How to overcome that digital marketing challenge

In digital marketing, content is still king

2023 is racing past, and before we know it it will be silly season again! But how is the year going for you? Whether you are a digital marketer in a large or small organisation, a digital marketing agency, or perhaps freelance, these are challenging times. If you feel that something is changing and things are becoming tougher in the digital marketing landscape, you are not alone. 

In this article we take a look at three of the major challenges facing digital marketers right now and give you the key to overcoming them.

Three challenges for digital marketers

Yes we know there are many more than three. But there are three that are continually coming to our attention and which need to be addressed. These are:

    • Social media is an overcrowded market.
    • People are no longer responding to emails.
    • Accurate lead generation is becoming more difficult.


Let’s first briefly take a look at each of these to understand what the issues are.

  • Social media is an overcrowded market

An increasing proportion of a digital marketer’s time can be taken up with creating, scheduling, and posting content across an ever increasing range of different social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – or now Threads – YouTube and many others. 

A big issue here is the logistics. How can you keep track of what you have posted where, and what the response rate has been like? There are many tools that can help you to do this, two of the best known being Hootsuite and Sprout Social, both of which provide an integrated system to enable you to create and monitor your social media marketing activity and also measure the success of your campaigns. 

However, streamlining your social media marketing is only the beginning. It’s not enough just to publish posts, images, videos etc. You need to find the holy grail of making them stand out from the crowd.

  • People are no longer responding to emails

If you are involved in any kind of email marketing you may well have noticed that people just don’t respond any more, at least not to the extent that they did previously. But what has changed?

Just as for social media marketing, there are many excellent tools out there that can enable you to create and schedule email campaigns. Mailchimp and Omnisend are two of the most popular. Many systems offer quite sophisticated levels of personalisation, enabling your emails to be more targeted and intuitive. 

But the best systems and organisations in the world are pretty useless if recipients are not opening the emails, or responding to them if they do open them. Most professionals are now inundated with hundreds of sales and marketing emails every week. So how do you get them to notice yours?

  • Lead generation is becoming more difficult

Another major issue for any digital marketer is finding accurate leads to target in the first place. Some email marketing systems include a lead finding module, or you could try to do this either yourself or by using a lead generation company. But however you do it, it is becoming more difficult and complex. 

One reason for this is that people move around jobs, companies and roles much more often than previously. Research from the recruitment company Hays earlier in the year indicated that over half of UK workers were planning to change jobs in 2023. So it can be difficult to keep track of who is where, and find the best people to target. 

Job titles are also changing, and it is not always clear cut about where relevant roles and responsibilities lie within an organisation. What is in HR in one organisation may be in Finance in another and Logistics in yet another. And then because of data protection, it can also be difficult to obtain the best contact details for those people once you do track them down.

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database can help you to record and keep track of all this and some CRM’s – such as Hubspot – can also serve as an all-in-one CRM and email / social media campaign system.

But, with all the effort that is needed to identify the best people to contact, and track your interactions with them, you need to make sure that you are hitting the spot.


So if one or more of the above challenges sounds all-too-familiar to you, what can you do to improve it? Let’s assume you already have the logistics in place, or are in the process of doing so, what else can you do to move things forward?

The answer is very simple. Content.

Let’s take a look.


Content is the key

The mantra “content is king” has been bandied around in digital marketing for some considerable time. But it is still as true now as it ever was. 

In all the above examples – social media marketing, email marketing, lead generation and capture – you need to have excellent content to stand a chance of being noticed. 

In a recent article – Ten things you need to know about ChatGPT – we explained some key facts about ChatGPT and how it could impact the digital marketing landscape. Since then there have been new kids joining ChatGPT on the AI text generator block including Google Bard AI, Bing AI Chat, ChatSonic and YouChat. They all offer text generation and answers to questions, just as ChatGPT does, but most are more up to date than ChatGPT, whose knowledge base only goes up to 2021, and some – such as ChatSonic – can also generate images.

So does the rise and rise of AI text generators mean the death of human-generated content? Far from it! Whilst they are undoubtedly useful tools that can potentially be used for the research and drafting stages of content generation, your final content still needs the human touch to make it special.

Here are five Do’s and Don’ts to help you improve your content:

  • DO get your message across quickly

If you manage to get your content in front of a person you want to target, you have one chance to get it right. Part of this means that you need to get enough of your message across in the short time that they will be prepared to consume it. 

This time varies between different platforms and channels, but here are some guidelines:

    • Social media marketing:

      • Facebook
          • Organic posts : 1 to 80 characters
          • Paid posts : 5 to 19 words
          • Video length : 30 to 60 seconds:
      • Twitter
          • Organic and promoted tweets : 71-100 characters
          • Twitter hashtags length : 6 characters
      • TikTok 
          • Organic videos : 7 to 15 seconds
          • Paid ads : 21-34 seconds.
      • LinkedIn
          • Organic and paid updates length: 25 words


    • Email marketing

The average open rate for email marketing in the UK is currently around 21.8%. Personalised emails have a higher open rate of 29.3% than non-personalised emails, at 23.9%. So the first thing you need to do is ensure that your email subject line contains some element of personalisation. For further ideas on this see our recent article How to create a winning subject line.

Also bear in mind that most people who do open the email will only be prepared to spend a few seconds scanning through it. According to Hubspot, data suggests that the ideal length of an email is under 200 words. Don’t waffle : get to the point.

  • DO offer something useful

As well as getting the length of your content right, it is vital that you offer something of value. You need to understand the problems and challenges faced by your target consumer, and offer a solution to them. The aim is not to sell to them, but to make them want to buy from you because they like your approach to solving their problem.

With a targeted and personalised approach to your content, you can offer tailored solutions to specific and/or time-related challenges. For example if there is a time of year when your consumer is likely to be planning their budget or marketing strategy, or a new technical or legal challenge is getting everyone spooked, let them know that you are there to help.

  • DO be personal but DON’T be spammy

Creating clever personalised content is a case of treading a fine line between appealing to an individual but not alienating them. Email subject lines featuring a consumer’s name or company can catch their attention, but if you over-use these details throughout what is otherwise a formulaic email it can fall flat very quickly. 

So be careful not to be spammy. By all means include their details, but also add tailored content that measures up to the personalised approach.

  • DO have a consistent voice and brand

A very important part of getting content right is to achieve a consistent voice and brand across all channels and media. Whether it is a social media post, email, blog, video or podcast, there needs to be a recognisable familiarity and voice throughout. Even if you have a team of different people creating different types of content, they should speak with one voice. 

This may mean you need to join the dots at your end and encourage all your content writers and producers out of their respective silos but the end result will be worth the effort .

  • DON’T follow the crowd

Above all, don’t follow the crowd. Be authentic. Be yourselves. Yes by all means be aware of digital marketing trends, and incorporate some of them into what you do. But never do something just because everyone else is doing it. It’s best to be discerning about the channels and media you use, and do it really well, rather than adopt a scattergun approach.

In fact, why not flip this on its head and do something that no-one else is doing yet? Set the trend rather than trying to follow it!



We hope that this article has provided some food for thought about how to use effective content to overcome whatever big digital marketing challenge you are currently facing. 


Check back in with us again here soon at Xcite Digital.