Content Marketers Got 99 Marketing Problems…and Here are Just 4

|Miko Levy

Or… 4 Content Marketing Challenges Jay-Z Might Have

You might have expected me to open this article with a statement like “Content is King”. And I did. If you too believe content is king. then what are you doing about it? Or maybe you’re more like Luke Kintigh, Intel’s Global Content and Media Strategist and Managing Editor at iQ by Intel, who says:

“We have this mindset that content is king, but really distribution is more important.”

I know it can be quite a challenge, but there is a method to the madness. and if you stick with it, you can (and will) see transformative results for your company.

According to a joint report by Adobe and Econsultancy in the first quarter of 2014, Content Marketing is the top priority for 36% of marketers in 2014.


Content marketering top priority


The report was compiled from a survey of over 2,500 marketers and included client-side marketers in both the B2B and B2C arenas in addition to marketing agencies.

The mother of all these content challenges is how do you make content marketing your company’s focus AND increase your ROI? This is the question being asked across boardrooms globally. In this post,  I’ll try my best to communicate some of the marketing issues and marketing problems many of you have faced in the realm of content marketing. I hope to bring in some of my own top remedies (and I’m sure many of yours) for confronting those marketing problems and challenges. I hope you all will take something out of this and spread it around. We (the content marketing community) are all in this together. Feel free to add more ideas and challenges you are facing at the end of this post.

Challenge 1 – Feeling Alone

You might feel alone, but there are plenty of folks out there with you. A lot of content marketing issues stem from the fact that it is just time consuming. Most of the time you need to do the curation, graphics and editing and segmenting and…. yourself. Most people who are in this area, know what I’m talking about.

For those of you CMLs (Content Marketing Loners) out there, before doing anything, PLAN. Think about who your audience is. What is your strategy? Do you want to end up with lots of content that will only reach 5% of your audience. Narrow your focus into specific customer segments so you can tailor each message to the right audience at the right stage in the customer journey. It’s not easy, but trust me, it works.

Prior to beginning your plan for content marketing, you must gain a full understanding of what you seek to gain by creating content and what audience you are creating it for. Remember, ultimately you want your content to achieve objectives for your business, not your content.

Define your purpose by creating a mission statement first. What do you seek to achieve?

Challenge 2 – Who to Hire

Many companies do not have a dedicated content marketing department. It is usually a person who also has other tasks. If you are a small business and even have a budget, you probably have some wiggle room to pay someone a salary to handle content marketing. You might be thinking that hiring a Journalist with design experience might be a good path.

However, on your mission to author content that’s top rate, you want to establish your brand as a thought leader in a particular area. So, you need someone with a great writing style who is knowledgeable of your space to push out great content, perhaps by interviewing company stakeholders and Subject Matter Experts to tell their stories. Start by building relationships with SME’s that can write for your blog. A great content marketing person is a combination of many unique qualities. You’ll usually find them in the most unusual places. The right person just may be the answer to your marketing problems.

Challenge 3 – Choosing the Right Promotion Channels

You have a lot of content and a highly diverse target audience. While not many channels are off limits, your ability to monitor and optimize your content on each platform is critical, so don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus is extremely important. You don’t want to leave anyone hanging. Your content drives interaction. Not answering is a no no. You want to establish trust with your audience by getting back to them ASAP. has done an awesome job of mapping out the content promotion landscape in the below diagram. Take time to explore each platform and understand what content resonates with your desired audience.

The Content Promotion Ecosystem


Challenge 4: Measuring your ROI

Last but not least, measuring ROI with regards to your content marketing initiatives is paramount to success.

Always have an eye on the revenue you can attribute to the content your customers engaged with, but remember that developing loyal readers and a brand your audience loves are essential steps to take along the way. There are different ways that you can measure the perception of how your audience feels about your brand. You can utilize surveys to measure your brand’s perception lift and intent to purchase your products or you can follow the trend in the brand related searches with Google Trends. HubSpot, literally wrote the book on inbound marketing, and the climbing search volume for the term is a powerful measurement of that effort:

Define the different ways that this lift in search volume for your brand or other terms ties into your content campaigns and you’ll have a better understanding of your content’s ROI.

Another way to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts is via attribution modeling. In a nutshell, it is about gaining deep insight into which marketing channels are most effective and therefore require the most attention. Check out this great post on the topic: Measuring Content Marketing with Attribution Modeling.

I hope this post has provided some insight. Let me know what you think. I look forward to discussing your biggest marketing problems and challenges. You too Jay-Z, I know you’ve got at least 95 more…

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Miko Levy

Miko Levy

Miko Levy is Vice President of Customer Acquisition at Outbrain. Miko is responsible for the global growth and expansion of... Read more

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