The five great questions of content marketing

questions of content marketing

By Mark Schaefer

I recently attended a conference where marketers wrote about their single biggest challenges. These issues were posted on a board and it was fascinating to observe! These five content-related posts stood out as the great questions representing the minds of the conference attendees:

1. Breaking through the noise

“We can create ‘great’ content, but how do we guarantee it is seen?  How do we guarantee that the message/takeaway of the video was viewed? It is our job to put guardrails in place to make sure that our message is seen. The cost of guaranteeing that messages are seen is increasing greatly, and the industry needs to brace themselves for the increased cost. Consider the Media Rating Council guidelines: 50 percent view for two seconds. Ha, is that how the creative team packaged the message?”

2. Specific measurement

“We still have clients who want to know how many conversions can be attributed to specific platforms or even pieces of content — and often the brands who want to know this are the ones without digital conversion paths that can be tracked and analyzed. We’re combating this by fine-tuning a purchase intent model that assigns weights to different interactions a user may have with the content, and using this to back into a minimum dollar amount that we feel confident taking credit for — but it’s obviously not a perfect science.”

3. Seamless content creation

“The challenge I face is how to educate my company-wide content writers to produce engaging, cost-effective content for our target audience. We have many different teams producing content for several mediums and platforms and who feel very connected to their area — meaning they don’t like outside perspective. I want to make sure we all seamlessly collaborate on content creation.”

4. Competing funding levels

“How do we compete for marketing funding to support content marketing programs when senior leaders compare it to mature marketing vehicles that have a more linear, positive ROI? If we can’t measure the results of the content, the funding will disappear.”

5. Human versus bots

“We all hear about the importance of having a human presence with our content but we are moving toward a world of algorithms and automated writing. How do we navigate those waters when content bots become as good or better than humans?”

… pretty good questions, right? What would you add?

SXSW 2016 3Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon. 

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Bilal Kamoon

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  • Numbers 2 and 5 hit home! Honing in on your objectives and key results and finding ways to measure things that have been done haphazardly in the past is a real challenge. Once measuring everything is second nature, you wonder how you survived this long without it!
    Regarding bots, it’s a good question. They really are better than humans at many things and in areas such as customer support, bots are so useful not only to ‘simulate’ a human interaction that is productive and satisfying, but sometimes its the only way to scale your efforts. Great article as always Mark 🙂

  • Thanks. The whole bot thing will be fascinating to follow!

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