• Emily Malone

3 major marketing challenges we face today (and what to do about them)

As marketers, we all come toe-to-toe with a variety of different challenges every day. Though we usually all have the same goals, most of the time we’ve got unique areas where our individual businesses struggle. But wouldn’t it be handy to know what the most common struggles are these days?

Luckily, HubSpot’s 2016 State of Inbound Report shows data on the main challenges thousands of marketers face, as well as how they’ve resolved those issues. Here are three of the most recurring ones they found when digging around for answers:

1. Generating traffic and leads

65% of companies asked this year said their biggest marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads because as content marketing grows, more marketers are struggling with producing enough demand for their content. There are so many more platforms where marketers can publish their content, what content to make and even more ways to promote it. Where do we even start?

What’s more, people don’t really have to actually search for information any more. Usually, things pop up on their news feed, in their email inbox, or even on mobile app notifications. Consumers are constantly being absolutely bombarded with information everywhere they go online, which is bad news if you’re trying to get quality traffic and leads.

What can you do?

Creating content that produces enough traffic and leads means creating content that is: A) high-quality and something people would pay for and B) content you know your specific audience actually wants. The more tailored you can be towards your buyer personas, the better chance you have of generating traffic and leads.

You need to also take into consideration the trends of 2016, for example, HubSpot have actually found that this year 43% of consumers want to see more video from marketers in future, while only 29% want to see more blog posts. Which isn’t a surprise considering the rise of live video on social media, and popular use of apps like Snapchat.

To make sure your traffic and lead numbers continue to flourish, you need to optimise and actively promote it to your audience. As HubSpot says, if you spend 10 hours creating a piece of content, then you should spend at least 10 hours promoting it. This includes determining where your audience hangs out and what they might search for in search engines, as well as creating videos or blog posts to promote offers. To learn more about what you can do to distribute your content successfully, have a look at HubSpot’s comprehensive guide to content promotion.

2. Providing the ROI of your marketing activities

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts has always been a huge challenge, but it’s the best way to figure out the effectiveness of your campaigns and content. Not to mention its importance regarding establishing and increasing your budget. No ROI, no budget. In fact, HubSpot found that organisations that can calculate ROI are 1.6 times as likely to receive higher budgets. But this can be really tricky if your sales reports and marketing activities aren’t aligned.

What can you do?

Inbound organisations with service level agreements (SLAs) are over five times as likely to rate their marketing strategy as effective compared to outbound organisations with misaligned marketing and sales teams. So, to provide a great ROI, you can start by using a marketing software like HubSpot and a CRM solution, then combining that with an SLA to close the loop between marketing and sales efforts. This’ll help you view how many leads and customers are generated through marketing activities.

3. Managing your website

Your website is an asset that works day and night to draw in visitors and convert them, so neglecting it and letting it grow old and stale isn’t really the best idea. However, we know from both stats and personal experience that managing a website is a huge challenge, mainly because it includes lots of different factors; from writing and optimising content to creating lovely, responsive web pages.

What can you do?

HubSpot’s data has revealed an increase in the number of companies who said they use freelancers and agency partners to create content and manage their websites, which helps free up their own team to concentrate on other marketing aspects. Or, you could make the whole website management easier on your team internally by using a website platform that can host your site and integrate all your marketing channels.

Here at oe:gen, we take the nifty approach of growth-driven design, where the website is launched ‘dead quick’, then continuously worked on by testing things out to improve the buyer’s user experience and increase lead conversions. That way, the website is never out of date and the content on there is genuinely useful to its visitors. Take a look at this infographic for more information on growth-driven design.