As the leaves begin to change and pumpkins begin their annual takeover of, well... just about everything, so too comes every marketer’s favorite time of the year: planning your 2015 marketing budget!
If you’re like most B2B marketers, your content marketing efforts are slated to get a larger share of your marketing pie next year. As CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report found, 70% of B2B marketers are already creating more content than they did last year and all signs point to the trend continuing.
But if you’re looking to expand your content marketing efforts in 2015 (and you should be), you’ll have to justify the resources needed to be successful. ROI matters more than ever for marketers, and if you’re like the 79% of content marketers who struggle to effectively track the ROI of their content, making a case for more resources can be tough.
To get the top-down buy-in that any successful content marketing program needs, you better come prepared with data, insights, and an understanding of how your content produces customers.
Here are 5 tools to help you earn a bigger budget and prove the value of what you do.
It will surprise no one when I say it’s important to understand your customers. After all, if you don’t understand what works, where it flows, and who matters to the people you are targeting, how can you possibly create content that converts?
Unfortunately, marketers are far too often still creating uninformed or "underinformed" content. Rather than taking action on data-driven insights, many are acting on assumption and speculation. To the C-Suite, this can make your content marketing strategy look like swiss cheese.
Thankfully there are great tools out there like BuzzSumo. With BuzzSumo’s powerful social listening skills, you can easily find out which content is resonating, whether a certain type of content or content around a particular topic, and identify the people who make waves with your buyer personas (note: you want to befriend these people). If you use the tool effectively, the insights you unearth will inform much more than just your content marketing strategy; they’ll be applicable across the entirety of your organization.
The kicker? BuzzSumo also allows you get "Big Brother-esque" with your competition by tracking the effectiveness of their content and running very handy comparisons. Who in the C-Suite doesn’t love benchmarking?
While it’s important to understand what motivates your entire customer base, it’s also important to understand what motivates your best customers. These types are what are known as your customer advocates; a dedicated group of people so passionate about your brand and what you do that they’d happily shout your name from the rooftops, becoming a de-facto part of your marketing and sales team.
From a content marketing perspective, of course it’s vital to keep your best customers in mind as you create your content. But once you’ve created that content, it’s just as important to make sure it’s being seen and shared by your best customers as well. That’s where tools like Influitive come into play.
A key player in the fast-growing advocate marketing space, Influitive makes it dead simple for marketers to leverage their advocates to generate actionable feedback on their content and new leads through referrals and recommendations. In their own words, Influitive’s advocate marketing software “helps you discover, mobilize and recognize [advocates]. Drive referrals, references, reviews, word of mouth recommendations, and more.”
Referrals. References. Reviews. Recommendations. What more could the C-Suite want from their content marketing?
At one point or another, every content marketer has run into the dreaded “Content Crunch.” There’s no shame in it. Even if you have access to a large marketing and design team, creating great content - the type that connects with your audience each and every time - is hard work and can be very time consuming. The “Content Crunch” is one of the primary reasons it can be hard work to sell content marketing as a discipline to the C-Suite.
And unless you work for an organization that's swimming in cash, adding headcount with the sole purpose of content creation can be a tough sell.
If you identify with this situation, Scripted is your answer.
Scripted allows you to scale your content creation efforts, tap into a pool of over 7,000 of the web’s best writers and receive fresh, original content in as little as 5 business days. Using a tool like Scripted can help, to a degree, take cost out of the equation when selling the C-Suite on the benefits of content marketing.
4. Atomic Reach
“Love your audience and they’ll love you back.” Those are some wise words from the folks over at Atomic Reach.
Atomic Reach understands the importance of great messaging. They know that the best way to build an engaged audience, generate qualified leads, and ultimately generate a higher content marketing ROI is to design and create content that speaks directly to your buyer personas.
Luckily for marketers, Atomic Reach’s insight and engagement engines give you up-to-the-minute and at-your-fingertip analyses of how well your content is resonating with your audience. Better yet, their optimization recommendations allow marketers to take action ensuring that any new piece of content published is engineered to be successful. Asking for a larger content marketing budget is a heck of a lot easier when you know exactly what works, where it’s likely to be most effective, and how exactly to create it.
If you’re thinking about content marketing ROI, Atomic Reach should be in the conversation.
Shameless plug time.
Here at Uberflip we’re all about helping content marketers create great content experiences that drive engagement and help generate leads. But we also care deeply about helping content marketers understand where to invest their energy and resources.
Newly added Hub features like Content Score have made it easier than ever to understand and report on how well the content is helping you achieve your marketing goals.
Wondering if that blog post you spent 3 hours writing actually generated any leads? Should you have spent half a day writing and designing an eBook? Struggling to understand whether Twitter’s worth the time and effort? Your Content Score’s will let you know.
If you’re about to head in to the 2015 marketing budget battle, arm yourself with these content marketing tools before you step into the boardroom. In no time, you’ll be making plans for your shiny new budget.
Learn more about our Content Score feature. We're sure it'll knock your socks off.
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