As marketers, we face a number of different challenges every single day. Our goals, of course, will no doubt be similar – to generate more leads in the most efficient manner. But the sticking points in achieving these goals will typically vary.
Some of us will be struggling to find the best software that will automate our processes, others will be finding themselves stuck in sourcing the best talent, and still more may be tying themselves in knots in efforts to come up with an actionable strategy that shows good potential for high returns.
But here we find another similarity between us all – there’s always something that we could be doing better.
According to HubSpots’ 2016 State of Inbound report, the most common challenges that marketers face today are as follows:
As we can see, the most pressing challenges facing today’s marketers are generating traffic and leads, proving ROI, and securing budgets.
I think that’s a pretty fair assessment – all three seem to crop up time and time again with the organisations that I’ve been personally involved with.
Identifying the challenges is one thing – overcoming them, however, is where our real focus should lie. And, since it’s a new year and I’m sure that we’re all charged with making improvements over the coming twelve months, it’s only pertinent to begin 2017 with a discussion on some of the strategies that we could be utilising to conquer our demons.
So, let’s take a look at the top three on the list and consider our options…
Generating Leads and Traffic
Content Shock is upon us, and so it’s hardly a wonder that standing head and shoulders above the rest is the challenge of generating more leads and traffic.
The long and the short of it is that the World Wide Web is now a content-saturated environment, which means that simply producing more and more content and hoping for the best is no longer a strategy that’s going to cut the mustard, as it were, in terms of bringing people to and through our doors.
The solution, therefore, is to move away from quantity and focus on quality – and also variety.
The latter point in particular is something that we tackled a few months ago, and so I refer you to our post ‘Beyond the Blog: Why Content Marketing Is Not JUST About Blogging’.
It’s important that we, as content marketers, take this in. When people go online, they do so to consume content – but the options presented to them are practically infinite. Blogging, of course, will remain as the cornerstone of much of our marketing efforts – for SEO purposes, a regular blog is essential.
But, ask yourself – are blogs really what your customers and prospects want?
Take a look at this graph from HubSpot, for instance:
Only 29% of consumers want to see more blog posts – number 7 on the list! Even research content is more desirable to consumers.
Take note, identify what type of content your audience wants, produce it in high-quality, and strategize delivery to ensure you’re generating that traffic and those leads.
Proving ROI and Securing Budget
I’m tackling these two challenges as one, as I believe they are inherently connected.
Securing greater marketing budgets is only going to be achievable if you are able to prove the ROI (return on investment).
Measuring ROI is no mean feat in itself – hence why it’s the number 2 challenge facing marketers today. We must all become more efficient at the practice, however, for it is the only way that we can truly understand just how effective our campaigns are.
The solution here is to better coordinate sales and marketing teams – in fact, sales and marketing integration is set to be a hot trend for 2017. This way, it becomes easier to document exactly how many leads and customers are being generated through our marketing activities.
Indeed, documenting our marketing strategies in the first place is imperative to generating accurate figures on ROI – and, according to the B2B Content Marketing 2016 Report, only 32% of marketers are currently doing this.
With a documented marketing strategy, you will first set out your content marketing goals. From here, you will be able to calculate the costs incurred in achieving those goals – and indeed the costs of your failures. Here, indeed, is where you will prove the ROI of your marketing initiatives.
Unlocking budgets depends on proving favourable ROI. In fact, according to the State of Inbound 2016 report, organisations that can calculate ROI are 1.6 times more likely to receive higher budgets. Here’s another screenshot to chew over…
Over to You
In many ways, I think the overall insight I’ve gained from writing this blog is to tackle the three challenges highlighted in this order: 1) prove ROI; 2) secure a budget; 3) generate traffic and leads.
We’ve seen that generating more traffic and leads is going to rely on our abilities to create higher-quality and more varied content. This means, therefore, that we may well have to secure a higher marketing budget in order to do so. And to do that, we’re going to have to prove ROI.
That’s the challenge at hand, good people. If you’re looking for a content marketing solution and an expert team to partner with, then please get in touch with us here at My Social Agency – we’ve got the content marketing solutions for you.