NEW YORK: Brand owners like Nestlé, Kellogg's and Cisco are making greater use of content marketing, but face various obstacles in engaging consumers and securing in-house support.

Greg Samarge, digital marketing manager at Nestlé, the food giant, argued that delivering "breakthrough content" was only half the problem, as further funds were needed to disseminate it.

"It's hard enough to justify the budget to create that content, but it's even more challenging to then push for sufficient budget above and beyond the content creation to distribute this great content," he told DigiDay.

Bob Arnold, associate director of global digital strategy at Kellogg's, also from the food sector, asserted that finding the correct tone was essential to success in this area.

"The biggest challenge is balancing adding value to the consumer and communicating your brand message. How do you do it in a way where you are truly adding value without being overbearing?" he asked.

Orion Brown, senior associate brand manager at Capri Sun, Kraft's juice range, viewed "passion brands" involved in shoppers' daily lives as having an advantage, but most players had to avoid sounding "preachy" while encouraging a purchase.

"Identifying the consumer need that a brand meets, then laddering that back up to a higher emotional need helps drive relevant content creation," she added. "But even then, brands need to be mindful of not getting too lofty in their brand promise to keep the content grounded and believable to the consumer."

AARP, a membership group for those over 50 years old, runs advertising, marketing and PR across media channels from TV and print to the web and mobile, and found defining roles has become more difficult.

"One of the biggest challenges is the blurring of the line between content creation and journalism," said Tammy Gordan, its director, social communications and strategy. "Figuring out workflow, marketing and job descriptions has been one of the most interesting struggles of 2012 for us."

Karen Snell, content lead at Cisco Systems, the networking specialist, reported that her team's output was centred around "telling stories" which result in a positive reaction on social media.

"The biggest challenge we face is getting buy-in to our approach to content creation from our peers," she said. "We are continually explaining our strategy and 'selling' our approach. We are making headway, but it is an ongoing challenge."

Carolin Probst-Iyer, manager of digital consumer engagement at Chevrolet, the auto marque, stated that a long-term strategic focus was key.

"You can't just decide one day you want to do content marketing," she said. "Go out and see whom you are trying to reach, what are their passion points and what are the stories and messages you want to convey as a brand. Then choose your tactics."

Data sourced from DigiDay; additional content by Warc staff