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Mastering the Buy-In Conversation on Content Marketing: The Essential Starter Kit

  2. Over the past several years, marketers have made tremendous strides with content marketing and as a result are better at communicating with their audiences. CONSIDER THIS: • 86% of B2B marketers report that their organizations are now using content marketing, and 70% of them are creating more content than they did one year ago. • More than two-thirds of the marketing leaders we interviewed as part of Content Marketing Institute’s Executive Forum research are seeing their entire marketing departments restructuring to address content marketing needs. But despite high adoption rates and a commitment to the discipline, not all marketers think their content efforts are as effective as they could be. While many aspects of content marketing can present challenges, there is one barrier that is certain to impede progress: lack of executive support. If executive management does not believe in content marketing on the whole, it will be incredibly difficult to get the right groups involved, get specific tactics approved, or get the permission to experiment, learn from mistakes, and make essential adjustments that can lead to greater success. To help you get the support you need, we’ve compiled a starter kit of essential talking points and support statistics you can use as the basis of your buy-in conversation. Of course, like all statistics, the data points we’ve shared here simply reflect information at one given point in time. But a library of stats that point to similar trends can help build a pretty convincing case, so feel free to mix and match the points that are most relevant to your company’s situation. As you embark on your mission to evangelize content marketing to the C-suite, we hope you will find this book to be an invaluable resource for building and enhancing your content marketing program. Yours in content, Joe INTRODUCTION Joe Pulizzi Founder Content Marketing Institute
  3. To get your executive team’s support you need to help them understand what content marketing is —  as well as what it isn’t. For instance, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) uses the definition at right, which reflects how the discipline has evolved over time — from the mere “creation and distribution” of content to a formal business discipline. While this definition sets the basic parameters, it does not account for the myriad considerations and decisions that enable an organization to reach its business goals through successful content marketing. CONTENT MARKETING, DEFINED Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. SOME KEY CONSIDERATIONS FOR CONTENT MARKETING ARE: Audience identification targeting Attainable goals Editorial processes procedures Metrics, analysis reporting Branding
  4. CONTENT MARKETING, DEFINED CONTENT MARKETING SUCCESS FACTORS Getting buy-in is critical, but it’s just one of a number of factors that have been found to give a content program its best chances for success: CONTENT MARKETING SUCCESS FACTORS ○ Having executive buy-in/vision ○ Taking a longer-term view ○ Employing a collaborative and integrated approach ○ Assembling a dedicated content marketing team/leadership ○ Having the ability to demonstrate content marketing ○ ROI/value ○ Fostering a culture of change and openness ○ Having the ability to tap into subject matter expertise
  5. With content’s high adoption rates, great potential to provide measurable business benefits, and enterprise-wide appeal, a strategic content marketing program is virtually essential to staying competitive in today’s marketplace. WHY BUSINESSES NEED CONTENT MARKETING
  6. 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015) CMOs at the largest technology companies report that building out content marketing as an organizational competency is a critical initiative — second only to measuring ROI. (IDC, 2014) Businesses that are not prepared to deliver quality content will likely be operating at a competitive disadvantage. WHY BUSINESSES NEED CONTENT MARKETING PIECES OF CONTENT 27 MILLION ARE SHARED EVERY DAY (AOL/Nielsen, 2013)
  7. In 2015, 48% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, and 35% of B2B marketers have documented their strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015) Four out of five marketing leaders have integrated content into their advertising programs, typically as part of their brand messaging. (Content Marketing Institute Executive Forum Research, 2014) Brands are learning how content can strategically be used to unite and support the efforts of sales, marketing, and other departments. WHY BUSINESSES NEED CONTENT MARKETING 48% OF MARKETERS SUPPORT 3 TO 5 BUYING STAGES WITH DEDICATED CONTENT, AND 52% OF MARKETERS SUPPORT 2 TO 4 ROLES AND BUYER PERSONAS WITH DEDICATED CONTENT. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, 2014)
  8. Consumers today expect content that is useful, is customized to their needs and interests, and adds value to their online experience. If your business doesn’t provide it, they’ll seek out your competitors that do. Given this insatiable appetite, producing the right information — and delivering it at the right time — is a critical step in ensuring that your brand makes it to consumers’ consideration sets and helps them take action. HOW CONTENT MARKETING ADDRESSES CONSUMER GOALS
  9. Content is integral to supporting loyal, trusting relationships between brands and consumers. HOW CONTENT MARKETING ADDRESSES CONSUMER GOALS ABOUT A COMPANY AFTER READING CUSTOM CONTENT, AND 90% FIND FEEL MORE POSITIVE CUSTOM CONTENT USEFUL 82% OF CONSUMERS (Demand Metric, 2014) 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it. (Demand Metric, 2014)
  10. HOW CONTENT MARKETING ADDRESSES CONSUMER GOALS MILLENNIALS ACTUALLY EXPECT BRANDS TO DEVELOP CONTENT FOR THEM, WITH 80% WANTING TO BE DIRECTLY ENTERTAINED THROUGH CONTENT MARKETING (Edelman, 2012) Content is becoming increasingly essential for targeting younger demographics. Interesting content is one of the main reasons people follow brands on social media. (Demand Metric, 2014) 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. (The Content Council, 2011)
  11. Companies that implement a strategic content marketing program can have more effective lead generation, SEO efforts, and internal teams and processes. And, as the discipline continues to evolve, enterprising businesses have an opportunity to experiment, distinguish themselves, and help set the best practices that other businesses will follow for years to come. HOW CONTENT MARKETING IMPACTS ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS
  12. Over 50% of marketers that curate content indicate that it has increased their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, web traffic, and buyer engagement, and 41% indicate that it has increased the number and/or quality of their sales-ready leads. (Curata, 2014) 
 CONTENT MARKETING ADOPTERS THAN NON-ADOPTERS (2.9% VS. 0.5%) IS NEARLY 6X HIGHER FOR WEBSITE CONVERSION RATE (Aberdeen Group, 2014) Content marketing techniques are helping businesses achieve measurable marketing results. HOW CONTENT MARKETING IMPACTS ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS
  14. Content marketing can be implemented at nearly any budget point. However, allocating sufficient resources and developing a documented strategy are paramount to achieving optimal success. HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU BUDGET FOR CONTENT MARKETING?
  15. The B2B marketers who rate themselves to be most effective at content marketing allocate an average of 37% of their budget to content, while those who feel they are least effective only allocate 16%. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015) Spends are rising as content marketing continues to approach its tipping point. HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU BUDGET FOR CONTENT MARKETING? THE AVERAGE B2B ORGANIZATION SPENDS 28% OF ITS MARKETING BUDGET ON CONTENT, AND THE AVERAGE B2C ORGANIZATION SPENDS 25% (Content Marketing Institute, 2015)
  16. There seems to be a correlation between content marketing effectiveness and the amount of budget allocated to the discipline. HOW ARE COMPANIES ALLOCATING THEIR CONTENT MARKETING BUDGETS? There are three “buckets” into which spending generally falls: 1CONTENT CREATION: People, processes, and technology to create and produce the content and materials 2CONTENT DISTRIBUTION AND MANAGEMENT: Social channels, software, and agency costs around distributing content 3CONTENT PROMOTION: PR, ads, and other paid channels used to promote the content being created On average, organizations allocate 50% of budgets to creation, 25% to management and distribution, and 25% to promotion. (Content Marketing Institute Executive Forum Research, 2014) HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU BUDGET FOR CONTENT MARKETING?
  17. Content marketing can help your organization be more proactive in how it addresses both consumer and business needs, and be more responsive to behavioral shifts and emerging trends. With encouraging signs of growth across the industry and bullish attitudes from marketing leaders, there’s never been a better time to enable your owned media channels to start working harder for your business with a strategic content marketing program. FUTURE EXPECTATIONS
  18. 78% OF CMOs SEE CONTENT AS THE FUTURE OF MARKETING (Demand Metric, 2014) The future of content marketing looks bright, and encouraging signs of continued industry growth abound. 56% of leading business bloggers are planning to hire additional resources within the next year. (Curata, 2014) 93% of companies surveyed plan to maintain or increase their investment in content creation in the upcoming year (Economist, 2014) FUTURE EXPECTATIONS
  19. Increasingly, brands are demonstrating a commitment to enhancing the quality and value of the content they provide to consumers. 84% of B2B marketers and 85% of B2C marketers are actively looking to gain a better understanding of their audience, or plan to do so in the coming year. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015) FUTURE EXPECTATIONS 88% OF B2B MARKETERS AND 89% OF B2C MARKETERS ARE EITHER CURRENTLY FOCUSING ON CREATING MORE ENGAGING/ HIGHER-QUALITY CONTENT, OR PLAN TO DO SO IN THE COMING YEAR. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015)
  20. CHECKLIST: THE BUY-IN CONVERSATION CONTENT MARKETING PRINCIPLES AND TECHNIQUES ○ I have a solid understanding of what content marketing is — and what it isn’t — and can clearly explain the factors that are required to make our program successful. AUDIENCE IMPACT ○ I am aware of relevant consumer behaviors and preferences when it comes to content — both in general and specific to our industry. ○ I have spoken with our consumer-facing teams to gain an understanding of who our target consumers are, what their pain points are, and what types of content might help us address their needs and interests. ○ I understand our typical buyer cycle and am prepared to map the content we create to the stages of the funnel where it can provide the greatest impact. Along with the stats presented here, the following checklist can help you determine how prepared you are to make a compelling case and convince stakeholders that you have positioned your content marketing strategy for optimal success. You may not be able to get every element in place before you ask executives for their support, but the more boxes you can check off, the more effective your content marketing program is likely to be:
  21. CHECKLIST: THE BUY-IN CONVERSATION BUSINESS BENEFITS ○ I am aware of our company’s key business and marketing goals (in terms of sales, brand awareness, lead generation, web traffic, engagement, or other KPIs) and am prepared to document a strategic plan for using content to impact these goals. ○ I am prepared to discuss specific ways content can be used to unite and support the efforts of our company’s sales, marketing, and other functional teams. ○ I am aware of our competitors’ content initiatives, and can discuss where opportunities may lie to fill an unmet need or gain a competitive advantage with our own content program. BUDGET AND RESOURCE USAGE ○ I have compiled estimates on the budget and other resources we will need for efficient content creation and management and can discuss this information in detail, when required. ○ I am prepared to put workflow processes in place to ensure the most efficient and effective use of the resources we allocate to content marketing. ○ I have a plan for benchmarking our content efforts and measuring their impact so we can optimize them on an ongoing basis. ○ I am aware of the ROI we would need to achieve in order for our program to be considered successful.
  22. NEED MORE SUPPORT FOR YOUR BUY-IN CONVERSATION? Check out our post, How to Win Your Battle for Content Marketing Buy-in for additional stats and talking points. And sign up here to subscribe to Content Marketing Institute and get first-hand access to the tools, techniques, and tricks that will help you be more successful with content marketing. Once your key stakeholders are on board, the next step is to develop and document your content marketing strategy. Download our guide, The Essentials of a Documented Content Marketing Strategy: 36 Questions to Answer. TAKE THE NEXT STEP LEARN MORE: SUBSCRIBE: DOWNLOAD:
  23. About Content Marketing Institute Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. CMI teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every September, and Content Marketing World Sydney, every March. CMI also produces the quarterly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. CMI is a 2012, 2013, and 2014 Inc. 500 company. To see all of CMI’s original content marketing research, visit our Research Page. Learn how to create a documented content marketing strategy, a key component for improving overall content marketing effectiveness.