Are you among the 92 percent of marketers who view content as a business asset? By now, most marketers have realized the benefits of having a solid content marketing strategy in place, but the challenge arises when it comes time to get others bought into the plan, especially when it means allocating budget to it.
The long-tail nature of content marketing doesn’t help sell it as growth-yielding strategy either, particularly when you need sell your C-suite on the idea. Additionally, a well-executed content marketing strategy requires a significant amount of resources in terms of time and talent.
So, how do you get past these potential hurdles to command the budget you need to move forward with this powerful inbound strategy? Here are some tips.
Go in overprepared
If your leadership team isn’t onboard the content marketing train, it’s time to do your homework. Simply having a conversation with them, even if you bring passion and excitement about the potential results, it’s likely not enough to convince a hesitant executive. Instead, you need to come into a meeting prepared with relevant and powerful statistics that prove the value of content marketing.
For example, consider mentioning the following findings:
--Content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62 percent less.
--The average person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision.
--Seventy seven percent of internet users read blogs. This translates to 126 percent more lead growth for small businesses with active blogs than those without.
These stats, and the way in which you present them, can hold a lot of sway with an executive team that isn’t yet sold on the concept.
Consider the way you frame it
In addition to research, members of the C-suite almost always come back to one question: “What’s the return on investment (ROI)?” Now, if you don’t have benchmark data to base this on, naturally you won’t be giving specifics in terms of the ROI of your proposed content marketing plan. The next best thing, however, is to use industry stats from other studies. For instance, according to research by the Aberdeen Group, content marketing delivers conversion rates six times higher than other methods.
Also, it’s important to tie any statistics or use cases you reference into what they can mean for your particular community bank or credit union. Paint the picture of how lead conversion at these rates can drive business growth, and how a content strategy could deepen engagement with customers or help create a more personalized experience for them. These are the types of outcomes a business leader will want to buy into.
Focus on clarity and context
Finally, make sure you’re abundantly clear about how content marketing will fit into the larger digital marketing ecosystem at your organization. The leadership team must see you’ve thought through all the nuances of rolling out a new program like this before they sign off on it. Along the same lines, map out the proposed deliverables and KPIs (key performance indicators) you plan to measure as the program gets underway. This will help your executive team better understand what to expect, along with how you’ll measure results and gauge success.
It’s not always easy getting your C-suite to sign off on a new content marketing program, and if this sounds overwhelming, try to think of content marketing as an evolution. It’s perfectly okay to start small at first. Remember, any budget allocated toward it is better than no budget. As you continue to refine your approach and demonstrate clear results, you can continue your conversations and grow the content marketing portion of the budget after you’ve proven the program works.
Still looking for more help implementing a content marketing program at your community bank or credit union? We have you covered. Check out our e-book: The Bank & Credit Union's Guide to Content Marketing: 6 Strategies to Accelerate Lead Generation. It covers all the details you need to know to get started.
Written by Tallwave