Small businesses are likely to share the same content marketing challenges for the same reason; the absence of a dedicated marketing professional or team. It can be intimidating for small business owners to jump into the world of content marketing but once the infrastructure is set up, it comes down to providing value to your target audience and telling your brand story.
There’s a difference between a content marketing strategy and an effective content marketing strategy, and if small business owners are not seeing positive results from their strategy, it’s easy to throw in the towel. Owning a small business leaves you with almost no “extra time” to worry about content marketing but by identifying the most common content marketing challenges, you can then find a solution to your problem and start reaping the rewards.
Challenge #1: It’s Impossible to Plan Content
Content creation may be a last-minute thing at the moment. Maybe you publish content when it comes to mind and you feel inspired, and you’re unsure of what next week will bring, so you rule it impossible to plan.
If you’re not planning your content, you’re likely sending it out sporadically, which really isn’t helping your strategy. Your target audience wants consistency.
Take the time to plan your content. Start with a calendar and go for the low hanging fruit like holidays. One holiday could easily take 2-3 weeks of similar content, and then you have at least half a month planned already. If you aren’t strategizing, you don’t have clear goals, which is a bigger problem. Figure out what your goals are and when you want to meet them. Establishing your timeline for content and what type of content you want scheduled is going to make the process a lot easier.
Challenge #2: No Time to Create Content
Small business owners wear multiple hats each day and are putting fires out left and right. How do you make the time to create content? It’s all about routine and time management. Here are some tips on how to tackle everything on your schedule.
The answer is simple – make time for it. You should have a schedule for each day, so you are making enough time for the big projects, little tasks, and yourself. You can use the schedule to evaluate where exactly you’re spending most of your time and allocating some of that time to projects like content creation. Sticking to a schedule could actually free up some time for you.
Challenge #3: No Credibility
It may be a struggle at first to establish yourself as a voice of authority in your industry. Don’t let that stop you. Your business is your passion, and you are an expert in your business. By simply sharing your knowledge with your target audience, you are building trust and credibility.
Sharing your expert opinion through your content will improve your brand’s authority in whichever space you’re occupying.
Challenge #4: Limited Budget
A marketing budget for a small business can definitely be challenging. It can be difficult to justify any marketing or advertising costs when there are plenty of other areas that may need your attention.
The age of digital marketing has actually leveled the playing field, so small businesses have a better chance at competing with the big guys even with limited funds. There are many ways to organically grow your social network following and engage your target audience. Within these sites, you may be surprised that it’s not too costly to boost your content with a paid advertisement. Just be selective on what you promote, make sure it’s something that has been proven to generate buzz before.
Challenge #5: Maintenance
Ok, so you’ve published your content and you’re good to go. Not exactly. Be sure to maintain those posts, keep an eye on what people are saying and interact with your target audience. This doesn’t have to take up a big chunk of time, just a short response or acknowledgment will go a long way.
Challenge #6: The Learning Curve
Maybe one day you feel like you’ve conquered the content marketing challenges, but the next day the rules changed. Unfortunately, the rules aren’t set in stone. Platforms and their algorithms change so we need to adapt. Commit to lifelong learning.
This doesn’t need to take up much of your day, either. Yes, you can schedule some time in monthly to check up on the latest trends, but you could also be proactive and sign up for a newsletter.
Challenge #7: Ticking Boxes
What’s the purpose of the content you’re publishing? Are you being strategic about which content goes out, and does it align with your current goals? These are questions you should be asking yourself when publishing that blog or post. Avoid publishing something just because you know you should be putting content out.
Prioritize the areas that need your attention the most, maybe lead generation, low sales, or traffic. A clear goal with results you can analyze will provide you with much better development of your business strategy than arbitrarily publishing content.
Challenge #8: Unsure of What to Publish
So, you’re new to content marketing but you know you should be seeing an increase in sales from these efforts. Reflect on what type of content you’re publishing or planning to publish. The mission of your content should not be to advertise or promote your products but to share your story and expertise. This method is what is going to generate interest.
Providing value to your target audience is the goal of content marketing. Here are some ideas on content creation.
Challenge #9: High Expectations
It can take months to see a positive impact on your content marketing efforts. If you expect it to pay off within weeks, you may become discouraged and forget your strategy altogether. Rest assured that those companies who have built a strong presence had worked a long time for it.
Challenge #10: Can’t Compete
Those large competitors you’re fighting against for a piece of the market may look like they have a well-oiled machine, but there’s actually a great opportunity for you here. You can connect with consumers on a much more personal level. You know your customers much better than a large corporation, you interact with them on social media and via email. Keep that personalized experience strong because it’s one of your biggest assets.
The Alternative to Your Content Marketing Challenges
Have you come to the conclusion that marketing just isn’t your thing? Maybe you want to get back to the parts of your business that you’re passionate about. There’s always a solution. The Small Business Marketing Studio can provide you with a fully vetted marketing professional to keep you on track with your goals. There are no contracts or hidden fees, just pay for what you need. Contact the Small Business Marketing Studio today and have all of your marketing needs met.