July 26, 2016
Even if you know that content marketing is a valuable strategy, it’s not always as easy to convince other people of that fact.
Between the expense involved and the downright foreignness of content marketing to most marketers, it can be difficult to encourage other people to get onboard – especially when these people include your CMO.
Luckily, there’s a way around this difficult scenario.
By understanding how to build an effective case for content marketing and implement it accordingly, you can have your company creating custom content and reaping the benefits of this compelling form of marketing in no time at all.
Read on to learn more.
First Things First: Why Do People Still Resist Content Marketing?
Despite the fact that content marketing is so demonstrably valuable, many marketers simply fear what they don’t know.
Unless they’ve used content marketing or seen it in action before, it’s natural to expect that they’ll be wary and confused by the prospect.
What’s more, content marketing doesn’t offer the rapid, fast-paced turnaround many marketers want. Instead of being an instant gratification mechanism that offers immediate results, content marketing is a long-term strategy that drives a positive ROI over months and years.
Unlike many short-term strategies, though, it also maintains its value — for months and years.
Despite this fact, though, the adoption of content marketing makes CMOs do things they’re uncomfortable with. For one, it requires them to question their traditional beliefs about marketing, which they may hold dear even if those beliefs are no longer pushing results.
What’s more, it can be difficult for inexperienced CMOs to understand how content drives value and why it’s so wise to take a highly customer-centric approach to marketing.
Thanks to all of these factors and many more, it’s up to you to create a compelling case that demonstrates the benefits, value and importance of content marketing.
Crafting Your Case in 5 Simple Steps
Whenever you pitch someone with a new idea, it’s critical to be as organized as possible. Introducing the concept of content marketing to your CMO is no different. To ensure your content adoption talk goes as well as possible, follow these five steps:
1. Arm yourself with the facts
Imagine this: you sit down with your CMO and say, “Hey, we need content.”
Is he or she impressed?
What if you did this, though: “Hey, did you know that 85 percent of consumers consult expert content before they make a purchase?”
While the foundational message of the two statements is similar, the delivery is incredibly difficult.
By arming yourself with the facts before you sit down for this conversation, you set yourself up to succeed and change minds.
2. Shine a light on widespread adoption trends
Sometimes, CMOs are hesitant to make big changes because they believe that nobody else in the industry is doing it.
When it comes to content, though, this simply isn’t true.
Right now, 75 percent of all marketing leaders report experiencing increased loyalty and reduced marketing costs thanks to content marketing. This is why CMOs continue to make large investments into content marketing and why the trend shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
When your CMO understands how popular content marketing truly is and what hefty investments other companies are making into it, it’s much more likely that he or she will agree to adopt the strategy.
3. Demonstrate the cost-saving potential
One of the greatest motivators in the world is money. While many CMOs mistakenly believe that content marketing will be more expensive than their current marketing strategy, this simply isn’t true.
Unfortunately, marketers who have never used content before often need help seeing this.
Tell your CMO, for example, that content marketing is a fantastic way to lower the costs of advertising across the board. While it does cost money to produce content, these costs are often substantially less than the costs associated with producing traditional advertising material.
There are bonus points available if you can demonstrate how much, exactly, content creation will save your company.
4. Bring in some case studies
To convince your CMO of the value of content marketing, you might have to demonstrate other prominent companies that have adopted it successfully. One great way to do this is to bring up some prominent case studies.
Take GE, for example. Recently, GE entered into a partnership with BuzzFeed to create custom content. While GE wasn’t at that point as a company widely perceived as intuitive or innovative, customers exposed to the custom content the brand created overwhelming ranked GE as a “Creative” company.
This perception resulted in a huge boost in GE’s brand recognition and the positive feelings customers had about the brand.
While one case study may not be enough to convince your CMO, proving that other prominent companies have adopted content is a fantastic way to start implementing it in your company.
5. Drive home that content marketing offers high ROIs
In the late part of 2015, a Fortune 500 company working with NewsCred started measuring the ROI of its content marketing efforts. What it found was shocking.
When the firm compared the ROI of its content versus its paid banner advertisements, it found that the funds allocated to content marketing were 2.73 times as effective as the budget allocated to banner ads. What’s more, the content the company created produced 1.53 more leads per dollar spent.
While the perception is that content marketing is expensive, showcasing the ROI potential for this simple and amazingly effective form of marketing is often exactly what hesitant CMOs need to see.
Implementing Content in Your Office
While it can feel frustrating to try to convince a hesitant CMO of the value of content marketing, the potential payoff is well worth the work. In addition to the fact that content marketing is more effective than traditional outbound marketing, it’s also less expensive and more valuable to consumers – which can provide a huge boost of recognition, engagement, and sales for your company.
While it may take some time for your CMO to see the many benefits of content marketing, putting in the effort to demonstrate it is a worthwhile battle.
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.