You Are so Worth It: How to Convince Your Manager to Invest in Content Creation
This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Lee Barbour
One of the biggest challenges that content marketers face is idea generation. Content marketing depends on both quality and quantity and you can't sacrifice one for the other if you want to maximize your marketing efforts. Generating quality ideas is, of course, at the core of content marketing but you also need a steady stream of said ideas flowing through the pipeline to ensure that material is fresh and that you are consistently providing your customers with the kind of stuff that resonates with them. But, the fact is, you are working hard and could benefit from help with content ideation! Most companies rely on content creators to churn out a massive amount of high-quality content but don't understand how much time, research, blood, sweat and tears actually go into that process. Kapost research showed that 80% of C-level staff think writers have enough ideas to fuel marketing efforts, but those in the weeds disagreed. There is a huge discrepancy between what bosses think content creators need and what they actually need. You need more from your company and it's time to prove to your boss that you're worth it. Does Your Boss Know How Much Work You Do? This amount of thinking, planning, researching, writing and polishing is both highly cerebral and time-consuming. And, chances are, your boss has no idea how much work you put into avoiding a content deficit at your workplace. C-Level Execs are typically quite removed from the ins and outs of content marketing and how far it goes in overcoming customer pain points, keeping current customers on-board and establishing the authority of your brand. It's ironic that sometimes the biggest hurdle in getting effective content marketing strategies into place is the C-suite themselves. So how can you, as a content marketer, get past this hurdle and get the help you need to bolster your content ideation? Using Your Time Wisely Writing is hard work. Because you're a whiz at creating awesome content, your bosses might not realize what the ideation process actually entails, and how much you could benefit from a little help with coming up with things to write about. For most content creators, the process goes a little something like this: Brainstorming Ideas Making an Outline Researching the Topic Drafting Writing Editing What percentage of time do you devote to each stage? Most writers spend an inordinate amount of time brainstorming ideas. Kapost found that marketers estimate needing 67 ideas per quarter to be successful – and that's just the ones that stick. Calculating ROI What all of this leads up to is the fact that in order to get the support you need as a content marketer, you need to prove your worth to C-level execs. The value of content marketing efforts is measured in both hard value (i.e. how much monetary worth it provides) and soft value (i.e. how much long-term significance and relevance it provides). 63% of B2B marketers consistently cite increased website traffic year-over-year as the metric they look to most often. A study by Kapost and Eloqua found that content marketing ROI outweighed the ROI of paid search by more than three times. A study by TMG Custom Media found that 78 percent of consumers believe that organizations that offer custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. This blend of soft values and hard values is of key importance in getting anyone to appreciate the need for quality content marketing. Increase Your Budget and Put it to Better Use 55% of B2B companies are planning an increase to their content marketing budget for exactly these reasons. This is a wonderful statistic to read considering that most executives are decidedly old school when it comes to business content. In fact, The Economist Group found that only 7% reported using a smartphone for content consumption and only 5% claim that videos are helpful in making decisions. It's important to make it clear to C-level execs that most marketers need stronger processes for leveraging resources for content development and how effective it can be to use outside resources. Helping your higher-ups understand the difficulties you face as a content creator will help pave the way for you to introduce new ways of creating content. Millennials are glued to their phones and hunting for and absorbing information in ways unlike ever before and your company needs to be in a position to be noticed at all times. Creating quality content that has longevity and is transferable between networks and platforms will bring value to your brand for years to come – long after short attention spans have moved on to new apps and other platforms that traditional marketing efforts might have latched onto. It's no wonder that 62 percent of companies are outsourcing some or all of their content marketing needs to third party providers and services. There is a real lack of awareness out there in terms of how difficult the ideation process is and, as a content marketer, it makes sense that you would benefit from outside help in creating quality content. It's time to convince your boss that you're worth it.
Lee Barbour is a seasoned content writer with a Master's degree from Sarah Lawrence College. She writes across a variety of industries, including travel, technology, digital marketing, healthcare, business, and real estate. She has collaborated on award-winning campaigns for both startups and Fortune 500 companies, and her work has led her to jobs in Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Cyprus, Japan and New York City. She has over 15 years of experience in client communication and wordsmithing.