many brands to stumble. In this article, we’ll look at what stands in your way, and how your team can overcome these obstacles.
There’s never enough time
Creating high-quality content takes time. Whether you do it yourself, assign one of your employees to the task, or farm it out to freelancers or content specialists, there is a significant time investment. In business, time is money, and any time spent creating content is taken away from the core tasks of running your business.
Writing content yourself, or assigning it to someone who knows the business as well as you do, is a good start. But this can get prohibitively time-consuming, which cuts into the quality of the content and the time you have to spend on mission-critical tasks.
Hiring a freelancer or content specialist is a good way to reduce this burden. But you will still find yourself spending time coming up with or approving content ideas, reviewing the content, and providing feedback. Even if you find an excellent freelance content creator, it may take time for them to learn your style and understand your business and voice well enough to write credibly for you.
Evermore quality content is needed to meet business goals
According to HubSpot, if you are trying to maximize organic traffic, you need to publish as much optimized content as possible. For small blogs, they recommend posting new content three or four times a week. For larger blogs, four to five times per week is best. If your goal is brand awareness, you can get away with publishing one or two fewer blog posts each week. There is some variation on how often you need to post determined by your industry, but it remains close to these numbers.
Some companies believe that cranking out content, any content, is good enough to build a solid content marketing program. They want to believe that, as long as you stuff a few keyword phrases in each article and publish every day, your website will rocket to the first-page results on Google and traffic will explode. This is no longer true. The Google algorithm has changed to favor longer, more in-depth content, and content creators need to change with it.
Considerable commitment without short-term results
High-quality content creation is a proven way to build an audience and grow a business. It can establish you as an industry thought leader and a trusted source of information, but it takes patience and a lot of time — years of it.
For example, WordStream, one of the leading online advertising companies, launched a content marketing program back in January of 2009. They didn’t see gains in website traffic until four years after they launched the program, and it really didn’t start to take off until the beginning of 2015, six years later.
Too many companies give up on the content marketing strategy before it has a chance to start paying dividends. Most companies, especially publicly traded companies, are under constant pressure to grow and generate value for the shareholders every quarter, and they see business strictly through a short-term lens. If a new product fails to catch on with the targeted customer base within six weeks of launch, it is considered a failure. If a marketing effort does not deliver increased sales within three months, it is canceled. If an effort doesn’t show an immediate ROI, the business tries something else.
A commitment to sustained growth through content creation and marketing goes against the grain of this conventional wisdom.
Your approach to content must be consistent, and everyone involved must be dedicated to the goal. If you want to use content marketing as part of your marketing strategy, you need to commit to it for the long haul. How do you deal with this?
You must get buy-in from the people at the top. Set realistic expectations for when they will see the growth they hope for and warn them that it will likely take years before they see a payoff from the investment in high-quality content creation.
The real reason high-quality content creation is so difficult
When you combine all these factors, it is easy to see why creating high-quality content is a challenge for most companies. The limited-time available for content creation, demands to post content more often, and Google’s preference for content that’s 2 to 3 times longer than just a few years ago all contribute to the problem.
But when you pile these factors on top of a content creation process that requires years of a sustained, long-term commitment to move the needle, the problem is even clearer: Most people get burnt out and give up.
5 Steps to a content creation program that won’t burn itself out
Here are some suggestions on how to survive a sustained content creation program:
1. Make content creation a priority
The commitment to content creation must come from the top. The leaders of the business must be willing to do what is needed to create new high-quality content. Whether this means writing it yourself or assembling the team that does it, you need to show your employees and customers that you are committed to good content.
2. Internalize that creating high-quality content takes a lot of time
The demand for better quality content that is longer and published more often will take time, and you need to budget for it and make sure you have resources scheduled to deliver it.
3. Know your goal
Why are you doing this? What are you hoping to accomplish with your content marketing program? Is there an organic traffic target you are hoping to reach? How will you know that your brand awareness campaign is successful? Establish these guidelines and plan on it taking a while to reach them.
4. Build a content creation team to share the workload
Reduce burnout by spreading the workload around. Have the team work together and break down the workload into small chunks. Maybe have some people responsible for content research and resources, find others to outline the content, assign others to write the drafts, and you edit the final copy?
By not having the same individual responsible for every aspect of all content creation, you reduce the risk of complete burnout and improve accountability.
5. Understand and communicate that the ROI on content marketing is a slow burn
Set realistic expectations. Let everyone know that the content you create today will not bear fruit for months, even years.
Get the most value out of your content marketing program
Having fantastic content is worthless if you don’t have the right data for an audience to send it to. The BDEX suite of solutions will help you transform your high-quality content into valuable human connections. Want to learn more about BDEX and our Data Exchange Platform? Complete our quick and easy online form and one of our representatives will contact you.