If you think it is just you who is spending a huge fortune on your content marketing plan, you’re not alone. Did you know Neil Patel spends around $15,011.63 on SEO and $20,000 on content per month?
It makes sense considering he has a team of writers and editors and invests heavily in content promotional activities. But not all of us have a huge team or high-budget promotional tools to use. Most of us stick to a lean methodology, doing our best to stop our budget from exceeding drastically.
Despite your best attempts, you may still see you’re continually exceeding your content budget. It is not always about managing a big team or doing large promotions that cause you to exceed this budget, in fact, sometimes the smaller things can be the cause for bleeding money. Here are nine reasons your content spend may be increasing.
Reason #1: You worry more about quantity rather than quality
There is no competition to quality content. If you are compromising content quality in efforts to make as much content as possible, then you are digging your own hole.
According to a survey by MarketingProfs, B2B marketers have revealed that valuable and efficient content contributes to 85% of the success. So make room for quality content rather than rushing to produce a larger quantity of it.
Another important thing to note is that most marketers miss the mark when it comes to being consistent. Producing less content is not a bad thing if you can maintain a consistency in your publishing schedule. Stop forcing numbers that are not possible for you to attain. Instead, look at the resources on hand and plan a strategy that relies more on quality content at regular intervals.
A large amount of time and energy goes into researching and putting together new content. Rather than creating new content all the time, consider republishing old content. When you do decide to create new content, focus on making it evergreen. In other words, create content that will continually stay fresh and relevant for your target audience over a long period of time.
There are a few ways to repurpose old content. For example, take a blog post from a year or two ago and re-publish it with new information. Convert your articles into infographics or videos (and vice versa).
Reason #3: You rely more on paid leads
This may be another reason why your content marketing budget is getting out of hand. Most marketers believe that paid ads can generate leads faster. This may not be false but without proper tracking and monitoring, running paid ads will ultimately exhaust your budget. This strategy will give you more views and clicks, but it is not a long-term solution.
Focus on generating organic leads. If content marketing is done properly, it has the potential to create a steady influx of leads; and more importantly leads that are marketing qualified and long-term.
Since modern marketers have their content marketing budget spread across social media, search engines, video marketing, pay-per-clicks, content asset creation, and mobile marketing, a healthy budget needs to have enough space to allow the continuous evolution happening in all these channels. To help you further understand how to do this, check out this success formula that Forbes has recently put together from the desks of six prominent marketers.
Reason #4: You are targeting the wrong audience
If you are creating content for any random audience that will never take an interest in what you’ve got to offer, then it’s time to take a detour.
Every piece of content you produce needs to have a purpose. You must know your target audience; otherwise, your entire investment is going down the drain.
Another problem you may run into is creating the wrong content for the right audience. While you might be targeting the right kind of buyers, you may be creating content that is not beneficial to them.
In order to combat this, be sure to identify your ideal buyer’s persona. First, choose your marketing channel. This should be based on where your buyers spend most of their time on the web. From there, make a proper list of topics that align with their interests and behavior. You may even want to get feedback from your audience through things like surveys or quizzes to get an even better understanding of what kind of topics and content they’re interested in seeing.
Reason #5: Your promotional tools are too expensive
If your content marketing is consistently over budget, take a look at your promotional tools. Are they giving you the results in comparison to the investments you are making? Assuming the answer is no, it is probably a good idea to look into lower costing promotional tools.
Using low-cost promotional tools doesn’t necessarily mean your content will get less exposure. For example, you could share your articles across social media which is a free way to get exposure to your content. Another way to combat this is to opt for a budget-friendly tool, like Quuu.
Reason #6: You aren’t analyzing your efforts
You may be exceeding your content marketing budget because you are not looking into which investments are actually getting you returns.
Your content probably encompasses various marketing platforms – paid ads, SEO, landing pages, email marketing, blogs, and social media. You make investments in each of these channels, but do all of them give you returns? You see, it is not possible that all channels will give you an equal ROI. One will usually be better than the other.
Google Analytics serves as an easy and reliable tool to track and monitor your efforts. You can use this tool to find out which of these channels is giving you the maximum return. To start, identify your core metrics and then cut down your expenses on other channels that are not yielding results. From there you can then drill down on the channels that are giving you the best ROI.
Reason #7: You collaborate with low-authority publishers
It is a known fact that contributing to other platforms usually results in a steady rise in traffic to your website. Sharon Hurley from BasicBlogTips revealed how she saw a 9% increase after she started contributing to other platforms.
While making contributions to other sites serves as a great opportunity to get new traffic, it’s important to ensure these platforms are high-authority publishing sites. If not, this could be another reason why your content marketing is over budget. Low-authority publishing platforms do nothing but exhaust your resources.
Instead, connect with publishers that have a steady follower-base: not just rampant followers but a genuine organic influx of leads. Contribute to those platforms that write around the same niche as yours. For instance, if you are writing on social media marketing and connecting with a real estate brand who only writes about properties, then you will face rejection. If by chance, this real estate platform accepts your article then you will be giving social media advice to someone who wants to buy a house. As you can see, this would be a waste of resources and time.
Reason #8: You’ve ignored content communities for promoting your content
If you are completely off-the-charts when it comes to community engagement you are missing out on a substantial opportunity to promote your content.
There are plenty of communities out there that have live discussions and tons of engagement. When you share your content and participate in these discussions you will get more clicks and shares. Your reach will expand and you’ll start to drive genuine, organic traffic to your website and blog.
This is a simple way to decrease your content budget by getting your target audience to share and promote your content. There are several case studies where brands have grown their user base drastically only through community engagement.
Just a tip: Most of these communities are closed groups and are monitored by an admin or a group of admins. Such groups are great because they only accept people who genuinely fit into the group’s topic which means most everyone will be within your target audience.
Communities to start with include:
- LinkedIn groups
- Facebook Groups
- Individual brand communities
Reason #9: You are too rigid with your content marketing budget and strategy
Let’s say you’ve figured out what was primarily causing you to overspend on your content budget. You’ve got your analytics in place, you know the tools you will want to use in the future, and you are all set for your promotional activities as well.
Here’s one last tip: your content budget will never be set in stone. It will alter once you start implementing your reformed strategy. While it may not bleed money, that doesn’t mean it won’t fluctuate from time to time. Sometimes, real-time situations can influence your content budget so always make room for adjustments.
Remember it’s important to be flexible. If you are rigid and unwilling to make zero modifications when needed, it will drain your resources quicker than you think. Create an optimal content budget but also keep room for modifications.
Content Marketing is the present and future
There is no denial that Content is KING. Whether it’s social media marketing, SEO, building landing pages or creating email campaigns – your efforts won’t be successful without quality content. Make sure your content marketing budget is being used to its full potential by focusing on the quality rather than the quantity, using the correct tools, analyzing your results, repurposing your content, and targeting the correct audience.
About the author:
Ankit Prakash is a technology entrepreneur at Aritic – Full Stack Marketing Automation software platform for digital business at Aritic with Sales CRM, Transactional Mail, and Desk. Ankit also spends a majority of his time reviewing various marketing tools and platforms on his marketing blog- Sprout24. He has successfully contributed to platforms like Smart Insights, Jeff Bullas, LeadsBridge, Scoop.it, and G2 Crowd. Follow Ankit on Twitter at @ankitpr89