In the past year, one-quarter of marketers increased their content budgets by 30 percent or more, according to a new study by Forrester. Nearly half—47 percent—increased budgets by at least 20 percent.
Diverse, illuminating content marketing metrics are helping drive that progress. According to the report, 75 percent of marketers said they saw positive metric performance in the form of increased loyalty and reduced marketing and media expenses. Meanwhile, 57 percent say increased revenue and sales.
“Increasingly, we are seeing some pretty sizable increases in budgets,” said Senior Analyst Ryan Skinner, author of the Forrester report.
There may be something to the more tangible metric insights being seen by marketers. Increased revenue and sales are tangible content marketing metrics that marketers can point to, and that management can quickly recognize.
The challenge for many marketers is finding a way to sell management on these new marketing programs. Even if content isn’t a “new” digital strategy, it might be new to those decision-makers, and so it needs to be presented with the assumption that its utility and value are completely unknown.
Marketers understand the value that content can bring in terms of awareness, brand associations, and consumer loyalty. But that type of ROI is harder to sell to money-minded management. Revenue and sales are cold, hard facts that aren’t as easily dismissed, and they can serve as a valuable selling tool.
Building a case for content isn’t rocket science. As Intelligence Content notes, experts have clear guidelines to bolster your odds of winning over management.
Take Val Swisher’s advice, founder and CEO of Content Rules: “The only way to sell anything to management is through ROI. By calculating dollars saved and time saved (which can then be translated into dollars), you can grab the attention of management.”
Ann Rockley, CEO of The Rockley Group, recommends asking yourself questions to help frame the pitch. “What is working and what isn’t? What are the pain points? Can these pain points be addressed with intelligent content? What is the value of these pain points? Which ones can you reduce or eliminate? These are savings opportunities.”
Most importantly, show examples. Use case studies of past successes, whether external or in-house. Use numbers to quantify the performance, and let these statistics make the hard sell for you.
How you personally think of content’s value is important, and you should communicate these metrics to leadership. However, first focus on what your upper-level management wants to hear, and use the available content marketing metrics to deliver a successful sales pitch.
To learn about effectively measuring content ROI, check out Skyword’s free eBook: The How and Why of Content ROI: Defining Goals and Measuring Success.