Overcoming the Content Challenge: What it Takes to Create ‘Enough’
According to B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America published yesterday by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 64 percent of B2B content marketers say they are challenged with producing enough content. This is the biggest challenge, above producing the kind of content that engages (52 percent), producing a variety of content (45 percent) and a lack of budget (39 percent).
Last year, creating engaging content was the top challenge; however, marketers have gained confidence in their content skills. While creating engaging content is, indeed, still challenging, the number of marketers who said it was their most difficult challenge decreased by a whopping 23 percentage points. The content being produced is more enticing, there just isn’t enough of it.
What is Enough Anyway?
Let’s take a step back: What is “enough” content anyway? One blog a week? A day? Three blogs a day? And we can’t stop with just blogs; what about case studies, webinars, ebooks, cheat sheets and every other tactic? How much do you truly need to produce to be "enough"?
More than half of the marketers interviewed checked creating enough content as a challenge, but how many actually had a real goal in mind? Did they have an actual target they were missing, or was it just a feeling of disappointment?
Here is an equation for large companies discussed on Forbes.com:
- You need 4 personas—these are your target audiences.
- You also must identify their needs. Maybe their top 3 needs, let’s say.
- Then, you’ve got to have content for all the channels that matter. Wherever the customer, you need to be there. Let’s say, conservatively, that’s 5 channels.
- Then, you have to be out there with fresh content. Let’s say at least monthly. That’s 12 times a year. Again, conservative.
That’s 4 x 3 x 5 x 12 = 720 pieces of original or versioned content.
While a smaller company that doesn't sell to four or more different personas can adjust accordingly, no matter how you look at it—that is a lot of content.
Ultimately, you should strive for content that appeases your audience and creates lead conversions on your website. Once you have leads choosing to hand over their contact information, you can nurture them with—you guessed it—even more content!
Making Time for Content Marketing
Because higher ups in the C-Suite are learning more about content marketing and thus allowing for more budget allocation, hiring the people to actually create this content is less of a problem. However, there are still challenges:
- There is only so much content each person can create
- Content creators are creative people; they can’t just bust out blogs and ebooks because they are told to. Writer’s block means that just because a content marketer is in the office for eight hours, doesn’t mean they can always create eight hours’ worth of content.
- Attempting to hurry along the process sacrifices quality. Only high-quality, educational content is useful, shareable and, ultimately, profitable.
Here are a few tips to finding the time and necessary components to create ‘enough’ content.
- First and foremost, make sure your budget is allocated properly and enough skilled writers are hired to meet your needs.
- Help your writers with topics, research and scheduling. The more time they need to spend on administration tasks and searching the web, the less time they are writing. This also offers a lot more opportunity for distractions.
- Offer outlines and provide examples. This is often a lifesaver for the overworked writer. When they know exactly what you are looking for, it is much easier to write content in record timing.
- Let your writers out of the office. Most ideas and inspiration come while writers are out seeing the world, not while they are starring at a blank Word Doc.
- Offer a sanctuary at the office—a comfy place where writers can take their laptops and write freely. Provide a lot of caffeine.
- Encourage everyone in the office to pitch in. The same voice from the same person may get stale. When everyone helps write blogs or contributes to more advanced content, new ideas and perspectives are developed. Plus more people writing means more content output.
It boils down to creating and understanding a content strategy and hiring not only enough people to create that content, but the right mix of people to create the content, as well. But using these tips can help your content creators produce maximum output.
With a degree in journalism, Brianne Carlon has more than six years of professional writing and content marketing experience. Through web and editorial writing, she reaches target audiences for Fortune 1000 companies, as well as small businesses. She uses her content marketing powers to help Kuno and its clients build their brands. You can connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
photo credit: Victor L Antunez