Every marketer has experienced content marketing setbacks. Maybe it’s a budget cut that results in a loss of staff, or a legal department that drags its feet approving freelancer contracts. It could be that content isn’t attracting leads as planned. Any number of things can cause a deviation from the plan; it reminds me of my recent marathon training – which ended with me running my slowest half marathon ever.*
So how do you overcome these content marketing setbacks? Scale appropriately.**
Overcoming Staffing or Budget Cuts
Budget cuts and staffing cuts may mean you have to find freelancers or focus on the content that brings in the most sales-qualified leads (or whatever your goal is for your content marketing program or a particular campaign).
Freelancers are not hard to find. However, finding good freelancers may be a challenge. If your staff is cut to the bone and you need someone to run a campaign, consider an agency.
As for content, look at your metrics. (You are measuring your KPIs, right?) If interactive infographics and white papers are bringing in the most sales qualified leads, assuming that’s the goal for your content marketing program, continue writing and publishing those. If you get a lukewarm response from videos and blog posts, cut back on those.
Handling Legal Department Bottlenecks
It happens: the legal department in your company can be slow as a snail when it comes to approving new freelancer contracts or statements of work – or the work itself, if you’re in a regulated industry or a particularly stringent company.
There’s almost nothing you can do to speed up the legal department. Sad, but true: legal departments work on their own timelines, and unless the C-suite is clamoring for it, you’re going to be waiting. Dial back your expectations, and never expect legal to get the contracts completed quickly. Build in extra time for contract and copy approvals. Your marketing department or freelancer may be able to get you the content quickly, but legal is another ballgame altogether. It’s more of a preventative measure than dealing with legal setbacks in content marketing, because once legal has the documents, there really is nothing that can be done, unless you have a champion in the C-suite or an in with general counsel.
Dealing with Freelancer Woes
Especially with new freelancers, there may be a bit of hand-holding needed. You can actually head off most freelancer woes at the pass by finding the right freelancer for the job and setting expectations at the beginning of the relationship.
But freelancers are human. Work with your freelancer to nail the piece down as you envisioned it. Remember, freelancers aren’t mind readers. Something may have happened in the process that completely changed the piece, whether it was a subject matter expert’s take on the topic or word from higher up the food chain.
There are, of course, a lot more things that can go wrong in content marketing. But these three are fairly common and fairly easy to handle. Take a deep breath – and be proactive so you can get your content on time and on budget.