Google “the case for content marketing” and you’ll get nearly 30,000 results. Clearly, marketers are looking for ways to convince the decision makers and free up more budget for content creation and distribution.
But securing those funds isn’t easy: according to the latest Hubspot research, 27 percent of marketers report that getting enough budget is a top marketing challenge.
There’s no magic formula for shaking more content dollars out of the money tree, but there are certain levers that every marketer can use to build a convincing case: purpose, proof, and peers. If you include these three P’s in your next impassioned plea, you are far more likely to see success.
Purpose: The mission with meaning
This may seem obvious, but many marketers fail to define WHY content marketing is so important. Why not spend money on a product advertising blitz? Why not hire a team of sales development reps? Or why not just keep doing what you’re doing and not spend any more money at all? What business goal does your company want to accomplish, and why does content marketing support that goal better than any other approach? If you can connect your content marketing efforts to your organization’s biggest challenges, you have a rock-solid foundation for your case.
Proof: The data that dazzles
After establishing the purpose of your content marketing plan, it’s time to add the proof. What makes you so sure that content marketing is the right approach, and why should the decision makers believe you? Hopefully, you’re basing your plan on something more substantial than “gut feel” or something a content-marketing “ninja” said at a recent conference. Collecting objective, credible, relevant data will help you prove your case.
Reinforce your case with both external and internal proofs. External proofs include industry surveys and analyst research from reputable organizations such as the Content Marketing Institute, Forrester, Gartner, and the Pew Research Center. These proofs will demonstrate the popularity of specific content marketing types, channels, strategies, and activities. Internal proofs include data from your existing content marketing efforts. These proofs will demonstrate that your existing investment is already producing promising results or even a measurable return.
Tracking your competitors can create a sense of urgency.
Peers: Fear of missing out
People outside of the marketing function (and even marketing leaders who don’t live and breathe content marketing) often have no idea how widespread and entrenched content marketing really is. While “monkey see, monkey do” shouldn’t be the driving force behind your content marketing strategy, it’s vitally important to know what fellow marketers—and your competitors—are doing. And when you can prove that peers and competitors are already making significant investments in this area, it can be eye-opening and highly motivating.
Your case should create a sense of urgency by showing that your competitors are already using content to enhance their reputation and grow their market share. You may also choose to highlight what those competitors are NOT doing; sometimes there’s a perfect gap in the content landscape that’s just waiting for you to fill.
Rock solid, ironclad, and irresistible
Getting your hands on the money is never easy. It takes planning and precision. (Just ask Ocean’s Eleven.) But if you can show how content marketing could support the organization’s goals, back up your claims with credible data, and turn up the heat with a little peer pressure, you’ll have a strong, persuasive case on your hands.
Ready to craft a rock solid, ironclad, irresistible case for content marketing? Download DemandLab’s new ebook, “Make The Case For Content Marketing: The Ultimate Fill-in-the-Blank Template for Convincing the Decision Makers and Getting More Budget.”
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