Content marketing is developing at a rapid pace. Companies are presented with a number of challenges when it comes to their strategy, ...

Three major challenges for content marketers

Content marketing is developing at a rapid pace. Companies are presented with a number of challenges when it comes to their strategy, organisation, and recruitment. This became obvious as we looked at the questions for our Q&A, which were answered by an expert panel.

The question of strategy almost always shows up when we talk about content marketing. Our latest study found that half of the Nordic marketers lacked a documented strategy. And this is a major problem.

”We’re moving more and more towards working with data and data-driven marketing, and then content plays an essential role. If you don’t have a strategy on how you’re going to use your content, you’ll have major problems in the future”, says Per Ljungberg, Head of Communications at PostNord, Sweden.

”Having content is not the same thing as content marketing”

A good strategy helps companies navigate the constantly changing media landscape.

”There are so many platforms out there today. If you don’t have a strategy, it’s very easy to spread yourself too thin,” says Martina Borgman, Global Product Marketing Manager, SDA, at Electrolux.

Electrolux has chosen not to be on Pinterest for that very reason. They simply don’t have the resources to invest in that particular channel. Even though they know it works well with the target group. Creating content in a channel just for the sake of creating content is bad for business.

”Having content is not the same thing as content marketing,” says Helena Kämpfe Fredén, Client Director at Spoon. “You must dig deep into your target audiences and truly understand them. Where are they, what drives them and what kind of content do they want?”

A major challenge, then, is to make sure you have this outside-in perspetive to make sure your content feels relevant, authentic, and valuable for the recipient. Companies must make the best use of their resources, have a deep understanding for their customers’ needs and create content accordingly.

Some companies even choose to build internal editorial offices to be able to act faster and be closer to the core business. The disadvantage with such an approach is that you don’t get the same expertise and external influences that catch the important outside-in perspective.

DIG DEEPER: Download Spoon’s guide to building a media house.

Wanted: News nerds with a business mind and change-prone coworkers

Which roles are required to succeed at content marketing? This depends on your organisation’s unique needs and current situation. Put simply, it’s safe to say you need analytical, creative and technical skills in most businesses.

Martina Borgman, Global Product Marketing Manager at Electrolux, highlights the importance of flexible and change-prone coworkers with a mix of influences.

”I believe in a mix of internal and external influences to get that key competence and the drive that makes organisations change and develop.”

To Per Ljungberg, Head of Communications at PostNord Sweden, it’s largely about recruiting people with a news and business mindset. Unfortunately, people with that combination are rare and hard to find.

How these core competencies work together is also part of the problem. Companies must find shared KPIs that paint the whole picture, and not only measure single disciplines on its own.

”Measure behaviour, not ’pat yourself on the shoulder’ KPIs”, advises Ludvig Olsson, Head of Distribution at Trickle. ”To look at numbers on their own is a pretty meaningless exercise, because what does it actually mean if you don’t get a behaviour based on that interaction? To not measure behaviour is a grave mistake.”

Finding the right context for your content

Another major challenge for global companies is to adapt the content and translate the strategy into local markets. Many organisations wrestle with these kinds of questions on a daily basis.

”It’s not about ’one size fits all’, especially not when it comes to content marketing”, says Martina Borgman. “If a decision is taken over someone’s head, that feels relevant only in some parts of the world, then of course it won’t create the engagement and willingness to implement it locally”.

Part of the solution consists of finding the right context for your brand. GANT:s big TV show Couple Thinkers is a good example to learn from. Furthermore, to break silos and work across departments is something that all companies need to tackle in the future.

”You can have really great content, a truly solid strategy but if you don’t break silos and start getting these synergy effects between the different marketing and communication efforts, it too often falls flat. Look after your house”, says Helena Kämpfé Freden.

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