What's Holding You Back from Creating Great Content

What’s Holding You Back from Creating Great Content?


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It’s time to move past the objections and start generating the kind of content that gets results. Here’s how

The value of content marketing has been well documented. (Here, here and here, among thousands of other places.) And yet, despite the many great reasons to produce consistent quality content that attracts, engages and converts prospects, so many businesses get tied up in fears that hold them back. 

We get it. There are many factors that can so easily shelve our content dreams. Lack of time. Small or no budget. Endlessly searching the internet for some spark of inspiration (yes, even the prolific creators get caught up in this rabbit hole!)

But the more we hold back and wait for the perfect confluence of ideal circumstances to create or revamp our content marketing plans, the more we miss out on opportunities to build awareness, generate leads and connect with our audience and customers. Especially now, when customers are deeply craving genuine communication from brands.

What’s the ROI of content marketing, really?

According to Hubspot, companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get 3.5x more traffic than those that post four or fewer posts per month. And on top of that, content marketing reportedly costs 62% less than traditional marketing, yet generates about three times as many leads. (And there are more great proof points in favour of content marketing all over the internet). But if 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing, and gurus like Seth Godin have proclaimed it to be the only marketing left, who are we to argue? (We wouldn’t argue anyway, we’ve seen content marketing work brilliantly for so many of our clients). 

It’s time to stop wasting time debating whether content marketing is right for your business. Get your plans rolling and keep at it. Do it well and the results will come. 

Still not sure? Okay, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common objections and how to overcome them. 

Does anyone really care about what we have to say?

Sure, there’s a lot of content out there (more than 5 million blogs alone are published each day!). And you probably don’t care about most of it. So it’s fair to worry that most people might feel the same way about your content. And you’re right — most people won’t care about it. Then again, most people won’t ever actually see it. 

Here’s the trick. Target your content well, address your audience’s unique needs, and distribute it where your audience lives. Then they will see it, and they will care. And some of them will engage with you and eventually become customers. We guarantee it.

But what if people disagree with or are offended by our content? 

Well, the power of the internet is such that anyone can have a voice — including trolls and haters. And unfortunately, those people are everywhere, and there’s a chance they’ll find your posts and comment all over them. 

There’s no shortage of brands that have made very public faux pas only to be taken to task by the online hordes. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t publish regularly. Yes, you want to ensure your content is accurate and kind and helpful and authentic and inclusive. But you also need to consider how you will stand out in the crowded online space, and that means sometimes taking risks, being creative and making stuff that’s different from everything else out there. Brace yourself for the good and the bad reactions, and be bold and unafraid to put your work out there.

But I really don’t have any good stories to tell.

Come on, we all have good stories to tell. From our founding or core purpose story to the value we deliver to customer and staff success stories. Of course, when it comes to content marketing, it’s not necessarily about the stories we want to tell. It’s got to be about what our audience needs and wants to hear. 

That’s why you should never start building content without knowing who you’re targeting and why. Creating audience personas and user paths can help you get really clear about what your target audience needs to hear from you, and what will move them along in their customer journey. 

We like to use Hubspot’s content mapping tool to get to the heart of the kinds of stories that will attract, engage and delight audiences. Once you’ve got that figured out, stories and other content ideas are easier to come by. 

Is our content actually going to lead to sales, though? 

Absolutely it is. But keep in mind that the customer is on a journey, and that journey starts with awareness of your brand and offerings. Most customers do not go straight from awareness to purchase. They need to be entertained, informed, engaged, and nurtured before they make a commitment. 

Successful content marketing is a long game. Those who are consistently producing and stick with it over the long term are more likely to see results like increased sales.

When on earth will I find the time to do this?

Like all things in life, you make time for the things you prioritize. And if content is a priority, then recognizing that it does require a time investment is the first step toward making it happen. 

We often include operational plans when delivering content strategies to our clients. It helps them to get past the overwhelm and start taking concrete steps to put their plan into action. This can often include designating people who will champion content in your organization, setting up useful tools to ease the process and creating a content calendar and publishing schedule for all channels.  

That all sounds costly. What if this is just not in the budget?

Not a problem, you can start small. You really don’t need a huge budget to set the foundation for your content marketing. A small, starter strategy and a commitment to one new blog post per month may be all you need to set your journey in motion. And once you’re able to show some positive results, you may find yourself with a solid business case for more budget. 

3 Quick Tips to Get Started

  1. Consume Less, Create More: It’s great to get inspiration elsewhere, but it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole of consuming over creating. If you find yourself spending more time with other people’s content than your own, block out time each day or week that’s solely for creation.
  2. Turn One into Five: Maximize the value of every piece of content you create. From one blog, video, or case study, you should generate at least five other pieces of content. Share those on your social media channels or emails as visual quotes, knowledge carousels, and video and audio clips.
  3. Refresh and Republish: Older content can be as good as new when you take the time to update it, add to it and republish it. If creating new work is too onerous, try refreshing older content and repositioning it in a current context.

Ready to ramp up your content marketing plans? We’re here to help! Get in touch if you’d like some guidance or support in strategy, operations or outsourcing.

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