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Is your biggest challenge coming up with enough quality content?

We get it – in fact a lot of your marketing peers do. CMI’s B2B Content Marketing 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America showed that 54% of marketers struggle with producing engaging content – and 50% have a tough time producing content consistently.

Why are we having so many problems in the content marketing world?

In my opinion, there are two main reasons why consistent, engaging content is so hard to create.

1.) Scarcity
Coming up with content – and I mean quality content–is tough. If the bulk of content creation falls squarely on your shoulders as the director of marketing, there’s only so much you can do. While you might love to implement a multi-part strategy that features fat content, regular blogging and a solid social media presence across several channels, it just isn’t going happen without making it a priority – or getting help. (side note – this is why a lot of our clients work with us)

2.) Stagnation
Are you boring your audience with the same old spin on your topics? Once you’ve hit their frequently asked questions, covered their important problems and provided helpful resources, what next? Thinking outside the box can be difficult– especially if you’re two to three years into content development for your company. You’ve covered the basics and the truly inspired ideas seem few and far between.

Overcoming the challenges of scarcity and stagnation are as simple as looking at your existing assets (your content and your people) and getting outside help when you need it.

The buyer’s journey has changed – your product manuals, technical specs, social media updates, and your customer service are ALL content. So why are you trying to create it in just one department?

By looking at all of the content in your company – from the smallest tweet to the most comprehensive white paper or case study– and sourcing ideas from inside experts, you can create a stronger content plan. Your new plan will reach your customers at each point in their buyer journey. Here’s how to leverage what you have, create a new plan and move forward with the right help.

Get your strategy in place.

If you’ve been running things on your own, or with a small team, your strategy may be in your head or in an unorganized series of documents. Get your plan on paper so you know what to share with the entire team – including outside content experts. It’s the only way to make sure your new ideas fit the overall plan, and determine what you’ll need to outsource and what you’ll need from your colleagues.

Audit what you already have. 

Take a look at the entire client facing content that’s currently got out there. The sales sheets, product specs, customer support emails – everything. All of this content influences the buying journey, so you have to figure out whether it aligns with your new strategy or needs an overhaul. Is there old content that can be refreshed and recycled? Do you have great content pieces that haven’t been properly promoted on social media? Your audit may reveal a lot of assets that you can pump up with insights from other departments, or topics that would be perfect for a re-do from your top sales guy or customer service lead. You may also find topics that haven’t been covered yet, but can be outsourced to a content creation company to fill in that gap.

Get your content team together regularly.  

When content creation is spread across multiple departments, you have to stay in touch. Schedule regular meetings and consider using a forum or company communication tool like Slack (which we love!)  — find ways to stay on the same page. Your content strategy will be your guide. Staying in the loop with both your in house idea generators and outsourced experts will keep your content marketing efforts moving forward toward your big plan.

Don’t forget about your process!

You may have put off getting help from in house and outsourced sources because it feels like just too much of a hassle – but processes can help. True, getting people from multiple departments to contribute ideas, create content and take part in the promotion process can feel like herding cats. But with processes for idea gathering, review and approval in place it can be easy peasy. The same goes for working with an outside content marketing specialist. Processes can help the workflow smoothly from your plan to their resources and pack again to be published.

Scarcity and stagnation can stop your content marketing success in its tracks. Get new ideas and spin old ideas into something by refining your plan, doing an audit and finding the help that you need.