The phrase “less is more” applies to many situations in life — but not when building your business case for content marketing. Less content means fewer leads, fewer website clicks, less engagement, less search traffic, and — ultimately, less success.

When it comes to your content marketing planning and budget, your leadership needs to know that “more is more.” More leads, more engagement, and more customers equal more success.

Consistent development of meaningful, quality content will help your organization reach and exceed your long-term goals sustainably. Here’s everything you need to know to make a business case for content marketing.

Critical concepts for business case

Content Marketing Business Case Glossary Terms

Before we get more in-depth, let’s quickly define a few terms to make sure we are all on the same page:

  • Brand awareness: The ability of customers and potential customers to recognize and associate the content and other offerings your organization provides.
  • Business case: A value proposition intended to convince a decision-maker to pursue a particular course of action.
  • Content: A message or thought expressed through a variety of mediums. For our discussions, we’ll focus on digital content.
  • Content marketing: A marketing approach that delivers consistently valuable content intended to attract and retain defined audiences. Rather than focusing solely on products and services, content marketers focus on providing helpful content.
  • Customer acquisition cost: A critical measurement of the amount of money an organization spends to obtain a new customer.
  • Customer journey: The defined path and touchpoints your organization provides to potential customers during their decision-making process regarding your products or services.
  • Engagement: A measurement of the way customers or potential customers interact with your digital content.
  • Lead generation: The strategies, tactics, and tools associated with locating potential customers and potentially moving them into your marketing funnel.
  • Marketing funnel: The visualization of the stages of a customer’s interactions and decisions, organized from initial interactions to specific decisions related to a product or service.

Stat: Ninety-seven percent of businesses say they’ve generated positive results with content marketing.

How Content Marketing Ties into Your Overall Business Objectives

Ninety-seven percent of businesses say they’ve generated positive results with content marketing. But your content marketing is only valuable if it achieves tangible objectives for your business.

Here’s how content marketing aligns with and drives your overall business objectives:

  • Increasing brand awareness: Consistently producing valuable and relevant content that connects with your target audience strengthens your brand’s presence online.
  • Driving organic traffic: High-quality content is a magnet for organic website traffic. When you attract more visitors to your site, you increase the chances of leads and conversions.
  • Lead generation: Through content, you capture leads by offering valuable resources such as eBooks, webinars, or gated content in exchange for contact information. Content marketing also nurtures leads through the marketing funnel.
  • Customer acquisition: Informative and persuasive content helps potential customers understand the value of your products or services. That leads to conversions.
  • Building trust and credibility: Providing valuable insights and solutions earns the trust of your audience. Which makes it easier to convert them into loyal customers.
  • Customer retention: Regularly engaging with your audience keeps your customers informed and connected to your brand.-
  • Data-driven insights: Content marketing provides valuable data and insights about your audience’s preferences and behaviors. Those insights will ensure your efforts align with your objectives. Here are some of the top KPIs to track.

Don’t sleep on pairing content marketing with other digital strategies for even greater results.

3 considerations before you build your content business case

3 Considerations Before You Build Your Case

The reasons you invest in particular content may vary, but a few considerations apply to most content discussions. These include:

1. Audience

You must define your target audience before building a content marketing business case. The definition of your audience — including demographics and psychographics — will allow you to better determine the most effective types of content your organization should create and how to distribute them. Because to be successful, you must create content that engages your target audience.

2. SEO value

Search functionalities are ubiquitous across many platforms and delivery methods. When developing content for any platform, discussions about the findability of the content should be prominent. Focus on the most important SEO strategies and tactics to be successful.

The old adage about a tree falling in the woods with nobody around is true. Specifically, if a piece of content drops in a sea of digital information and nobody can find it, does it really exist?

Keep an eye on developing SEO trends and changes to Google’s algorithm (like its new SGE) to ensure your content aligns with the most prominent SEO factors. 

3. Organic vs. paid distribution

When considering organic vs. paid marketing, remember how your organization organizes its content distribution. You may have different paths of delivery to intended audiences based on the types of content being developed, the delivery platforms, and the intended customer journey. How you deliver your content will affect how you create it.

The main obstacle for many marketers is convincing executives to invest in content in ways that will yield meaningful long-term results.

How to Get Executive Buy-In

The main obstacle for many marketers is convincing executives to invest in content in ways that will yield meaningful long-term results.

Yes, that seasonal ad campaign will probably generate some leads over the next few weeks — but then what?

Before you start building a content marketing business case, go through these strategies to see which ones most align with your goals. That will give you the best chance to secure executive buy-in.

  • Data-backed evidence: One of the most important ways you can demonstrate content marketing’s impact on a business is data. Do everything you can to weave in eye-catching statistics highlighting the potential for increased ROI and conversions. You can highlight the fact that content marketing often delivers a higher ROI than traditional advertising
  • Alignment with your business’s mission: Clearly communicate how your content marketing strategy would align with your brand’s overall mission. Show how it would work in service of achieving it.
  • Content strategy: Present a comprehensive plan that outlines the target audiences, types of content, and distribution channels. If you need help, use our guide on developing a high-performing content marketing strategy.
  • Case Studies: If you can, share success stories from companies that have achieved significant results through content marketing. Connect their success to how you plan to implement a similar strategy. Here are some of our case studies for reference. 
  • Budget allocation: Provide a detailed breakdown of the budget costs, explain how it will be allocated, and project potential returns. And always make sure that your budget is aligned with your overall marketing goals
  • Risk mitigation: Think of any potential concerns or objections beforehand. Be ready with strong answers that anticipate those concerns and turn them to your advantage.

Now that you’ve done all that prep work, it’s time to make your case.

How to Make a Compelling Content Marketing Business Case

You’ll find everything you need to build a business case for content marketing here. But don’t cannonball into the content development waters — tiptoe. Remember that it’s up to you to do sufficient marketing planning to determine the audiences, objectives, and desired goals of your marketing efforts. Once you do this, you can dive into platform-specific information related to your strategy.

Whereas the items listed in the previous section apply to almost all content you develop, the content below requires marketers to make deliberate decisions that are closely related to the platforms in question.

Pick and choose from the statistics below to make a persuasive business case for content marketing. Show decision-makers where their target audience is hanging out and the best ways to reach them through high-quality content. Doing so can help you get the buy-in — and content budget — you seek.

Social media content

Social media content

Social media content includes text, images, short-form videos, GIFs, and other easily consumable content developed for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other similar sites and apps.

Why should your organization invest in social media content?

Simply put, there is no other place where you can distribute content and expect others to help amplify it for you than social media. Although algorithms can be fickle and not spread your content as widely as you might like, this can be remedied by developing content that aligns with what people want and what algorithms favor.

If your content marketing strategy is focused and deliberate, you will deliver content users actually want to share. In many ways, social media is a marketer’s dream.

Quick facts about social media content to help make your business case:

  • In 2023, there are estimated to be 4.89 billion total social media users worldwide. (Sprout Social)
  • The amount of time internet users spend on social media is now higher than ever — 151 minutes per day. (Sprout Social)
  • TikTok is the fastest-growing platform, with a staggering 100 percent user growth rate between 2020 and 2022. (Sprout Social)
  • Facebook is the most-used platform by marketers worldwide (90 percent). Instagram sits in second place (79 percent). (Sprout Social)
  • Social media is the highest ROI marketing channel. (Hubspot)
  • Facebook is the most used social media platform in the world. Youtube is a close second. (Forbes)
  • The average person spends 145 minutes on social media every day. (Forbes)

Podcast content

Podcast content marketing can be defined as the development and distribution of audio files intended to entertain, influence, or inform. Podcasts are often hosted on a variety of sites where they can be streamed over the internet or downloaded and listened to later. Popular podcast platforms include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Why should your organization invest in podcast content?

Podcasts typically include content your audience or potential audience seeks out. Because users want specific content, many niche opportunities exist to develop podcasts or collaborate with hosts or distributors.

Likewise, people often have emotional or intellectual attachments or affinities to the hosts of the podcasts they listen to. This increases trust and, ultimately, the likelihood that your brand could gain favor with listeners if the podcast hosts speak positively of your organization. Creating a great business podcast requires work but can pay huge dividends when done well. Learn how to craft great business podcasts here.

Quick facts about podcast content to help make your business case:

  • There are over 464 million podcast listeners worldwide, which is projected to reach 504.9 million by 2024. (Backlinko)
  • The average listener spends a whopping 7 hours per week on their podcast app. (Backlinko)
  • Nearly 3 in 4 podcast listeners tune in to learn something new. Almost the same amount listens to podcasts to be entertained. (Edison Research)
  • 1 in 4 Americans ages 12 and up listen to a podcast at least once a week. (Buzzsprout)
  • Nearly half of podcast listening occurs at home, while 28 percent of U.S. listeners consume podcasts while they drive. (Buzzsprout)
  • More Americans listen to podcasts each week (80 million) than have Netflix accounts (69 million). (Edison Research)
  • Roughly 2 in 5 podcast listeners consume between 1-3 podcasts each week. Nearly 1 in 5 podcast listeners consume 11 or more podcasts per week. (Edison Research)
  • Podcast listeners are often active social media users, making cross-promotion easier. Nearly two-thirds of weekly podcast listeners visit Facebook and Instagram daily. Likewise, roughly half of weekly podcast listeners visit TikTok daily. (NuVoodoo)

Email content

Email content

Email content is sent to a distribution list of subscribers or other potentially interested parties. While it can focus on several items, most messages are related to welcoming customers, promoting products or services, inviting subscribers to read blog content, rewarding and encouraging brand loyalty, sharing testimonials, inviting survey responses, or requesting feedback.

Why should your organization invest in email content?

Think of the last time you went an entire day without checking your email (work or personal). It’s nearly impossible. Email is everywhere. Not only that, email has been around for a long time compared to social media or podcasts. Because of that longevity, marketers have optimized email campaigns to have one of the best ROI’s in marketing, at $36 for every $1 spent

Email provides marketers with multiple opportunities to reach current and potential customers. It’s highly trackable as well. If you’re attempting to carry your target audience through a customer journey, there are a ton of email tools you can use to monitor their behaviors. Regardless of what part of the funnel your email recipients find themselves in, the data that email services provide will help you understand how to improve your efforts to foster engagement and build an effective campaign.

Quick facts about email content to help make your business case:

  • The average open rate for emails from all industries is roughly 21 percent. Certain sectors fare better than others. For example, emails related to government. (29 percent), hobbies (28 percent), and religion (27 percent) all have open rates higher than the average (Mailchimp)
  • Roughly 4 billion people use email daily. This amount continues to grow rapidly. By 2025, it is expected that 4.6 billion people will use email daily. (Statista)
  • People send and receive more than 300 billion emails daily. (Statista)
  • 77 percent of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months. (Hubspot)
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 marketers use emails to distribute content. (Content Marketing Institute)

Website content

From a marketing perspective, website content includes all the words, articles, descriptions, and other information published on a web page that is typically managed and operated by the sponsoring organization.

Why should your organization invest in website content?

Publishing content on social media is equivalent to building a house on rented land (the content is yours, but the platform is not). Publishing website content is building your home on land you own. That’s why web content should be a top priority for your organization.

A website is often the central hub of the majority of the content you develop. Even though you might also create social media, email, or podcast content, the purpose of all that content is often to drive traffic to your website. Why? So you can control the customer journey from there, nurture relationships, and get people deeper into the marketing funnel.

Simply put, your website should be the foundation of your content marketing efforts. And when it comes to content, blogs and long-form content are the most helpful building blocks to use for this foundation.

Quick facts about website content to help make your business case:

  • 47 percent of users won’t wait longer than two seconds for a website to load. (Forbes)
  • A staggering 93 percent of global traffic comes from Google. (Forbes)
  • For every $1 an organization spends on UX design for its website, it sees $100 in return, on average. (Forrester)
  • Organizations that maintain a blog receive 67 percent more leads each month. (Demand Metric)
  • Blog articles are the number one asset B2B marketers create (at 89 percent). (CMI)

SMS content

SMS content

SMS content is delivered by text message to customers and potential customers. It’s a direct marketing form (like email content). Most often, SMS content includes news, promotions, and other updates.

Why should your organization invest in SMS content?

SMS content is “low-risk, high-reward.” The effort needed to develop it is minimal, but it can yield big results. Although brands often don’t consider SMS content development a high priority, data suggests they should.

A closer look at the SMS marketing data shows that SMS marketing is cost-effective, efficient at providing real-time updates, boasts exceptionally high open rates, and has proven its ability to help close deals.

Quick facts about SMS content to help make your business case:

  • 90 percent of SMS are read within the first three minutes of delivery. (SMS Country)
  • 91 percent of customers willingly opt-in to receive promotional SMS from brands. (SMS Country)
  • SMS is the most preferred channel for consumers to receive brand updates. (SMS Country)
  • Only 39 percent of businesses are currently using SMS marketing. (SMS Country)

YouTube content

Video content is essential — but not all video content should be YouTube content. Content developed for this platform should be searchable, actionable, and provide value to the consumer. The best YouTube content often is evergreen and serialized.

Why should your organization invest in YouTube content?

YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine (right behind Google, which owns YouTube). It’s also the second most-used social platform. Because of that, the opportunity to reach audiences is immense.

Although building up a subscriber base on YouTube helps push content to interested individuals, having users pull your content through search is the most valuable aspect of this platform. Just make sure you develop a YouTube strategy before you develop content to see success.

Quick facts about YouTube content to help make your business case:

  • YouTube has more than 2.70 billion active users in 2024. (DemandSage)
  • 52 percent of internet users access YouTube at least once a month (DemandSage)
  • YouTube is the second biggest social media in the world (DemandSage)
  • 87.7 percent of all YouTube views come from a mobile device (DemandSage)

bigger content marketing picture in mind

Always Keep the Bigger Content Marketing Picture in Mind

There are hundreds of reasons to invest your brand’s time and resources into developing meaningful, substantial content that builds organic traffic and engagement.

Help your executives keep sight of the bigger picture. Share small content wins along the way, but make sure all your company’s decision-makers remember that investing in organic content is a long-term strategy that can pay huge dividends for patient organizations.

Talk to a content specialist today about creating a content strategy that uses data points and SEO research to attract and convert.