In April, we held the second iteration of our Content Boost Content Marketing Crash Course, a one-day educational seminar providing marketers with the opportunity to learn about content marketing best practices. We led a series of breakout sessions covering everything from the definition of content marketing (hint: using custom content to drive awareness and profitability around your brand) to the key ingredients of a robust blogging and lead-generation strategy.
We rounded out the day with a session titled “Getting the Boss to Say ‘Yes’ to Content Marketing,” designed to equip participants with the ammo needed to walk into their boss’s office and get the green light. Whether you are just starting out on your content marketing journey—or looking to get the “yes” for a new project—let’s take a look at how to get your boss on your side.
Awareness Is High
The truth is that your boss is more ready for content marketing than you think. After all, just last year, the top three priorities for marketing executives were to: acquire new customers (87 percent), increase customer retention (86 percent) and increase brand awareness (80 percent), according to a Lawless Research study. What’s more, 51 percent of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budget in 2015, according to research from Gartner. In other words, content marketing is already on your boss’s radar, especially as companies across the globe step up their efforts.
Your Four-Step Plan
To get the yes to content marketing, there are four steps you need to take:
- Step one: Absorb and reflect
- Step two: Demonstrate that your competitors are all in
- Step three: Determine your budget
- Step four: Prove the ROI of content marketing
Let’s dig into each further …
Absorb and reflect: Before you can take two steps forward with content marketing, you have to take two steps backward. This means understanding not only how your existing marketing strategy is faring but also the strengths and shortcomings of other companies’ strategies in the marketing space. Most companies are ill-prepared to handle their content marketing venture, with only 38 percent of B2B and 37 percent of B2C marketers feeling they are effective at content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). So, see how you stack up. Take a look at your company’s existing efforts and compare them to the work of others. Doing so will give you insight into what works well and help you set your content marketing road map before you talk to your boss.
Demonstrate that your competitors are all in: You have market research on your side with this step, as 70 percent of B2B and 69 percent of B2C marketers are creating more content this year than they did one year ago, according to CMI. So take a look at your competitors’ websites, blogs, email marketing messages and social media accounts. Jot down how they are performing and bring this competitive analysis to your boss. It will be hard for him or her to say no when the big players in your space are all in.
Determine your budget: It’s hard to get the yes if you don’t come in with a proposed budget. How you arrive at that figure will largely depend on what deliverables are on your content marketing wish list and how much you can allocate from your marketing spend. To pinpoint a number, keep in mind that the most effective content marketers spend 37 percent of their overall marketing budget, while the least effective spend 16 percent, according to CMI. Also take note of the fact that your overall spend will be impacted by whether you choose to tackle content creation with your existing internal team or out of house with a third-party provider. (For more on how to arrive at your budget, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Prove the ROI of content marketing: With your budget determined, now’s the time to assure your boss that this spend will prove profitable. Fortunately, content marketing is inherently linked to profitability. Specifically, content marketing produces three times more leads than traditional marketing per dollar spent; companies that blog at least 15 times per month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t; and 66 percent of online consumers state an email marketing message has resulted in a purchase, according to market research aggregated by Content Boost.
So … are you ready to schedule the meeting with your boss?
Dubbed a “Chatty Cathy” from the time she uttered her first word, Content Boost’s Director of Content Marketing Carrie Majewski (née Schmelkin) is nothing short of verbal. Her love of talking matured into love of writing which inevitably transformed into a love of marketing. Carrie is responsible for overseeing the cutting-edge content marketing beast that is Content Boost—managing brand and editorial strategy, fostering client relationships, identifying new revenue opportunities and striking strategic partnerships. Carrie has worked with a variety of high profile clients on branding and copy creation from Sprint to Panasonic to AT&T to Emerson Network Power. When she’s not busy wordsmithing and debating content marketing versus traditional marketing, you can find her working on her swag in a hip-hop dance class, clogging her DVR with “Friends” reruns and trying desperately to make it up past 9:30 pm on the weekends with her hubby. #OldSoul.