Budgeting for Content Marketing

At yesterday’s MITX event, Grow Your Customer Relationships With Branded Content, Carissa Caramanis O’Brien, President at Red Box Communications, Eric Oliver, Director of Digital Brand Communications at Converse, and Matt Drinkwater, Senior Director at Yahoo!, discussed various aspects of content marketing. They all shared some great examples, which lead to the obvious questions: how much does it cost and how can I increase my budget YOY?

Before trying to duplicate their tips and tricks in your organization, Marketers must recognize that successful content marketing requires a mental shift, including how you think of budgeting. For example, in order to be successful in this new world, Marketers must think in terms of:

  • Ongoing programs, not campaigns.
  • Objectively valuable content, not copy.
  • A content strategy, not channels like Facebook or Twitter.
  • MPDs, not budget dollars.

MPDs are the number of minutes per day that stakeholders are investing or participating in content marketing. Ironically, many Marketers are solely focused externally on their customers’ “engagement” while internally they only think in terms of a budget number.

Marketers should instead think in terms of MPDs because changing behavior is both the most difficult part of any new process, and the key to long-term success. I have found that stakeholders investing as few as 15 MPDs can create a successful content marketing program. While securing a budget for the next year will ensure activity, a mental and behavioral shift is required to:

  • Take advantage of expertise across the organization.
  • Infuse your culture with the external reality.
  • Make content marketing a core competency.

The best part about using MPDs as currency in your organization is that as stakeholders get more comfortable participating, they will deliver more content, interactions, and value in that same amount of time. This allows your program to grow without asking for more.

Leave the budget conversations for the media buyers; success in content marketing is measured in MPDs.

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