Before we chat about content creation roadblocks (primarily the lack of content creation ideas, but also financial concerns, procrastination, what-have-you), let’s first make sure we all agree that as business owners with an online presence, we absolutely need consistent content creation and delivery methods.
As a freelance writer, it’s in my best interest to promote content creation — that’s what I get paid to do — but I assure you that I’m really not making this stuff up.
To prove it, I’m going to stop dazzling you with words for a moment and throw down some hard-core math.
The Numbers Behind Why Consistent Content Creation Matters
Check out these quick content stats that bust up common misconceptions and should help us all get a better grasp on why consistent content creation even matters…
- Content marketing is cheap. The Content Marketing Institute recently reported that content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and delivers three times (yes, 3X!) as many leads.
- Content marketing moves the needle on sales conversion rates. And by moving the needle, we mean whopping that thing to 6X higher than traditional marketing.
- Content marketing revenue generation is skyrocketing. According to Statista, content-related cash generation is massively on the rise and projected to nearly triple by 2019 to over 300 billion dollars in the US alone.
- Customized content is a big customer influencer. Sixty-one percent of consumer buying decisions are influenced by customized content!
So, if you understand that consistent content creation will help grow your business, why aren’t you doing it? Why aren’t we all doing it all of the time? The quick answer: because it’s not easy.
What’s the Deal with Content Marketing?
The deal here is that if you don’t want to grow your business (or remain relevant), then move along. Really, stop reading this and go tweet about something.
If you’re still reading — and I do hope you are — then you likely recognize that content truly is king (or queen). Describe it however you’d like; just be sure you’re consistently creating it.
I work as a full-time Content Manager at a global Boston-based technology firm and also as a freelance writer and content calendar planner for dozens of small- to medium-sized businesses. I’ve found that a given business’ size or vertical matters very little. Additionally, I see the same reasons again and again that prevent companies from consistently delivering frequent content messaging.
Content Roadblock #1 – Lack of content creation ideas.
A lack of ideas, in conjunction with the innate bureaucracy (i.e. at least a dozen too many cooks in the kitchen) of the corporate and even startup environment, is likely the biggest barrier and ultimate downfall of most companies’ content marketing plans. Without a steady stream of (really good) ideas, a content marketing strategy will never get off the ground.
In a 2015 Kapost survey of B2B marketers, it was found that marketers need about 67 content creation ideas per quarter to be successful.
That’s a lot of ideas! Where the heck might one mine this creativity?
The answer: nearly “70% of marketers want to be able to crowdsource ideas more easily from internal workers.”
The concept of crowdsourcing ideas from employees or collecting user-generated content is terrific, but someone (or, preferably a team of qualified creatives) still needs to assign it, guide it to greatness, edit it (if not completely re-write it), find images/stats/videos/links/sources to accompany it, publish it, and manage the post-production engagement process. In time, parts of this process may be somewhat automated, but there needs to be a master of ceremony to consistently pull it all together.
Kapost reports that while “only 36% of managers report having a good process for gathering ideas,” a solid 99% of managers surveyed agree that “it’s important to have a steady flow of ideas to keep marketing efforts successful.”
Content Roadblock #2 – Too many (not so great) cooks in the kitchen.
Oh, hey, did you know that everyone’s a writer?! Really — everyone can post on Facebook and get a bunch of LinkedIn likes, and voila! they’re an expert at this thing we call content creation.
Unfortunately, this does not bode well for decision-making or for a strategy that should be primarily based on analytics and audience interest. Ego and fear begin to play a larger role, and suddenly what was once a so-called strategy becomes the ‘ole toss-it-against-the-wall-and-hope-it-sticks-method.
Spoiler alert: it doesn’t stick.
Proposed solution: outsource the idea generation. Manage it and guide it, but hire authorities who remain far removed from office politics to objectively tell you what’s up and what works.
Content Roadblock #3 – Production cadence (or lack thereof), platform, logistics.
There is understandably a great deal of concern around publishing times, the number of posts, length of posts, and where to publish them (blog, website, social media). Considering content production logistics alone can quickly become paralyzing. While benchmarking competitors may be a step in the right direction, trial and error is something with which content managers must become comfortable, and testing content ideas is clearly not always an easy internal sell.
Content Roadblock #4 – Engagement follow-up and comment mitigation.
Think you can just publish your content and walk away? Nope!
The whole point is content engagement. How is your audience responding to your content? And are you engaging with them back? There may be negative comments, and that’s a risk a company and its CEO must be willing to take. How you respond and how quickly you respond has a potentially tremendous influence on public relations, overall customer satisfaction, and even investor sentiment.
Content Roadblock #5 – Money.
I had the unique opportunity to work on a major mobile content platform where the content itself costs under 30% of the entire budget. For this, we paid top dog writers who were all previously published on those websites and newspapers you read every day.
Content, even really great content, is not incredibly expensive, but it does take time. Only once the upfront ideation process, strategy, and consistent content production methods are in place can your marketing efforts truly take off and reap the revenue benefits.
There are indeed endless roadblocks on the way to creating consistently good content, but crowdsourcing pitches from sophisticated specialty writers is a great way to start clearing a path. Create a company account on nDash.com to kick off a content marketing strategy that works.
Author bio: Melanie LoBue is a freelance writer, editor, and digital marketing consultant living in Boston, where she also works as a full-time content manager at a global technology company. Melanie is passionate about helping businesses of all sizes grow using the power of words. When not creating content that packs a punch, Melanie may be found singing dive bar karaoke, watching reruns of Star Trek, or practicing to be a better yogi. You can hire Melanie to write for your brand by logging in to the nDash platform.