How to Get a Stamp of Approval on your Content Marketing Budget

Andrea Miller

Written by Andrea Miller on Thu, Apr 11, 2013

Approved StampIn-house marketing managers not only need to be whizzes at creative content, they have to pay attention to the bottom line. Once you’ve put your left brain to work on the budget number crunching and your right brain comes up with an ambitious, ingenious content marketing plan, how do you get your boss to buy in?

Treat your Company as a Client

Approach your own company as you would a client. Your executives have a problem: meeting revenue goals with a finite amount of resources. You have a solution: content marketing. Show your executives why investing in your Content Marketing Plan will be more valuable than all of the other line items in the company budget. After all, everyone knows that marketing is an investment, but it’s one that should produce revenue and customers. Help your boss understand that content is now the voice of the brand and that deserves some respect and financial backing. If your plan drives company goals, the higher ups will have a much easier time approving your budget. Also, think of the money as your own. If you take ownership of your budget, you’ll be more motivated to spend less.

The Times They are A-Changing

Your CEO may be comfortable with traditional marketing tactics like direct mail, print advertising and Yellow Pages because that’s what been done before. But as Marketing Insider Michael Brenner says, “The real problem at a large corporation isn’t to get funding to do something new, but to get people to stop doing what isn’t working.” He says think of it as institutional muscle memory. It’s what they know.

What they may not know is that according to recent data compiled by the Content Marketing Institute:

  • 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles, like blogs, rather than ads.
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened.
  • 86% of people skip TV ads.

So, while you may not want to try to rewrite the company marketing handbook all at once, make sure your budget includes new content initiatives, like a company blog and email marketing, as well as the types of marketing upper management trusts.

Choose your Words Carefully

Sometimes it’s all about semantics. One obstacle marketers report facing is that people can’t necessarily wrap their head around the change in marketing terminology. If your boss has never heard the term “Buyer Persona” and that’s a scary thing for them, call it a “Customer Profile”. Adapt the terminology to something they believe in and change the context to meet your end goals. That’s where you can begin to effect change and get your boss to sign off on more dollars for your content marketing plan.

The Proof is in the Pudding

Results are what count. If you show your boss what works with established tracking tools and consistent monitoring of analytics, they can gauge their investment and there can be no compelling argument to reject your initiatives. Start small: suggest a six-month pilot program and once you can prove your formula is generating more leads, new customers, and website traffic, it will be easy to get an extension for your content marketing plan. Executives think in quarters, so provide updates to executives on a quarterly basis. That way, they can see the needle move forward and compare to other company initiatives regularly.

Even though you may take a smart approach to your budget, it could still fall short. The biggest content marketing challenge faced by B2C content marketers is lack of budget, according to the Content Marketing Institute. But even in times of limited funds, those marketers are choosing to spend 28% of their budgets on content marketing and more than half are planning to increase their content marketing spend over the next year.

Content marketing is necessary to take your brand from good to great.  If you need help stretching your marketing dollars to get the measurable results you've been tasked with, we can help! 

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