If you’re selling cereal and toilet paper, your customers are in the market for your products on a monthly, or even weekly, basis. But that’s not the case for most business-to-business marketers ― your customers buy your product on a much more infrequent basis. Are you doing enough to stay in touch with them and to keep your company top-of-mind when they’re not in the buying cycle?
Content marketing is about building long-term relationships with your customers and prospects, so even when they’re not shopping for your product, they’ll rely on your company for valuable information and expertise. It helps keep them friendly with your brand until they’re ready to make a purchase.

But before you begin your content marketing journey, you must decide where you’re going. What does success look like? Why do you need to change what you’re currently doing? Be specific. Once you understand what you need and why, you can create a strong argument for a content marketing program.

Remember, you’ll have the most success if you focus on what you want to accomplish and why it’s important for your company to accomplish it. These questions will help you build your case and sell the idea of content marketing to your team or boss:

 

1. What is your need? What do you hope to accomplish with content marketing?
2. How big is your need? Do you have a large enough audience to justify a content marketing strategy?
3. Why is this more important than other marketing activities you are spending time and budget on?
4. Who currently owns content marketing (or content development) at your company?
5. Who will champion and own the content marketing efforts?
6. Why is the champion the best person to be in this role?
7. What support can other team members/departments provide?
8. How will you measure the success of your content marketing program?
9. Which metrics are required to demonstrate the value of the program?
10. Who or what stands in your way?
11. What is your dream outcome of a content marketing program?

 

Another way to gain support for content marketing is by sharing examples from other companies ― especially competitors. Look for case studies that clearly show how content marketing helped solve a company problem, reach a new audience or achieve an overall business objective.

If you’re trying to convince numbers-driven people — the ones who want to know the return on investment — visit the Content Marketing Institute’s website for stats and benchmarking studies. Sometimes understanding that other marketing teams are already doing content marketing is all it takes to get their buy-in.

At Two Rivers Marketing, many of our clients are in the manufacturing sector, so we use CMI’s annual B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report. You can download the 2016 report here.

Content marketing requires a champion to sell it up and ensure it’s given the time and effort needed to make it a successful part of your marketing strategy. Be the champion by answering all the hard questions and setting a clear course to make it happen.

About Keesia Wirt

Keesia Wirt, content strategist at Two Rivers Marketing, is a self-proclaimed content nerd. With a background in newspaper and magazine journalism, she now helps clients connect with their target audiences by creating relevant, valuable content that they want to read, watch and share with others. Her favorite tools include audience personas, crotchet hooks, whisks and duct tape. If you want to talk content, email her at keesiaw@2rm.com.