There is no doubt that content marketing continues its incredible growth as a strategy that is set to deliver the type of results companies are seeking - specifically, an engaged audience that wants to keep buying their product or service plus tells others to do the same. Sounds great for both consumer and business target audiences since research shows that people want to read more about the brands that interest them while a significant number are looking for custom content.
However, there are still challenges that remain to leverage the true benefit of content marketing and content campaigns. Research has found that consumers have an attention span that is actually less than a goldfish. Consumers and businesses also don't notice banner ads and, even if they do, they aren't likely to click on one. Hence, the result is a movement to more social media channels to reach their audience with a significant rise in investing in digital strategies.
- Small businesses are finding it especially difficult to create the consistent quality content that is necessary to attract and retain their target audiences. That's because generating this type of content requires significant resources in the form of time and skill or the money to pay someone else to create it. While you may be an expert about your own company and the pain points of your industry, you also are trying to run a business and can't do that and produce the necessary amount of quality content. Even if you resolve to have someone else produce it for you, your budget is not on the same page as that plan.
- There are more people in your industry and even your business niche that are delivering content, making it more difficult to grab your audience's undivided attention. Their expectations will continue to grow as more competition emerges with content at a faster and more informative rate than you. Because content marketers like yourself tend to stick to what has worked rather than risk any new approach, it may be that you get quickly get lost in the increasingly crowded space.
- You will need to be consistent for a long time. That's hard to do given the fact that you need fresh topics that are relevant and that offer solutions and help to your audience. Sure, you can do that once or more a week but what about five days a week? There's a chance that a few of those campaigns or blog posts may border on marginal rather than offer consistent quality. All that means is that you will have to work even harder and be more creative to keep that quality at the forefront of every content marketing piece you develop and publish.
- You may need to carve out part of your budget to diversify into paid promotion for your content beyond just the organic approach, which again hits the small business owner the hardest. Deciding whether you need to start allocating part of your budget to paid placement opportunities for content becomes difficult primarily because, until recently, organic has proven to be an excellent, low-cost, and results-oriented strategy. However, with the advent of more platforms looking to monetize their businesses, those that are paying for content placement seem to be gaining more traction.
- Your biggest challenge may be just figuring out how much return on investment you are actually getting from your content marketing campaigns. Even with a toolbox full of analytics, it can still be confusing to determine just how your content is actually performing in terms of generating leads, building your reputation, enhancing brand recognition or expanding your social followers and fans. You need to first know why you are producing content before you can gauge if it's performing well.
While technology can never replace creativity and a targeted strategic approach, it does offer some assistance with these challenges, including automating certain aspects of content marketing, helping to identify topics and trends, monitoring performance and more. Here are five technology tools that are already proving to help small businesses like yours:
1. Revcontent. Revcontent recently announced that it has launched a highly intuitive dashboard that publishers can use to see just how their return on investment is working for them. They can also identify trends that help them develop the highest quality and most relevant content that will provide differentiation to address the growing competitive landscape. Having a dashboard to see how all campaigns are doing also helps a publisher make better decisions on which campaigns drive the greatest results, helping maximize available budgets while generating more revenue.
2. Canto. Canto offers enterprise digital asset management and cloud digital asset management to help you store and organize all your content so you can track and share the information throughout your team as well as across platforms that you may be using for content marketing. This helps you find content that you can repurpose or update to speed the production of more content that remains relevant for your target audience. The resource savings can then be applied toward hiring other talent to create more diverse content with the impact of many voices and perspectives while you maintain all of it in one manageable content database.
3. Woopra. Woopra lets you use real-time statistics to track every user across multiple devices and build timelines associated with the content they are interested in to help you plan the type of customized content that they are seeking.
4. Resonance. Resonance is a way to take your content and retarget it so it gets in front of the right audience members and helps them find your relevant content. This takes considerable time, effort, and cost out of the content marketing experience while you maximize your investment.
5. Cooperatize. Cooperatize connects brands with popular bloggers and publishers as a valuable paid promotion platform to help get your content in front of more people with greater results for the investment.
These are just a few examples of new solutions being launched to address the aforementioned content marketing challenges, transforming them from problems into new opportunities for leads, brand building, and revenue generation.