The budget planning season has arrived. This year, it’s even tougher – with the economic outlook particularly uncertain, it’s never been more important to factor in all costs now so that you don’t throw your finances off course later.
During a difficult climate is also the time when smart marketing is needed most – not only to navigate any sales objections, but to get ahead of the competition. So, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on where your spend is best spent, and how content is key to generating a tangible ROI.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
First things first, you need to think about what challenges you want your marketing to help overcome. Are you looking to drive brand awareness, generate leads, or move prospects down your sales funnel? Or perhaps you need to pivot your value proposition in light of the cost of living crisis?
Whatever the aim, you need to make sure your content plan aligns – and that you’ve got the budget in place to resource it. The bigger the challenge, the more likely you are to need to devote more cash to a complex strategy.
Ultimately, the thought you put in during this phase can stop you going off on an expensive tangent over the next 12 months, as well as propel you to hit your sales targets.
How much should I budget for content marketing?
Those more complex strategies might involve a range of marketing tactics, including paid ads, press opportunities, trade shows, print, and influencer partnerships. In other words, every business has different needs and wants for their content, which will affect the overall cost. It’ll also affect the manpower they need to deliver it – would onboarding someone in-house or instructing an outsourced team be better?
In an uncertain economic climate, outsourcing can be incredibly cost-effective. It allows you to tap into the talent of various specialists – including social media managers, copywriters and designers – for as little as £600+VAT a month. It’s scalable too – full-service marketing support can cost anything upwards of £2,000+VAT per month.
What’s more, starting an early conversation with a content agency can help you massively when plotting out your spend. They can work with you to craft a strategy that’s focused on achieving your marketing and business objectives, and provide a breakdown of how much each aspect will cost.
What types of content should I include in my budget?
If you want to effectively target your audience and maintain engagement throughout 2023, be sure to plan a range of content. Not only will this provide variation, but it’ll allow you to match content proportionality to your goals as well as your resources. Here are just a few options to kick-start your thinking:
The bread and butter of content, blogging is full of quick-win opportunities – from SEO-driven content to company-related news or industry insight pieces. They’re essential for answering your customers’ questions, breaking down their objections, and building trust.
Email marketing is great for both B2B and B2C businesses, and comes with the added bonus of being able to easily track the impact of your campaigns. Let’s not forget the power of a good ol’ newsletter too. New team members? Award wins? Product launches? Keep your audience up to date and you’ll ultimately strengthen your relationship.
3. eBooks and whitepapers
If you’re looking for content that targets your audience towards the top half of the sales funnel, look no further than an eBook or whitepaper. You can even gate this kind of content, again allowing you to track its performance post-publication.
4. Video and audio
The beauty of video and audio is that, while you’re making long-form content for a podcast or YouTube channel, you can also create short clips to share on social media or embed in a blog.
5. Case studies
Sometimes, nothing persuades someone over the line more than hearing from a satisfied customer. Case studies can take a range of forms – you might want to interview someone over a video call, publish a classic written version on your site, share a snippet as a social media graphic, or do a combination of all three.
How do I make my efforts go further?
Next comes the distribution – making sure you’re giving your content the best mileage with a strong social media strategy that covers the most sensible channels for your business.
Distributing your content through social media is particularly effective as your employees can also get involved and share posts on their accounts. Thanks to the magic of algorithms, the more that content is interacted with like this, the more impressions it makes – resulting in you reaching a wider pool of potential customers.
Paid ads and boosted posts can amplify your content even further. They can strategically place your brand in front of audiences that you would have previously only dreamed of, as well as convert their initial interest into leads or sales.
Get the professionals involved in your 2023 budget plans
Undoubtedly, an effective strategy worthy of any budget demands varying forms of content (and often means knowing a thing or two about design or video editing). Don’t let this put you off though – you have an abundance of options when it comes to creating content fit for your brand, and the creators at MYC can help you along the way.
Whether your in-house content team needs a little extra support, or you want us to take care of your entire content roadmap, we’re here to action your 2023 plans in line with your budget. Get the ball rolling by talking to our team.