The number of content challenges for marketers is abundant. It’s no secret that every marketer has them, even the biggest names in the industry. There are challenges in creating, curating and keeping content fresh, to name a few.
During a Twitter chat I co-hosted (#ConstChat – UPDATE: This chat is no longer active) we talked about content challenges. What I saw as the big challenges for this group was no surprise, but what was shared were some interesting solutions.
5 Content Challenges for marketers
Everyone struggles with finding enough time to create and curate content. For many small businesses, especially those in the construction industry, ” content marketing has fallen on the desk of an office worker who already has plenty to do.
Some of the solutions shared by participants:
- Set realistic goals.
- For blog content, this can be publishing an article once per week, while for others it is once a month. Most small businesses in this industry strive to publish new content to their blog twice a month.
- For an e-newsletter, many try to publish once a month or once every other month.
- For social media, most #ConstChat participants indicated that they post and participate daily during the work week.
- For website updates (not blog-related), the goal is to review and identify pages to write and improve as needed, such as every time a new product is launched.
#2: Fresh Ideas
Another content challenge for marketers in the construction industry is coming up with new ideas. Some identified solutions:
- Read other blogs/websites to get ideas (even outside the industry), and from there, make them your own. Two places where you can find good article ideas include Medium and Houzz.
- Use a Feedly account (or other similar service) where you can curate blogs in one spot.
- Answer questions that clients are asking you.
- Ask other staff members, such as customer service, technicians and the sales team, to pitch in.
- Consider trending topics.
- Highlight completed projects (i.e., project stories).
- Take advantage of the ideas in my 52 Content Ideas for the Residential Contractor eBook.
Being consistent is a huge content marketing challenge (I know first-hand!). Even the best-laid plans get derailed due to an emergency, other duties or simply a lack of creativity on the day you’ve designated to write.
One of the best solutions is to have a content inventory where you can be a few weeks ahead of schedule.
Here’s how a content inventory works: Spend some time creating content for your blog but don’t publish the posts immediately. Instead, schedule them out – perhaps a few weeks or a month from now.
Meanwhile, you continue to write new blog articles (1 or 2 a week). That way, should you get sick or have another emergency come up, you still have content that goes out consistently.
Other shared ideas:
- For social media, schedule posts ahead of time using a scheduling tool, such as Hootsuite, Buffer or CoSchedule. In Facebook, you can also use the native scheduling tool.
- Curate content automatically using other tools, such as Feedly, IFTTT or Zapier.
- Block out time each week when you will write new content.
- Schedule time every day when you will participate in social media. This means putting it into your calendar as an appointment. For example, I make a recurring appointment for every Thursday at 9 am PT so I can participate in #ConstChat.
You do all the work of creating this wonderful content that educates and inspires your audience, but how do you get people to SEE it, let alone READ it, in a very noisy social media environment? This is a struggle for all of us!
Here are some solutions shared:
- Don’t just publish content to publish. Publish content with a purpose. Make sure it’s hitting the mark on the audience, message and call to action.
- Focus on evergreen content ideas. These are ones that won’t go out of style in a few months. From there, you can repost these blog articles over several months – or even years.
- Republish your content on other platforms, such as Medium or LinkedIn.
- Do a “Best of” blog list out to your subscribers with a link back to your top articles.
- Make sure that you have social sharing icons on your blog articles so others can share with their friends.
#5: Ensuring Success
The primary goal of your content marketing efforts is to secure new subscribers to your list. Sure, adding followers on social media is nice, but because you don’t own those channels, it’s important to focus your efforts on the “online real estate” you own.
Instead, use social media channels to drive people back to what you do own, your website, and entice them to become subscribers. How?
- Include opt-in forms on your homepage, sidebar, popups and even embed them into the posts themselves.
- Trade an email address for a valuable piece of content (called a lead magnet). Make sure the content is relevant to what they are reading.
Finally, don’t let content challenges derail your efforts. Find what works for you and stick to that process. Over time, I promise it does become easier to generate content, participate in social media efficiently and expand your reach.