3 obstacles to content marketing and how to overcome them

At Marketing magazine’s inaugural conference, Content 360, Outbrain’s APAC lead Anthony Hearne outlined four steps and three key obstacles to content marketing. Here they are:

Three obstacles to content marketing

  1. Noise – There are about two million blog posts written every day – that’s enough content to fill TIME magazine for 770 years. How do you make your content seen, read and received?
  2. Fragmentation – With media fragmentation and device proliferation becoming the norm, how do you ensure your content reaches consumers across markets? This problem gets magnified when catering to multiple markets given the different popular media platforms in each market. You need to rely heavily on data to tailor your content.
  3. Intent – Nearly 74% of the time, users consume content to entertain or educate/inform themselves. How do you tailor content to fit your brand?

Four steps of content marketing

Step 1: Plan for discovery

While the usual approach is to jump straight to content creation once you have identified your target audience, Hearne advises to resist and think about the platform first and understand why your audience is on that platform. This will then aid the process of content creation.

Step 2: Publish worthwhile content

A no-brainer, but you must know the difference between content and advertisements, Hearne said. It is easy to lose the audience’s trust if the content you provide them is a blatant plug. Quoting research, Hearne said 71% of consumers trust brands that provide useful information without trying to sell.

Step 3: Matching content with intent

If you are doing any form of content marketing, you need to get the intent of the audience right at the given particular platform. There are many examples on the internet where, in between articles, you have links that when clicked on lead you to another page asking you to fill up your contact or credit card details for example. That’s fraud, said Hearne. “You’ve got to keep the content marketing space clean if you intend to keep up the trust of the audience.”

Content marketing is providing value without needing a transaction straightaway.

Step 4: Track influence

If you’re going to build content you need to gauge what impact it will have. Many marketers dismiss the discussion around tracking engagement and remain fixated on tracking sales. If you can’t cut through the noise, you are not going to get an opportunity to make a sale, said Hearne.

“We advocate tracking everything, but not only sales,” he said. Other metrics are equally important, such as unique visits, how many page views did the content generate, did the audience come back to your content, and so on. “These metrics require more emphasis than is being placed currently,” he said.