Burnout is something that many people face in their careers, and digital marketers working on content are no exception.
According to MayoClinic: “Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
Increased competition, heightened customer sensitivity to content, and internal resources limitations, the feeling of reduced accomplishment often ring loud and true for marketers. There are many other factors at play here as well. These include the various focuses and goals that a marketer should keep in mind as he is tailoring his content to his audience and making it stand out.
1. Creating good content is getting harder
It’s true. In a noisy world where everyone is producing content around their products and services — it is getting harder and harder to get people to give us their attention. We have never had more me-too blogs and content than today.
People are trying to comply, but the usual method – putting in longer hours – has backfired”.
A huge burden on marketing teams today is to consistently create content.
But why does creating content, something that was originally meant to be creative, thought-leading, and expressive, end up being so awfully draining for us?
For-profit brands are commonly structured around increasing growth and profitability YoY, which on a field level is often reflected in the form of increased targets and increased expectations.
Achieving success is not a static goal, but rather a dynamic set of KPIs that increase periodically. The goal post keeps moving for industries, which naturally has a ripple effect on internal teams as well. This definitely contributes to the stress felt by marketers.
2. The goal post keeps getting pushed
The first challenge we face is the need to constantly come up with content that is deemed relevant and engaging by our target audience. We need to think outside of the box as our results depend on it.
The articles, videos, or images we publish have to be meticulously crafted for our buyer persona, and be deemed valuable by them.
Otherwise, in a sea of sameness in content, it’ll be an uphill battle to stand out. Especially in competitive spaces, marketers need to spend time studying all the content that is currently published on a certain topic, often by their direct competitors and then dedicate considerable time and effort to identifying gaps that could be worth leveraging to create their new content piece.
3. Marketers need to study and analyze existing content
The method of studying competitor blogs and social profiles, video content, audio content and other forms of written content will help them to emulate or identify gaps in their content that can be worth leveraging.
The best content created by brands is the selfless kind. The kind that focuses purely on the buyer persona and their interests. As Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
4. Marketers are interrupting and not entertaining
“Quality” content should mean something new for all of us. We should seek to maintain a balance of entertainment and utility.
While some pieces of content can be purely educational, according to SEMrush, if your target audience is millennials (born between 1977 and 2000) then creating entertaining content needs to be a core part of your strategy.
Entertaining content, as we will soon see, doesn't need to be humorous per se. But it does need to be gripping and highly contextual to the conversations and self-talk our buyer personas are having towards attaining their goals.
5. Creating generic content for non-generic personas
Let's get real for a second. Are we guilty of oversimplifying what our buyer persons are after?
Do we simply look at the “static” goals they’re after?
What if we recognize that our buyer personas have much more sophisticated, nuanced interests, beyond attaining specific goals - that equally influence how much they like and relate to a brand?
If we’re capable of doing that, we enable ourselves to begin thinking deeper about their psychographics, and what the pursuit of self-actualization looks like for our buyer personas.
In that we can uncover lots of great opportunities to create quality content that is not as obvious, helping you get a leg up on the competition.
If you ever noticed some of your favorite brands talking about things that they don’t even sell products or services for, then you’ve experienced that.
You will see how episodic content is a great vehicle to put this into practice and cement your brand in the minds of customers.
6. High quality, in high frequencies
Probably the biggest source of “content stress” for businesses creating content is the frequency piece. No issue creating one or even a few blogs and videos. It's the constant grind of having to put out post after post to save the momentum from dying.
According to Convince&Convert, a smart way to think about it is to come up with a list of FAQ questions that your buyer persona may have, well into the 100s, and use that as a starting point. This makes sense since the more content you can create the more top of mind your brand will be.
This is especially compounded in importance in competitive markets where others are already putting out content. On the flip side, this translates into added work and effort yet again for marketers, to be able to create content that is both shipped regularly but also maintains a certain standard of value of entertainment and/or utility.
7. Scrambling to find good distribution
In the case of owned media, it is important to ensure our content is visible on all of the social media networks that we are active on so that our audience can see it. The more social media outlets we can craft content around, the more shelf life our content will have and the more people will see it.
When it comes to earned media, brands often need to build relationships with other blogs, influencers, and even their own brand advocates to share the content created to amplify its reach and distribution.
This takes a lot of time, especially when we have a lot of content to promote. It can also be hit or miss because we never know what will work and what won’t until we launch it, which contributes to the feeling of burnout at times.
In case you haven't already, check out Build a Video Series 101.