These Are the Challenges Content Marketers Need to Overcome to Structure Their Strategies

June 30, 2021

ContentMarketingInstitute Strategic Content Management Challenges June2021The demand for content has increased since the start of the pandemic, but are organizations prepared to handle this growing thirst for content? A new report [pdf] from the Content Management Institute (CMI) finds that only about 1 in 5 content marketers claim that their organization is extremely (2%) or very (20%) successful with strategically managing content across the organization.

Here’s a look at what the report reveals:

What Strategic Management of Content Currently Looks Like

More than three-quarters (78%) of the more than 250 CMI subscribers surveyed report that their organization takes a strategic approach to manage content, with nearly all (99%) of those saying they were involved with some aspect of strategic content management in their organization. A vast majority of these respondents are involved in content creation (91%), content management strategy (90%) and content strategy (80%), with many saying they undertake activities such as content inventory (63%), content audits (60%) and research to better understand potential audiences to inform content strategy.

Half of the respondents say their current operating model is focused on owned content marketing platforms such as their website or blog, while another third (32%) have a content model that looks more like an internal agency, responding to ad hoc internal requests.

Some 81% also say their organization views content as a core business strategy, while a similar portion can easily reuse and repurpose content across multiple channels (80%). Nevertheless, fewer than 6 in 10 (56%) agree that they are able to extract meaningful insights from data and analytics derived from the consumption of content — a problem echoed in recent research from Ascend2.

The Challenges

The most cited challenges to strategic content management relate to problems with communication and lack of skills. About 6 in 10 (58%) say that communication among teams so that everyone is on the same page is a key challenge, while more than half (53%) say they don’t have enough staff skilled in content strategy.

Although these areas remain top challenges, there does appear to be some progress. Last year’s survey found that 63% of respondents felt they didn’t have enough skilled staff, so it seems that some improvement has occurred.

On the other hand, content production workflow has become a challenge for more respondents — 45% cited it as a challenge this year, compared to 27% who did so last year.

Research from the CMO Council and Deloitte Digital shows that analyzing and addressing the customer journey was one of the top initiatives marketers were using to convert customers more effectively. And, although CMI’s survey found that there has been an increase in those who always or frequently create consistent experiences through the customer journey (49% vs. 39% in 2020), 2 in 5 (41%) cite understanding the customer journey as a challenge.

Few Have the Right Tech in Place

Roughly 2 in 5 (38% of) respondents identified implementing the right technology as a challenge to their strategic content management. Indeed, only one-quarter say they have the right technology in place to manage content across their organization.

Another 42% say they have the technology but aren’t using it to its potential, with most citing challenges involving integration (56%), lack of training (55%), lack of communication about capabilities (50%) and implementation issues (42%) as reasons for not using tech to its full capabilities.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on an April 2021 survey of 263 Content Marketing Institute subscribers, 78% of whom indicated their organization takes a strategic approach to managing content.

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