Content Marketers’ Pet Peeves

October 19, 2013 Kevin Cain

At OpenView Labs, we recently published an article asking content marketers to dish about some of their biggest frustrations. With a nod to Seinfeld, we billed the piece as “the airing of grievances,” and encouraged readers to leave comments about the challenges they face as well as their complaints about content marketing.

Our positive twist, however, was to also ask these folks to offer up their favorite content marketing tips and best practices. As it turns out, they had a lot to say. Within a matter of hours, dozens of comments were rolling in and a lively discussion ensued.

If you are a content marketer, you can probably relate. Trying to consistently create innovative, high-impact content that positions your company as a thought leader, generates leads, and nurtures those leads through the sales funnel can feel like an uphill battle. Add to that the challenges of delivering your content to the right people at just the right times, driving conversions, and measuring the results of your efforts, and you might want to pull your hair out. Faced with those challenges, who wouldn’t relish the opportunity to blow off a little steam and share a gripe?

In case you missed the conversation, or don’t have the time to go sifting through pages of comments, let me highlight some of the results.

Why Is This So Hard? (The Issues Content Marketers Struggle With)

No matter whether you’re new to the field or an experienced veteran, content marketers all seem to face similar fundamental challenges that test their mettle and force them to find creative solutions. Some of the most common ones people cited in their comments are the following:

  • Getting executive buy-in
  • Striking the right balance between quality and quantity
  • Imbibing content with personality without losing sight of a company’s brand and voice
  • Repackaging and repurposing existing content effectively
  • Wasting time tracking a bunch of metrics without really knowing which ones matter
  • Engaging others to help create and share content

Sound familiar? Chances are that you’ve encountered at least some of these issues too. The good news is that since we have all faced similar challenges at one point or another, we can also all learn from each other about how to overcome them. In fact, after they were done spouting off, people shared some great ideas about how to succeed at content marketing. They offered up tips about how to better understand your audience, engage executives, and evaluate your current content marketing program. Thankfully, they even suggested some tools to help me address my biggest gripe: keeping up with the ever-changing rules of search engine optimization.

I’m So Embarrassed for You Right Now (The Mistakes Other Content Marketers Can’t Bear to See You Make)

As it turns out, the only thing we content marketers like to gripe about more than the challenges we’re dealing with, is the mistakes we see our colleagues making. Surely you’ve seen someone else commit one of these deadly content marketing sins (or, gasp, even done so yourself!):

  • Using your content as a relentless vehicle for self-promotion
  • Creating vanilla content that doesn’t stand out
  • Curating content without adding value to the conversation
  • Publishing content without first understanding your goals and your audience
  • Baiting your audience with exciting headlines that lead to far less exciting content
  • Creating content that doesn’t drive conversions
  • Developing content that isn’t useful to your target audience

Suffice it to say, if you want to earn the respect of your content marketing peers, you’d best avoid these pitfalls, which they ranted about in the post.

So now it’s your turn to get some of your biggest content marketing frustrations, challenges, and gripes off your chest by leaving a comment below. You’re among friends, so don’t hold back. But please remember that there’s one golden rule: You can dish out as much as you want—this is a content marketing gripe session after all — but when you’re done you also have to offer up some solutions. Happy griping!

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