In my last two articles I explained what content marketing is, and also revealed three extra hidden benefits that can make a huge difference to you and your business.
In this article I want to talk about the four biggest challenges you’re going to face as you become a prolific publisher of high quality content.
More importantly, I’ll explain how you can overcome every single one of those challenges and become a content marketing pro!
So let’s start with the number one biggest challenge you’re going to face once you get started…
1. Effective content marketing can take a LOT of time.
I’ve got a lot faster at writing articles since I first started many years ago, but it still takes a lot of time to write these articles.
If your usual daily schedule is already maxed-out, then you may struggle to get started.
As the Director of seven companies I’m very busy every day, so my trick is to use a time-management technique called ‘time blocking’ to make sure I always publish fresh content every week.
Using time-blocking I aim to write for at least one hour every morning from 7.30am to 8.30am, either typing out my next article, or refining a long article I’ve been working on for a few days.
Although there are odd occasions when life gets in the way, most of the time I get to spend an early hour creating content, and it’s one of my favourite hours of the day.
When you get to spend time writing about something you enjoy doing it’s easy to get into a flow state and for a brief moment each day forget about any troubles or hassles you may have going on.
Anyway, I digress. The key thing is, once once you start you have to be consistent.
Publishing a new article once in a blue moon isn’t going to make any impact.
our main competitors are probably publishing at least once a week. (If not, then you’ve got instant opportunity to be the most prolific content marketer in your industry!)
In fact it’s a good idea to look at what your competitors are doing; How often are they blogging, podcasting, releasing videos on Youtube and promoting articles on LinkedIn?
That will give you an idea of the minimum frequency you’re aiming for.
If you’re already time-challenged then starting content marketing can add yet another demanding task to your already ram-packed diary.
Of course you can delegate and outsource content marketing — I’ll talk about that in a moment — but if you’re going to write content yourself, then I have a few techniques that can help.
One thing that can really help you start writing is to already have created a big list of ideas you can choose from. Then when you have time to write, you’re not sat staring at the blinking cursor of doom, wondering what to write about.
From now on when you see content – either in your industry or even a totally different industry – think about how you can adapt the idea to produce one or more ideas of your own.
If you want to get a list of ideas very quickly, then I can give you free access to some software I wrote to help me and my staff create ideas.
It’s called the Content Idea Generator, and it’s totally free!
You can subscribe for free at https://www.ContentIdeaGenerator.com
Once you’ve used that tool and got bucketloads of great ideas, the next step is to systematise your writing (or recording, if you’re primarily focusing on video or audio.)
I already mentioned my time-blocking technique above.
There are loads of ways you can systematise content marketing. In a future article I’ll explain the end-to-end system I use to go from idea to publication. (Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog so you don’t miss that.)
One quick tip – If you find it easier to talk about what you do rather than typing it out, then get someone to interview you on key topics and transcribe the recording to turn it into written content.
I’ve already published a few videos which explain how to narrate your content. Check them out on my YouTube Channel.
The second biggest challenge is that…
2. Content Marketing can be difficult to delegate.
Like most tasks in your business, content marketing can be delegated and outsourced, but that has its own challenges.
The very nature of content marketing is that it can position you as the ‘Go To Expert’ — but when you outsource the writing, your writers may say things you either completely disagree with, or at the very least say things you agree with but in words and with a tone of voice that doesn’t sound anything like you.
At the very least you’re going to need to thoroughly check ghost-written articles before publication.
Two simple ways to avoid getting articles you disagree with or which sound nothing like you is to ask your ghostwriters to read content you have already published, and ask them to try and write with your tone of voice.
The best way I’ve found of getting around the ‘tone of voice’ problem is to use the interview technique I mentioned above – when writers can listen to you talk about a subject they get to hear and use words and phrases that you frequently use.
The third biggest challenge with content marketing is that…
3. It can be expensive.
In theory content marketing doesn’t have to cost anything.
If you can sit down in front of a keyboard and hammer out articles on topics relating to what you sell, and you have the ability to publish articles on your website and social media channels without needing to involve anyone else (like your web designer)… then yes it’s completely free of charge.
However… time is money!
Every hour you spend creating content is an hour you could otherwise be doing something else that generates income.
However, bear in mind that one great article on your website can work like an ‘unpaid salesperson’ for months or even years after publication—as it automatically attracts traffic from Google, educates and informs prospects and turns them into sales leads and new customers and clients.
Also, unlike a salesperson, your articles will never get sick or need holidays!
So, the fourth and final biggest challenge is a very common concern for people who aren’t doing it yet…
4. Content marketing will make you lose customers and clients
I hear this all the time. Many business owners worry that by publicly sharing valuable information for free, customers and clients will no longer need them… “because they can just help themselves.”
That is so not the case.
For one thing, by explaining and revealing how much work goes into what you do, it not only makes your existing clients appreciate you more, it also makes potential clients understand just how much is involved—and actually want your products and services even more.
Of course yes, there may be some people who read your articles and then think they can just do it themselves… but they were never your customers anyway.
Also, it’s very unlikely that you’re ever going to reveal all of your unique techniques, principles and methodologies. And it’s also unlikely that your content will ever provide every nuance of what you do.
And remember, you don’t have to reveal absolutely everything about what you do.
In fact your ‘How to’ articles can always end with statements like
“Of course there is a lot more to it, but this has given you an idea of the basics.”
… or words to that effect.
If you provide services that require special qualifications then you have even less to worry about. For example, solicitors who worry about revealing too much about wills and probate really need not worry – very few people would want to risk getting it wrong by doing it themselves.
In fact, in that specific example, articles could include ‘horror stories’ of how people try and write their own Wills and then it all goes dreadfully wrong when the Will is actually required.
Here’s another example, perhaps a silly one but it highlights an important point…
If you know how to turn lead into gold – don’t reveal your formula!
Instead, your content marketing could explain how you developed the formula. Why your technique is different from your competitors. How you spent years researching and developing the alchemical method. The differences between lead and gold. The various purities of gold. The history of gold… and on and on and on.
At no point do you ever need to reveal your formula for turning lead into Gold, and yet you could be publishing a great weekly alchemy blog that educates and informs readers and increases your customer base.
Yes it’s a silly example like I said, but the point is, you don’t have to reveal all your secrets in your content marketing.
One final thought.
If you don’t publish free content, realise that one or more of your competitors probably already are… and will therefore be reaping all the benefits mentioned above.
If you don’t perform content marketing then you’re missing out on all the benefits just for the worry of losing a few clients who prefer to do it themselves anyway.
So hopefully I’ve managed to convince you that content marketing is one of the best things you can do for your business.
All you need to do is…
Content marketing is a mature tactic. Chances are your biggest competitors have been performing content marketing in one form or another for a long time now. That gives them instant competitive advantage.
Winning with Content Marketing is a lot like winning with investing or body-building.
The earlier you start, the greater your gains.
To bastardise an old saying…
“The best time to start content marketing was yesterday. The second best time to start is today!”
Hopefully this article has given you some great insights into how beneficial content marketing can be for your business.
To get started you just need a company Blog, which should be the cornerstone of your content marketing.
If you don’t have a blog on your website yet, ask your web developer to add one as a matter of priority. It shouldn’t take long or cost much.
Also once you have a blog, check out my other article 5 Powerful Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic
Secondly, you need ideas. Lots of them.
Once you start content marketing I recommend you publish at least one new blog post every week, so for a year’s worth of publishing you’re obviously going to need 52 great ideas for content.
That said, I already mentioned my free Content Idea Generator software earlier – which will automatically generate more than three years worth of ideas for you in seconds. (All you have to do is answer 18 simple questions.)
You can read more about that in my article How to Brainstorm 365 Ideas for Content Marketing in Less than 15 Minutes
So, I hope you found this article useful.
I’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s possible once you start content marketing!
Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog for more essential advice on how to perform great content marketing…
Subscribe to my blog and join 11,000+ subscribers who already receive FREE access to my tools & resources…