If you’re reading this article then it’s likely you already appreciate that the written word can provide powerful, cost-effective exposure for your brand. You are sold on the importance of blogs, engaging articles and eye-catching infographics. Your boss, however, is perhaps a devotee of all things traditional, or more likely is simply not convinced that content marketing is a highly important avenue to pursue.
The task of making the business case for content marketing rests squarely on your shoulders, and you need ammunition. You must pre-empt the challenges, foresee any potential reservations, and provide solutions accordingly. Here’s how to ensure you recruit new members to content marketing’s burgeoning fan club.
You must pre-empt the challenges, foresee any potential reservations, and provide solutions accordingly
This is likely to be the first consideration that will enter the mind of the executive, but luckily it’s also the easiest to remedy. There are a plethora of statistics out there that support content marketing’s ability to attract customers, so just reel off a few of the following to get your pitch off to the best possible start:
– 90% of consumers find custom content useful
– 88% of B2B buyers ‘frequently’ use mobile phones to access business-related content
– 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content
– 80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content
– 76% of B2B marketers will create more content in 2016 versus 2015
– 76% of people feel that marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the last 50
– 74% of businesses will use social media marketing in 2016
– 73% of marketers believe email marketing is core to their business
– 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles than an advert
– 67% of B2B buyers rely more on content to make purchasing decisions than they did a year ago
– 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it
The aim of your content marketing is to ensure your business, product or offering stands out when compared to others competing in the same space. Useful content, coupled with a quality product, will help drive people to your website, will ensure they are able to make an informed decision, and will ultimately increase revenue. If your content is able to answer questions, showcase benefits and provide a clear understanding of why your brand can be relied upon, you will be well on the way to boosting those sales figures.
First and foremost, content marketing should be used to shine a light on your product or brand. This can be done through blogs, articles, features, lists, infographics: basically, any form of content that aligns with your overall objectives. If you are already using social media to liaise with customers then so much the better, as you already have a way of pushing out your content. Similarly, if you already offer newsletters, emails or any form of printed media, quality content will enhance all of your communication outlets. Decide how often to produce content, how often to push it out to your audience, and remain diligent with your timings.
Time (until success)
Online content is long-lasting. If the material is of good quality, is bespoke to your ideal audience personas, and offers necessary and interesting information, then it will age well: people will be able to find it, and find it relevant, long after its initial publication date. If you are pushing out content via social media channels, newsletters and emails then you will be able to engage successfully with your captive audience immediately. It could take some time before you’re right at the top of search engine results, but content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep producing content, ensure it is all of a high standard, and you will continue to build a trust in your brand that will yield financial results.
This is something that the tech-savvy boss will surely ask about, and if your content is consistently stellar then all should be well. By integrating a system that measures and tracks website analytics and interactions, you can see at a glance how people interact and react with your content, how many have visited a specific article, how many have been spurned on to download a guide/document, or how many clicked through from one page to another within your website. The metrics you use not only reveal what content is working well, helping to guide and shape your future output and giving each piece of content direction, they can also show very specifically where you can derive return on investment for your content marketing.
This is the real kicker, isn’t it? In the end, it all comes down to money. Your brand needs to find that magical combination of minimal financial outlay and maximum financial reward; your job is to convince the executive that content marketing is the formula they have been yearning for. The cost of your content marketing really depends on your existing resources; do you already have a member of staff that has the capacity, and indeed the ability, to produce quality material? Will the budget allow the hiring of an additional staff member? Or would it be more efficient to outsource?
Aside from acquiring the services of a content writer, costs can easily be kept to a minimum. Research suggests that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and generates approximately three times as many leads, so it may be more costly if your company doesn’t start pushing out custom content.
The cost of your content marketing really depends on your existing resources
Time (as a resource)
Again, this will be dictated by the expertise already at your disposal. Bosses are understandably reluctant for employees to be dragged from their day-to-day tasks so they can produce content, so unless you have a talented and time-efficient writer to hand, outsourcing may be the most effective solution. By handing the task to a content agency your company’s staff can concentrate fully on their regular operations, and you can be guaranteed consistent and regular copy that supports your organisation’s content goals. Whatever the decision, you need to utilise the skills of someone that understands your business, knows how to target the right audience, and can make you stand out from the crowd.