Content Marketing Budget – What to Consider

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Content marketing is still a red-hot buzzword in the world of digital marketing. Many marketers are starting to see the positive impact content has on improving buyer engagement and driving qualified leads. This is leading to an increase in content marketing spend across the U.S. According to the results of our third annual study, 2014 Content Marketing Tactics Planner, 71 percent of organizations are increasing their content marketing budget this year, but many are unsure where to allocate it. Here are three places to start.

Your Staff

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If you want an effective content strategy, you better have a solid leader for your content marketing effort. Only 43 percent of organizations have a content marketing executive in place. If you’re lacking an executive dedicated to content or digital marketing, it’s time to catch up! After hiring your content executive, work on building a team of excellent content creators and dependable freelancers.

Include in your content budget because: An executive solely dedicated to content marketing will help set the strategy and plan for content overall.  In addition, they can guide the production, organization and distribution of content, even if they are not responsible for all of the resources that are generating this content.  Most importantly, a dedicated content marketing executive will ensure there is accountability for all related initiatives. A content team can consist of a variety of roles – writers, marketers, designers, editors. This team will create and curate more relevant and higher quality information to better engage with your audience as part of awareness building and lead nurturing. Think about outsourcing content creation if your budget won’t allow you to hire full-time staff. Outsourcing is also a great way to keep the created content coming when your on-hand staff has other responsibilities on their plates, or you simply need new perspectives in your content creation process. A steady stream of published content will set you apart from competitors. Based on our most recent survey results, best-in-class marketers should be producing 65 percent original content.

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Content Tools

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Even with a content marketing team in place, it can still be difficult to keep up with the thousands of articles published on your topic each day. Content marketing specific software is used by 56 percent of marketers to manage the content workflow and distribution process.

Include in your content budget because: If you’re not currently using content marketing tools, you’re most likely implementing a makeshift management system using Microsoft Word, email, whiteboards, etc. Though this duct-tape method may work for organizations with one or two content producers, it requires more work and can lead to inefficiencies. Having a content management tool keeps all of your content in one, easy accessible place. Stay on top of your calendar, writers, freelancers and distribution channels in the same hub to ensure quality content goes out daily, your employees are organized and your content is reaching the right channels.

Implementing curation tools can: help a small staff publish relevant content more frequently; allow an organization to obtain thought leadership through diverse perspectives; and cut back spend on freelancing original content.

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Promotion and Measurement of Content

Once you have a great content team and have started using technology to pump up your content marketing strategy – where should you focus your efforts? Spend more time and resources promoting and measuring existing content. These are some of the most important components of a successful content marketing strategy, but the results of our survey revealed that promotion and measurement are steps being overlooked by most marketers.

Include in your content budget because: Promoting existing content can save you time and money, so you have more to spend where it counts (sponsored content on high-traffic sites, press releases, etc.). Your content team spent weeks creating that great eBook – don’t just publish and forget about it! Promote that content by turning it into a webinar, then into more digestible formats such as blogs, infographics, curated content social campaigns. Get the most mileage out of your content.

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Without analyzing the impact each piece of content has, it can difficult to understand which content resonates with your audience and which pieces just aren’t working. If you’re publishing too much unpopular content without knowing it, you can be burning a hole in your marketing pocket. Budget for a content marketing platform that can help you measure the impact of your content, or at least have your team take the time to set up an in-house strategy (e.g. keeping track of social sharing, site visits, lead quality and blog comments). By measuring the impact your content marketing strategy is having on these areas, you can better understand the type of content that is bringing in more leads, more site visitors, and improving buyer engagement.

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Need more information on what content marketing tactics can help your organization prepare for a new and improved marketing strategy? Find out what 500+ marketers are planning in our free eBook, 2014 Content Marketing Tactics Planner.

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meagan@curata.com'

Meg Sutton is the Content Marketing Specialist at Curata. She served as a content marketer at Lionbridge Technologies before bringing her creative know-how over to the Curata team. Meg earned her B.S. in Marketing as well as her Liberal Studies Degree in Media, Arts & Society at Bentley University in Waltham, MA.