Let us climb up on our soapbox and proclaim this statement for all to hear: Content is still King! We will continue to shout this from the rooftops until every business believes in, understands, and experiences the value of content. So, if you’re asking yourself, “how much should I spend on content this year?” or “Is content marketing really that important for my business?” we’re here to tell you how much, and abso-freaking-lutely, yes. We’re kind of content evangelists around here (if you couldn’t tell), and by the end of this post, you’ll be drinking the Kool-Aid too.
Why You Should Spend More on Content in 2021
If customers, clients, and/or patients are the fish, then content is the bait. We’re not talking about sheisty clickbait. We’re talking educational, useful, and wonderful information you produce for your demographic to devour. Let us count the ways why content is so important for all businesses. And when we say “content,” we mean content for your website, organic social media marketing, video marketing, and SEO optimized blogs.
1. Marketing Content Attracts Leads
Not only does high-quality content attract leads, but it attracts better leads. Why? Customers find your content when they search for specific products, services, and/or topics. In fact, 49% of users say they use Google to discover or find a new item or product! So, if they search for “top CBD gummies” or “wellness journey tips” and you have a post about it, then the right person will find your business.
But in order to ensure the new product prospective customers find is yours, you need to publish content that ranks in Google search results, shows up in social media algorithms, or pops up on YouTube. The caveat here is that not all content is created equal. To attract leads, you need quality content that is helpful and engaging. This often starts with content buckets to help your business target the right type of clientele and speak to their unique needs. Content buckets translate across all marketing channels—from video to social media to blog content. Come up with those to set yourself up for success attracting quality leads.
It’s important to note that producing content that attracts leads is an investment. However, it pays off for months and years to come. Once you have created content, it only grows in value. For instance, other sites may link to your site, which drives more traffic and leads to your business. Depending on which social channels you post on, (Pinterest, we’re looking at you), your content can also continue to pop up in news feeds over time. Producing content is the opposite of a vicious cycle—a virtuous cycle, perhaps.
2. Content is King from a UX and SEO Standpoint
Content is one of the best ways to make customers feel better about your company. Great content shows any site visitors that you know what you’re talking about—giving you an air of authority. Excellent content also answers a question these people search for—something they’ll be grateful for. In turn, this provides a better user experience on your website too. Why? Because users don’t’ feel frustrated or annoyed when they spend time clicking through to your site only to walk away without an answer.
Content creates positive impressions that translate into leads and loyal customers. Great content and website copy are crucial parts of your SEO strategy and improving them can help you climb in the rankings higher than ever before.
3. Your Competitors Are Doing It
Because 70% of businesses actively invest in content marketing, it’s very likely your competitors spend money on this channel. In order to keep up and outpace competitors, you need to start investing in content marketing and/or up your spend ASAP!
Normally, we wouldn’t encourage you to cave into peer pressure. Although, when it comes to content you need to jump on the bandwagon. If you don’t also produce great content, you will lose your place in Google rankings and social media feeds. Content marketing will always be one area where standing still isn’t good enough. Standing still means falling behind.
If you don’t know where to start, then tune into the competition. Conduct an SEO audit for a list of relevant content ideas that will help you outrank your competitors and reach people interested in these topics.
4. Content Takes Time to Take Effect
Website content takes a solid six to 12 months to fully index in search results and pull its SEO weight on Google and search engines. Set the right expectations and content marketing budget from the get-go. One or two blogs will not land you on the front page of Google. WE REPEAT: one month-worth or a few blog posts will not improve your organic search results. You need to invest more in content marketing to give this tactic enough time to take root and flourish. If you only have the budget for a few months or a few pieces of content, then wait until you can make a more sizable investment over the course of a year. Otherwise, you will actually waste money.
Here is how much content you need to budget for to improve your conversions, exposure, and market share.
- Ideally, you want to post on social media at least three times per week per channel.
- If you’re investing in social media marketing, then please use each channel to its fullest. For example, if you have an Instagram Business account, you need to use the organic feed, Stories, IGTV, and Reels. We always advise you start with one channel at a time and do it right! It’s much better than a watered-down strategy across multiple channels.
- You should publish at least one blog per month. Consistency is key with search engine algorithms. Don’t publish sporadically. Publish regularly no matter how many blog posts you budget. One blog per week is a fantastic goal to shoot for.
- With each blog post, produce a video component. Video is the number one preferred form of content. That number is only increasing. And don’t forget to cross-promote your content! Promote it more than once too. Bring it up over the course of a year or from year to year. Evergreen content never goes out of style.
5. Content Will Give You a Return on Your Investment
At the end of the day, the bottom line is that content is great for your bottom line. So, what is the biggest reason to spend more on content in 2021? Three beautiful letters: ROI.
Inbound leads are over 8 times more likely to close a sale than outbound leads. That is an incredible conversion rate that you don’t want to pass up! Even updating the content you already have is money well spent. In one survey, 51% of companies said updating old content was the most efficient tactic they implemented. Make this a practice you do annually to refresh old content, make the most of what you have, and continue to spend your content marketing budget wisely.
How Much You Should Budget For Content Marketing in 2021
Determining a marketing budget can be one of the most difficult parts of owning a business. You need to budget for big-ticket items like website design, branding, and the hard costs of running your business. You also need to reserve funds for ongoing marketing must-haves like website maintenance and content. That’s why it’s no surprise when our clients ask us, “How much should I spend on content marketing in particular?”, and “Should I be spending more on content?”
Our answer? That depends, and probably more than you did last year. Here’s how to come up with the magic number for your brand.
How to Make a Content Marketing Budget
According to one Hubspot survey, companies spend 46% of their budgets on content creation. So how much should you spend on your business’s content? First, start with your entire digital marketing budget.
For small businesses (those that bring in less than $5 million per year), the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends you spend 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue on marketing—all the way up to 10 to 12 percent. These percentages may seem high, but things like marketing and content are essential if you want to grow your business or simply maintain your current market position.
Once you have your overall annual marketing budget, determine how much of that budget to spend on content—per channel. At this stage, it’s helpful to think about your company’s goals, challenges, and target demographic. Where will you get the most bang for your buck? If you’re starting from scratch, you may want to evenly divvy up your content marketing dollars and experiment for the first six to 12 months to see what works best. You can also conduct a competitive analysis via an SEO audit to see how other businesses allocate their marketing spends. This may give you a better idea of how you can use your marketing budget on content to grow your business.
Lastly, don’t forget to factor in (wo)man power to your content marketing budget. Decide whether you need to hire a digital agency or an employee to achieve your goals, and set money aside for that.
No matter what you decide to spend on your content marketing, invest enough for a long enough period of time to make it worth it. In short, don’t spend $500 on blogs for one month, then abandon that tactic. SEO blog posts and social media and video content are a long game. You need to spend at least six to 12 months on a content marketing plan to see results.
There are many reasons to spend more on content in 2021. Content and inbound marketing are effective tools to which every company should devote a portion of its marketing budget. However, if you are still feeling unsure about how much to spend and if it’s worth it, Witty Kitty is happy to help! Contact us to improve your content strategy today—starting with a free consultation.