Content Marketing concept“I’m too tired,” “I can’t afford it,” “I’m too busy,” “It’s too hard.” Admit it: you’ve used these excuses a fair few times in the past (I’m guilty as charged). And, after reading an article on the Business 2 Community website, it appears that excuses are rife when it comes to content marketing, too.

Before I continue, let’s clarify the difference between a reason and an excuse. As the article states, a reason turns into an excuse when you could have taken action but you chose not to; and when everyone else who faced the same issue was able to overcome it.

It’s all too easy to make excuses for why you are neglecting content marketing – it’s too time-consuming, it’s too hard, it’s difficult to measure, etc. But, where there’s an excuse there’s a rebuttal. Below are the most common marketing excuses and some advice on how to deal with them.

“We’re out of ideas”

Ah, the dreaded writer’s block. When you sit, staring at the flashing Word cursor and realise your fingers haven’t made contact with the keyboard for over 40 minutes. If your creative juices are running dry, here are some ways you can generate some fresh content ideas:

– Go back to square one and define the purpose of your content. Is it to boost conversions? Drive traffic to your website? Raise brand awareness? Taking the time to fully understand the reason why you want to create content will help with idea generation.

– Poll your target consumers to find out what type of content they are most interested in reading.

– Use social media to find out what your target audience is talking about and join in with the conversation if you believe you can add value.

– Keep up to date with industry news by utilising online tools such as Google Alerts. Sharing insight on topical, industry-related stories and events is a great way of keeping the blog fresh and asserting yourself as a market leader.

“We’re not sure if content marketing works or not”

So much data, so little time. Your job is to identify the data that matters, locate that data, and then extract the value from it. But don’t worry, doing this isn’t as hard as you may think…

What’s important is that you set goals for every piece of content: record how many likes, comments, shares and click-throughs you hope to achieve on each individual platform. Then, utilise each platform’s metric reporting tool to extract the relevant data. Google Analytics will provide you with website data, while social sites such as Facebook and Twitter come integrated with their own analytics tools for measuring social engagement.

Of course, you first need context for your metrics. Gathering 30-90 days of data before you start measuring the impact of your content marketing will help you set realistic, quantifiable foundations for your metrics.

“We don’t have time to regularly publish content”

If a consumer lands on your blog only to discover the last post was published in February 2013, they’ll go running for the hills. No, really. Nothing is more off-putting that a stale blog, so if you want to see results, you need be posting regular content.

Remember, posts needn’t be 2,000 words long or be embedded with images, videos and hyperlinks. Consumers actually like reading content that’s short and to the point, so long as it’s both informative and engaging. Creating a quarterly content calendar will help you to structure your content strategy and it’ll only require a few hours of your time four times a year.

If you ever find yourself pressed for time, or stuck for content ideas, M2 can help. We pride ourselves on making content creation look easy. Get in touch today to find out more.