You’ve made your case for a content marketing program, your CMO signed off, a budget was approved and now the show is up and running. As it cruises along, new opportunities arise and what once seemed like a proper allocation of funds, now feels a bit skewed. The ROI you expected in certain areas aren’t cutting it, and you start to wonder whether money tracked within your content marketing budget template is being spent wisely.
Continually monitoring for inefficiencies within any budget is always a good idea. When it comes to content marketing, this rings even truer. Consider the following when determining whether or not you’re wasting your budget for content.
Underutilized tools and talent
There are an endless number of tools on the market geared toward content marketing. If you’re not utilizing the third parties you’ve brought on to enhance your team’s workflow, then consider additional training, replacing them with cheaper options or getting rid of them altogether.
When it comes to talent, be conscious of whether people are filling the right roles based on their abilities. If there are gaps to be filled, figure out whether there are cheaper ways to yield better results by hiring freelancers or an agency.
If you’re putting out a blog a week and posting on your social channels just to regurgitate the same subject matter over and over again without evaluating its return, you’re throwing money down the drain. Content marketing is all about experimenting with new content types as they become relevant to your audience. It’s about A/B testing, gauging results and using them to improve upon distribution. Keeping the status quo without challenging your team’s creativity will only lead to a pile of wasted resources.
Lack of audience reach
Part of the success seen in said experimentation comes from knowing your brand’s audience and evaluating how to best connect with them. If your marketing team has yet to do any sort of customer research around behaviors, wants and needs, then your content team will likely be left to make a lot of assumptions. Take the time to really know your audience, so you can create thoughtful, intelligent content that’s likely to yield engagement.
With the growing sophistication of technology at our fingertips, metrics matter more than ever. And with most content marketing programs under a microscope from C-suite executives to perform, framing success in terms of numbers will only help in strengthening your team’s case. If you’re wasting time with plans based on gut feelings rather than data, you’re wasting money and the opportunity to take your efforts to the next level.
Quantity over quality
Your team’s time could be spent writing many posts that collectively return minimal results, or your team’s time could be spent developing a handful of quality pieces that deliver in droves. It all ties back to your use of data and tendency toward experimentation. If you’re not using the information being handed to you to learn from and evolve your strategy, then you’re less likely to realize high-quality content will always outrank a multitude of sub-par postings.
This is especially true in a digital marketer’s world tipped by “content shock“. As Mark Schaefer – a globally-recognized blogger, speaker, educator and consultant – told the PowerPost team, “The solution to our problems is not starting a blog or a podcast or a series of white papers. Instead, we have to do an assessment to see what the information density in our niche is, what are our competitors already doing and what are our consumers already consuming. We have to look at what our options are to maneuver because we can’t keep doing more of the same—that just creates more content and makes the problem even worse.”
Focus your team’s time and energy where it really counts, within the niche that really matters, to make the most of money being spent.
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