We often work with folks that have trouble understanding the benefits of content marketing. They may be advertising on traditional media or be driving sales with a fantastic outbound team. While we're not in any way against that, the investment is quite different. With advertising, the audience is owned by someone else and you're paying a premium to access that audience. You're not the authority or trusted source, they are. And with outbound sales, your expense is proportional to the volume of sales you'd like. More sales requires more people (or more expensive people).
Content marketing is very much like any financial investment you'd make. Each piece of content or interaction is stock purchased for your future. As you grow your content marketing, the investment grows. Each month, you have more and more content working on your behalf to build trust, authority and your own audience or community. After a while, the community itself begins to work in your favor driving even more sales.
Justifying a long term investment requires some solid stats, though, and Smart Insights has accomplished just that. Download their guide and template to making the business case for investment in digital marketing for a more quantitative approach – and how to win the emotional arguments, too. Here are some supporting stats they've put together: