Will content marketing be a hot form of marketing, more so than ever this year?
The answer, in short, is YES!
According to a hot 2016 BuzzSumo content piece, the future of content is more, not less. Platforms like The Washington Post publish thousands of posts each day, and Google increases its number of indexed pages by the millions each year. It’s clear that content is booming, and that it shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.
If content is growing this fast, though, what will content marketing budgets look like–and how do you set yours?
It’s a big point to discuss, and it’s one we’re going to dive into in today’s post. Infographic from our design team below – and beneath it are all the live links for the stats and data we pulled. Enjoy, and don’t forget to share and pass the love or leave us a comment if you found this useful!
The Big 2017 Content Marketing Spend: Content Budgets by the Numbers, & How to Set Your CM Budget (Infographic)
10 Stats About the Inflating Nature of Content Budgets (by the Numbers)
Here are a few stats to help you understand how (and why) content budgets are increasing this year.
- According to MarketingMag.com, content marketing will be a $300 billion industry by 2019 – this means it will more than double in under four years.
- Google’s number of indexed pages has grown from 1 trillion to more than 30 trillion in the last seven years alone!
- 2015 was the sixth consecutive year that the content marketing industry enjoyed double-digit growth.
- B2B content marketing accounts for 7% of the revenue in the content marketing industry.
- The US enjoyed $12.11 billion in content marketing revenue in 2014, which made it the world’s largest market for content.
- MarketingProfs reports that the most successful B2B marketers dedicate at least 39% of their marketing budgets to content.
- The average marketer spends 29% of their total marketing budget on content.
- 37% of marketers who aren’t successful with content marketing say it’s because they the content budget is too low. What’s more, 27% of marketers who have seen a decrease in the success of their content strategies say it’s because of inadequate budget or budget cuts.
- 70% of B2B marketers plan to create more content in 2017 than they did in 2016.
- 39% of marketers expect their organization’s budget for content marketing to increase in 2017.
5 Key Reasons for the Upward Trajectory of Content Marketing
2016 was a banner year for content, and 2017 shows no signs of being anything but a continuation of that trend. Here are a few of the top reasons this is true:
1. There’s not much to abate content growth
Right now, it’s tough to even track the number of new blog posts and articles publishers put out every day. What we do know is that Google has seen a more than 29-trillion page increase in indexed content since 2008 and that WordPress alone is publishing nearly 2 million new posts every day. As it stands now, there’s virtually nothing to abate the rapid growth of content. Self-publishing is easier than it’s ever been before and about 40% of the world’s population has access to the web. As such, content continues to grow, virtually unfettered.
2. Content is the most functional modern form of advertising
While outbound marketing has fallen out of vogue in recent years, content has risen to take its place. Less expensive yet more effective than traditional advertising, content serves the purpose of making an emotional connection with readers while also driving sales. When you think of it this way, it’s the perfect type of marketing!
3. Content automation is accessible and cheap
Another factor contributing to the rapid growth of online content is content automation. Today, content automation has drastically lowered the cost of content production. It’s also made it easier to schedule and promote content without a massive hands-on effort.
4. Global literacy rates are increasing
While a mere 12% of the global population could read and write back in 1820, all but 17% of the world’s population is literate today. Global literacy has exploded in the last twenty years, and the upward trend will only continue in the coming years. This increase in universal literacy creates more people to read, write, and interact with online content.
5. High-volume content strategies are driving massive success
In addition to all the other factors driving the increase in digital content, it’s also worth noting that high-volume content strategies are incredibly lucrative. As such, they’re being adopted by publishers around the world. The Washington Post, for example, managed to grow its visitor rate by 28% between October and December 2015, all by creating more content.
What Does this Growth Mean for the Future of Content Marketing Budgets?
As content creation budgets uptick, content marketing budgets will, as well. As content forms ranging from search marketing and social media to display ads, and email marketing gain prominence in coming years, firms will increase their marketing budgets to match.
According to a 2014 Forrester report, the firm will allocate 35% of their marketing budgets to content by 2019. This is as opposed to the 29% the average firm dedicates to content today.
Budgeting for Content Marketing Will be Critical in 2017
According to a 2016 Curata post, marketers spend an average of 38% of their content budgets on curation and aggregation, 35$ on creation, and 29% on content workflow.
Despite those large numbers, however, not all companies have defined content marketing budgets. In fact, only 64% of companies with a content strategy also have a content marketing budget. This can create significant challenges for companies.
Because of these things, and the fact that the prevalence of content will explode in the coming year, and the years after this, it’s critical to develop a content marketing budget for 2017. This is often easier said than done, though. Larger companies might have a tough time securing executive buy-in for a content marketing budget, while other businesses might mistakenly believe that content is an overnight ROI producer, and slash the budget when that dream doesn’t come true.
Instead of taking that approach, marketers who want to succeed in 2017 and beyond need to take a strategic and intentional approach to the structure, contents, and timeframe of content marketing budgets. By considering variables like content goals, target audiences, distribution methods, and more, it’s easy to create a functional and long-lasting content budget to guide your content strategy in the coming year.
4 Fast Tips to Develop a Functional Content Marketing Budget
If you want to develop a content marketing budget, but you’re unfamiliar with the process, here are the four steps you’ll need to follow to succeed:
1. Think about your content staff
One of the first things you’ll need to consider when developing a content marketing budget is your staff. If you don’t have a content marketing executive in place (only 43% of all organizations do), do you need one? If so, what will that cost? Do you have writers, social media experts, or content strategists you need to pay? If so, what are those salaries or monthly costs?
Because your content staff is one segment of your content marketing program that’s entirely non-negotiable, it’s critical to consider these fixed expenses first. If the costs associated with this staff is making you squirm a bit, there’s always the option of outsourcing some or all of your content creation, especially if you don’t have any content staff, but you need some additional help.
Firms like Express Writers specialize in content creation and can help you manage all your various social media, marketing, and native content. It might even save you some money in the process.
2. Factor in your content marketing tools
If you’ve been doing any content marketing so far, you’re likely using a few tools to help facilitate posts and content distribution. Things like KWFinder, Buzzsumo, and even Copyscape all come with some associated monthly or use-based fee, and factoring these things into your overall marketing budget is a critical step in ensuring the final number you come up with is the right one.
To keep things organized, create an Excel spreadsheet with spaces for each tool you use and its monthly cost. If this number gets higher than you’d like, look for cheaper (or free) alternatives, or one-stop apps like Buzzsumo, that allow you to do things like keyword and influencer research in one convenient place.
3. Think about your promotion and measurement tools
Promotion is a critical part of content creation, and technology is often the simplest and most efficient way to do it. While there are dozens of different ways to promote content, both manual and automated, factoring in promotion and measurement expenses is critical to developing a marketing budget.
If you use a tool like Buffer to schedule and promote your content, add its monthly cost to your spreadsheet. If you use a human team to post, share, re-use, and promote your content, you’ll need to figure out how much those efforts cost you and factor it into your spreadsheet, as well.
If (gasp!) you don’t do any content promotion, now is an excellent time to allocate a budget toward it. While many people have a hard time justifying the expense associated with content promotion, the content you work so hard to create will perform better when you promote it, and this is one simple step that’s worth taking.
Once you’ve come up with the numbers for your promotion expenses, it’s time to think about what you’re spending (or should be spending) on content measurement. If you’re not analyzing critical metrics on each piece of content you publish, it can be virtually impossible to determine what’s working and what’s not. This, in turn, can result in you blowing through your marketing budget, publishing unpopular content without even knowing it!
With this in mind, invest in a measurement tool, or develop a staff that can track key metrics (like social shares, site visits, comments on your blog, and even the quality of the leads generated) to help you get an idea of what’s productive and what you can improve.
4. Adjust as needed
Once you’ve developed a content budget, keep in mind that it’s not set in stone. It can (and should) grow as your company gains more resources and customers, and should account for things like changing target audiences, additional audience segments, and new content types.
When you adjust your content marketing budget accordingly, you stand a better chance of staying afloat on rapidly shifting trends, and ensuring that your content strategy is always up to par with what the digital marketing world demands.
5 Smart Reasons to Develop a Content Budget NOW
Still not sure you need a content budget? Here are five smart reasons to jump on the bandwagon for 2017:
1. There’s no way around developing a budget
You can avoid a content budget for as long as you want, but content marketing isn’t going anywhere. Again, the future of content is more rather than less, and flying in the face of that will only land you in a place of financial hardship and irrelevance.
2. The potential ROI is huge
If you invest in content marketing, and develop a content marketing budget to reflect that, you stand to enjoy a highly attractive ROI. As it stands today, the content marketing industry is worth a staggering $300 billion – and that number will only grow in the coming years. With that in mind, now is the time to get abreast of content marketing, and doing it can represent a massive payoff for your company.
3. Content marketing channels are always changing
According to a 2013 Custom Content Council survey, print (both physical and electronic) is growing rapidly. Inherent within this rapid growth is a great deal of change, and it’s only companies who are intentional and calculating about their content marketing that will stay on the bleeding edge of that change.
Since the distribution of spending in areas like social media, pay-per-click advertisements, content creation, and video recording are always changing, developing a budget that allows space for these fluctuations is critical.
4. Content has become inter-departmental
Today, “content” isn’t delegated to an anonymous room of writers and never thought about again. Instead, it spans all departments of a given company and has major repercussions for each. By investing and measuring the return, you can get smarter about the allocation of your resources and grow your company.
5. Embracing budgeting is just good business
You have a budget for your personal monthly expenses, right? So why not develop a budget for your content marketing, as well? In addition to allowing you to allocate funds more intelligently, a content marketing budget is just good business, and it will benefit your company both now and in the future.
Content Marketing is Here to Stay
The future is bright – and filled with content! In light of this, it’s critical for companies of all shapes and sizes to develop functional, actionable, and flexible content marketing budgets that help them plan for the inevitable future of content, and how it will interact with the various segments of their companies. After all, content is the way of 2017 and beyond!
Need a team of writers that won’t destroy your content budget? Contact Express Writers today to learn about our various content packages and select the one that best suits your needs!