As we head into the end of the year, you might be looking for ways to spend your remaining marketing budget or thinking of ways to get more for next year.
Budget issues are the #3 biggest challenge that B2B content marketers face.
But getting more funds can be a challenge, no matter how big or small your company is. The good news? We have some ideas to help you make your case, maximize your budget, and improve your success along the way.
How to Get the Marketing Budget You Deserve
We know it can feel awkward to ask for more budget, especially if your marketing was less successful than you hoped for this year. (Thanks, pandemic.) That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, though. If you can make a reasonable request, backed by data (ideally), you might be surprised at how generous your budget stakeholders can be.
We hope these five tips help you find success, and if you have any tips that helped you get more funds, please let us know.
1) Show them what works.
Results matter most. If you’ve had some major successes this year, double down and ask for more investment in these areas. The stronger your ROI, the easier it is to convince them to throw some extra funds your way. (This is the advantage of having historical results and being able to make projections accordingly.)
Note: Even if a project wasn’t quite as successful as you’d hoped, you can still present your numbers, share what you’ve learned, and explain how you plan to tweak your strategy for maximum impact.
Tip: Measuring the right metrics is the key to measuring your success. Find out how to choose the right metrics for your content strategy.
2) Have a strategy.
A strong, measurable strategy is the key to content marketing success—yet the Content Marketing Institute research finds that 60% of B2B marketers don’t actually have a documented strategy! If you want more marketing budget to, say, engage a new channel or audience, present a well-crafted strategy built on a clear goal and measurable metrics.
- What campaign angle and distribution strategy would justify more budget?
- What kind of market research have you done to validate your idea/approach?
- What ROI can you expect from the additional funds (either qualitative or quantitative), based on past experience or industry benchmarks?
You’ll also want to include details about how you plan to use your resources as effectively as possible.
Tip: See our content strategy checklist to make sure you have a well-rounded strategy.
3) Bring fresh ideas.
Sometimes when you’re focused on your own brand day in, day out, it’s hard to see your strategy with fresh eyes. This means you may be missing out on great opportunities that increase your impact (even if those ideas require more budget).
If you’re already working with agency partners, you might turn to them for some interesting ideas. Ask them for ballpark budgets, as well as rough concepts and strategy to present to your budget stakeholders. (That said, please be good to your partners. The agency that delivered the best idea should be the one to execute.)
Tip: Whether you’re working with an agency or not, there are plenty of ways to find fresh inspiration. Try these content marketing prompts, dig into your data, and find out how to run the most effective brainstorm.
4) Collaborate with other departments.
We’re all about maximizing budgets, and sometimes that means “sharing” with others. If you can come up with an initiative or content program that benefits marketing and another department (e.g., creating more employer brand content for HR), you might be able to convince them to contribute some budget.
5) Show them what your competition is doing.
Content marketing isn’t about blindly following trends. Just because the competition is doing something doesn’t mean you have to. But—and this is a big but—if your competition is already doing something you’ve been wanting to do (e.g., investing in social video), and they are majorly succeeding, you can use this to argue your case. (Bonus points if you can include their metrics in the form of things like video views or social shares.)
Tip: If you haven’t done a competitive analysis in a while, this might be a good time to revisit it. Use our free competitive analysis template to find out what others are doing well, and how you might differentiate.
How to Make the Most of the Marketing Budget You Have
We hope these tips help you get the budget you need. But we know that even with more budget, you still need to make the most of what you have. If you need a few more ideas…
- Optimize your content infrastructure. Follow our guide to master content creation at every stage.
- Get more mileage out of your content. Use a divisible content strategy to turn one piece of content into multiple assets.
- Work smarter. Here are 10 things to do to make your content strategy more effective, as well as 5 content marketing lessons you can take into the new year.
And if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stuck, consider bringing in a creative agency to untangle things for you. See our tips to find the right agency for you, or let us know what problems need solving. We’d love to make next year your most successful yet.