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How Much Of Your Marketing Budget Should Go To Content?
February 01, 2020

How Much Of Your Marketing Budget Should Go To Content?

Most likely, you’ve heard the phrase content is king more times than you’d care to remember. The phrase gets overused, but with good reason: it’s important. Content is a gateway to your brand using strategies like email marketing, podcasts, videos, and articles.

Companies are starting to wonder how much of their marketing budget should go to content. It’s impossible to come up with a specific number. However, when you read the information in this post, you’ll have a better grasp on how to determine this.

The Importance Of Content Marketing Efforts

When you read any marketing blog, you’ll likely find a common thread. They all discuss content as part of a strategy. The main reason blogs continue to cover this important concept is that it works. Creating the right content strategy is a great lead generation vehicle.

If you don’t believe that creating a content marketing plan is important, think about how you use the web. Do you look for content that can answer questions? Perhaps you like to be entertained with a YouTube video of your favorite band. Or, you want to expand your expertise with an online training module.

Your potential readers are looking for similar experiences. They may not choose the same websites or channels as you do. However, they’ll seek out content that makes sense for them. When you can connect with the people who want this content, you can in turn increase your engagement.

Content marketing extends to social media, too. It’s difficult to deny the impact of social media channels. By including social media in your content marketing strategy, you set the stage for even more customer engagements.

Another benefit of content marketing is that it can be measured. Unlike traditional marketing tactics, the actions of visitors on your website and social media profiles can be tracked. You can run reports to see every action your visitors make. Then, you can adjust your strategy based on this data.

The Facets Of A Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Most of the content your create will center around your website, but you’ll likely want to expand your reach through podcasts, slideshows, and videos. All these mediums are popular with web visitors. In addition, you can create print versions of your content and publish it on Amazon.

A less-known tactic for content is to curate it. While creating content from scratch is useful, successful companies are discovering that content curation provides value and takes less time. This makes sense as you’re gathering content that’s already performing well and improving it further.

When you build up your following using curation techniques, you can start to add new content. You’ll have established yourself as an expert from curating content, and your audience will want to know more about your expertise.

As mentioned, be sure to share all your content (whether curated or original) on your social media pages. Create pages and groups on these channels and post often to stay in front of your audience.

Strongest Content Curation Tactics

Content curation isn’t about copying content. The idea is to put together a theme from existing content and describe why your readers will enjoy it. You should always give credit to the creators and include small segments that fall into the copyright law regarding fair use.

Don’t be afraid to contact the creators of the content you curate. Most people will be thrilled that you shared their content, and you can encourage them to share, but don’t insist.

If outreach is your goal, try to focus on website owners with influence. These rising stars are still hungry. You can reach out to the top bloggers, but it’s not likely they’ll ever respond. They get hundreds of requests per day.

1. Content Marketing Agencies

A quality content marketing agency can skyrocket your content. They keep up-to-date with the latest techniques, including learning about search engine algorithm changes.

When working with agencies, make sure they understand your marketing goals. Also, determine what they can offer. Will they provide videos and podcasts? Do they have a separate service for social media posts?

There are many content marketing agencies, so choosing the right one can be difficult. Ask for verifiable proof of past results. Companies that aren’t ethical will likely appear on complaint forums, which can also help you weed out lesser options.

2. Freelancers

The best part about choosing freelancers is you can test them out ahead of time. Or, you can pay several prospective freelancers to write an article on the same topic and choose the best one.

If a freelancer doesn’t live up to your expectations, you can sever the relationship. However, when you find freelancers that you like, they can accelerate your content strategy and improve your return on investment.

Freelancers aren’t full-time employees and shouldn’t be treated like them. To maintain the legal definition of an independent contractor, they should be given free rein on managing their time and their resources.

3. In-House Writers

Over time, in-house writers will establish a familiarity with your brand. They’ll know how to create content that amplifies the brand. You’ll probably pay them a salary, which means you can get them to work on various aspects of your content strategy.

The downside to in-house writers is that you can’t let them go as easily as a freelancer. You usually need to document your case and show that you took steps to help them improve. In addition, you’ll probably need to keep your Human Resources department in the loop, if you have one.

When you hire in-house writers, they’ll be available any time you need content. You won’t need to work around their schedules like you would with freelancers.

How to Decide On the Amount Of Money To Spend On Content

When you create content for your small business, you can measure the results. This aspect can be used to determine how much to spend from your marketing budget. If your return on investment is great, you can choose to increase your budget on content. If it doesn’t pan out, you can scale back your budget.

However, you should determine the best methods to measure your content. Your measurement period is important, too. It can take a few months before content gains traction, sometimes even longer.

Much of your content won’t produce immediate results. Therefore, it may be a tough sell to management. This will likely affect the budget, as managers may not want to spend money on marketing costs without positive results. Or, they may be reluctant to give up some of the company’s  advertising budget.

Once your content starts ranking in SEO results, it can help attract new visitors to your site. The more quality content you create, the more you’ll have your content benefiting your brand. It’s not a numbers’ game, though. Your content must be of high quality, diverse, and serve the needs of your readers.

Our Final Thoughts

The use of content is expected to continue its growth. It helps business owners establish a presence and connect with visitors. When you connect and establish trust, customers become brand ambassadors.

The landscape for how to deliver content is constantly changing. This makes the tasks more challenging, but it’s one of the fastest methods for people to learn about your company.

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].