With the arrival of each new year, that big sparkling ball in Times Square drops. Hopefully your content marketing budget doesn’t do the same.
As the digital business environment keeps growing more competitive and challenging, we need more resources to keep pace, not fewer. Although content marketing is relatively inexpensive, there are always plenty of needs to be addressed. Almost every content manager has a laundry list of desirable upgrades and additions.
If I told you that, due to a surplus elsewhere, your department was gifted an extra $10,000 to use up before the end of the year, I’m betting you’ve already mentally spent it before you’ve finished reading this sentence.
The trouble, of course, is that content marketing’s true impact is not always readily apparent. Just as its methods and strategies are subtle and circuitous, so too are its results. As such, content managers are frequently in the position of needing to prove their value, and make a compelling case to higher-ups that supporting their efforts with more budget will be highly beneficial for the business.
Here are 4 indisputable reasons to increase your content marketing budget in the next year, every year.
Content Marketing Works
It just does. The latest Content Marketing Trends report from CMI and MarketingProfs shows 78% of B2C respondents rating their content marketing approach as extremely successful, very successful, or moderately successful. This research also shows the most successful teams dedicating 26% of their marketing budget to content marketing, compared to 18% for the least successful. That contrast is even starker on the B2B side, where the most successful respondents commit 40% of marketing budget to content, compared to just 14% for the least successful.
Content Marketing Is Cost-Efficient
When you invest in content marketing, your dollars stretch farther than with most other tactics. Paying for and deploying most digital content initiatives is super simple. For example, I could get an e-book in front of a few thousand people with no more than a credit card and a few clicks of my mouse. In the past, an equivalent media placement would have required multiple parties, negotiations, contracts, art departments, and thousands of dollars allocated in your budget.
Our friend Michael Brenner (who appeared on The BIG Simple webinar with some tips that are quite relevant here) discussed a framework for selling your boss on big ideas. Michael revealed that content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and produces three times more leads. One study by Kapost found that, per dollar, content marketing produces triple the leads of paid search. And Content Marketing Institute has found in the past that content marketing yields conversion rates six times higher than other methods.
Your Competitors Are Spending On Content Marketing
The 2018 benchmarking reports from CMI and MarketingProfs found that 37% of B2C companies, and 38% of B2C companies, plan to increase spending on content marketing in the next year. What are the chances your top competitors are among them? If other businesses in your niche are upping their investments — taking advantage of the effectiveness and efficiency cited above — while you’re not, you run the very real risk of falling behind in terms of mindshare in the marketplace. This can be very difficult to get back.
You’ll Be Invisible Without Content Marketing
If the advantages of investing in content marketing don’t persuade your higher-up, perhaps the costly disadvantages of failing to do so will. Across all industries and verticals, people are increasingly researching their purchases online — some 88% of consumers take this step, per a report by Ecommerce Wiki. And if your executive is of the mind that, “Well, we sell our products in a physical location, so we don’t need to be as reliant on online content,” think again: 82% of smartphone users consult their phone before making a purchase in-store.
Over to You
Granted, budgeting for content is a tricky proposition. Some companies remain hesitant because it’s difficult to prove content marketing’s ROI upfront. Marketers can’t always predict how much money they’ll need for these strategies or how many people they’ll reach through different articles and blog posts.
However, for businesses that want to grow and edge their competitors, growing your content marketing budget is one of the smartest strategic moves to be made. You already know this, and now you’ve got some solid third-party data to back it up. A fluid budget proves useful here: You can monitor different tactics and allocate resources as you see what works.
Should you succeed, we can think of at least one majorly impactful way to use some of the newly acquired budget in the new year. But don’t take our word for it; take DivvyHQ for a two-week test spin and see if it makes a difference for your team.