October 28, 2014

How to Convince Your Boss to Invest in Content Marketing

Believe it or not, the end of the year is fast approaching, which means right about now, your boss is drafting the marketing budget for the coming year. He or she is hard at work crunching numbers, evaluating this year’s progress, and deciding what new strategies to add to the mix. If your department has yet to adopt content marketing, now’s the perfect time to pitch the idea—and not just because it’s budget time, but because content marketing works, replacing what’s left of traditional advertising.

Content marketing has moved away from being just a simple buzzword to a strategic revenue-generating initiative. Businesses of all shapes and sizes, industries and verticals are creating custom content for lead generation and brand engagement. Just consider some of the numbers from Content Marketing Institute’s latest “2015 Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” report:

  • Some 70 percent of survey respondents are creating more content than they did a year ago
  • B2B marketers are working on an average of 13 content marketing initiatives
  • Nearly 84 percent of marketers have a content marketing strategy

While these numbers are impressive, they may not be enough to win over a risk-adverse boss. If you want to convince your boss that content marketing is worth the investment, you need to pitch it right. Though there’s not one singular way to pitch the idea, as every company has its own set of goals and challenges, there are some general steps you can take when delineating your pitch.  

1. Paint the Picture: Just because you’re familiar with content marketing doesn’t necessarily mean your boss is. Chances are he or she has heard of it, but doesn’t really understand the philosophy behind it. Unfortunately, many C-suite executives are under the false impression that content marketing is about simply pushing promotional company-centric content to the masses. But, as you know, it’s the complete opposite: Content marketing is all about distributing custom content that speaks directly to your customers’ challenges and pain points. Make sure you clearly explain what the strategy is and, more importantly, what it isn’t—and not just from a tactical point of view, but from a philosophical one as well.    

2. Align With Goals: What’s upper management’s No. 1 priority? That’s easy— driving revenue and meeting projected goals. Once you’ve explained the concept of content marketing, the next step is to explain why it makes sense for your business and how it can help achieve set goals. Let’s say, for instance, that your company wants to increase the number of qualified leads, but is having trouble getting visitors to fork over contact information. When you offer high-value content—such as how-to guides, white papers and webinars—buyers are more willing to justify providing their contact details. To sweeten the deal, throw in this statistic from HubSpot: Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month.

3. Shatter Objections: Let’s face it: You’re going to face some objections—the most common one being cost. Be prepared to break down how much content marketing is going to cost and possible ways to reduce the expense. For example, if upper management is concerned that internal team members don’t have enough time to fully dedicate to content marketing, but also can’t justify hiring a new employee, you might want to consider outsourcing. Hiring a dedicated content strategy vendor is an easy and cost-effective way to fuel your efforts. Click here to download our infographic “The Real Costs of Hiring a Content Writer In-House,” to read why it’s cheaper to hire a trusted vendor.

Once you’ve effectively laid out your plan, all that’s left to do is ask. Remember, it’s all in the delivery, so take your time and do it right!

 For more content marketing tips, check out the Content Boost Blog or connect with me on Twitter @BNeuman28.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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