How Can I Keep Going With My Content Marketing When Times Get Tough?

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Content marketing seems to be never-ending, you put out piece after piece of content and you still need to find fresh things to deliver to your audience. It can be draining to find new things to talk about day-in and day-out.

You might feel as though you're not connecting with your audience, or your manager complains that you're not driving the results needed. So how do you keep going when the going gets tough?

To keep at the top of your game you need to have a combination of strategic and political savvy, a human side, endurance, and determination.

While you need to have these personal attributes, the organisation you work for needs to be willing to meet you halfway in your efforts.

How can the organisation help you in your content marketing efforts? That's where you can use the content marketing resilience model. But what is it?

The content marketing resilience model

The content marketing resilience model can help your organisation build and maintain its content marketing. This model is made up of a few different areas that we'll look at in more depth.

  • Structures - Have the right structures and frameworks in place that allow and support interconnectivity, collaboration, and support. These structures will need to be flexible so that they can be adapted over time and repurposed around specific goals
  • Leaders - Your leaders should be conductors, not commanders. Figure out what you know and what needs to be fixed and then lead your team forward.
  • Flexibility - The framework needs to be flexible and you need to let your people do what they're good at. When the time comes you need to let your people move up and do what they're good at when you need them to.
  • Adaptation - Allow your team to adjust to new ways of working without changing everything all at once. Don't ask your team to go completely digital overnight, give them chance to phase out their phone call doodles.
  • Customers - If all else fails, remember you need to keep your customers at the heart of everything that you do.

This process can take time and you need to get everyone on board with the changes. But what can you do as a content marketer while you're waiting for your organisation to catch up?

Prepare for executive pressure

One large arrow facing towards several smaller arrows

When your executives say that there's not enough coming in from your content, or that business priorities have changed you may find that you have to get very defensive to stay in your job.

There are some things you can do to help with this pressure though:

  1. Remember there is a human element to this. Your executive is just another human with their own pressures that they're dealing with. If the market has taken a bad turn, they're just trying to look for an internal reason why their organisation is being affected.
  2. You don't need to have all the answers right away. Your executives want to know what went wrong right this instant, and it's ok if you're not exactly sure. At the end of the day, these projects are what you do and you probably have a rough idea of where you need to start looking to find the answers.
  3. Be flexible. Adjust your mindset and take the pressure without breaking under it.
  4. Use the tools you have at your disposal. You're a professional communicator, communicate with your executive. Outline why you're facing challenges and what help you need to overcome them. It's ok to ask for help when you need it.

Prepare for team turbulence

No, this isn't a new group of superheroes keeping your town safe. This is where you have new team members coming in and old ones leaving. This leaves the team in a state of flux and changing power dynamics. Or there may be other times that your team suffers from burnout and you feel as though the content you're putting out is just bland. So how can you get your team to adapt?

  1. Solve the right issue at the right time. You might be putting out great ideas, but if you're focusing on your Christmas content in January you have to wonder whether you're a little too early, or late.
  2. Have elements that are always kept the same. If your team has lost their way, give them a touchpoint they can refer to so they can get back on track. Remind them of their place in the team and why what they're doing is important to the overall strategy.
  3. Remember, your team isn't just made up of creators. Your team is made up of people, not robots. Bringing them together in times of need can help you overcome many problems that you didn't even know you had. Especially if you're going through a time of stress that's affecting more than just your team.

My idea was shot down and killed

There may be times that you have an idea for an amazing piece of content, but it just doesn't work out. This can be hard when it's not your decision to make, especially if you were heavily invested in it.

Not being able to go after something you were excited about can be a severe blow to morale. Here are some things you may need to consider:

  • It's going to take time, you put a lot of thought and work into this, it'll take time to get over the blow.
  • Ask why the idea had to be shot down. Don't be aggressive, just go into the conversation trying to understand what went wrong and what needs to be improved for the future.
  • Give the right task to the right person at the right time. If you've given the wrong task to the wrong person, you're not going to get good results. That's just how life works.

Prepare to be criticised

You've put out some amazing content and you're proud of what you've achieved. But what happens when others in your organisation don't agree with you? You need to be prepared to have others criticising your work.

  • Accept that you're going to have emotions. It's ok to feel sad and disappointed, just don't allow yourself to wallow in how you're feeling.
  • Reflect on whether they were right to criticise you. Often if the comments have hit the mark, they hurt the most.
  • Share your feelings with someone external to the problem. Gaining that fresh insight can help you find something positive from the experience.
  • Use the criticism to do something different in the future. Learn from your mistakes and become the best version of yourself that you can be.

Writer's block

A blank notebook with scrunched up pages around it

You've got that big white page in front of you and now you need to fill it with content. But that's the problem, your page is still blank.

Let's try and find a way of getting new content onto the page in front of you.

  • Get out of your funk Go somewhere new and learn something new. At the end of the day, these new experiences will give you a new perspective on things to write about.
  • Take care of yourself If you're exhausted, you're not going to be putting out your best work. If you need to, schedule your breaks and make sure you stick to them. Remember, being unproductive is as important as being productive.
  • Turn to others for help Your team members can offer valuable insights into what you can do and where you can go with it. Use them to your advantage.
  • Ask others for their input What content would your customers like to see from you? What problems are you able to solve for them through the content that you create?
  • Revisit something old If you have an old piece of content that used to work well for you, go back to it and see if you can put a new spin on the ideas it contains.

That's all there is to it

Being a communicator can be hard work and sometimes you may feel deflated if you've had setback after setback. But, by having strategies and structures in place, you may find that you can roll with the bad times and make it back through to the good times.

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About the Author

Siân Morris-Parker

Pay Per Click Consultant