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The hidden costs of content marketing
The hidden costs of content marketing

While the vast majority of marketers are using content marketing, it is not a zero-cost strategy and can have hidden costs that may add up to more than you might think. Before diving into the content marketing rollercoaster, it’s worth taking some time to consider what you will actually need to deliver successful and engaging content to sell your product or service. 

According to marketing platform Percolate, a business’s advertising budget can be divided into two parts – working spend and non-working spend. 

Working spend is used to describe the costs of getting your message out, such as social media posts, email marketing campaigns and television, radio or print ads. 

Non-working spend refers to the costs associated with creating this content and measuring its effectiveness. This can include employees, tech, legal, assets and design. Percolate says the average advertising budget allocates 40 per cent to non-working spend, while the most efficient advertising budgets allocate 24 per cent to non-working spend.

Here are eight hidden costs of content marketing that may be holding you back from spreading your message effectively:

Time

Creating content marketing requires you allocate time for staff to create the content and disseminate it through the desired platforms. 

Moreover, content marketing is not a one-off strategy – you need to plan content for each stage of the customer journey. The customer journey is a process the consumer goes through before buying your product or service. These steps include: Awareness, Consideration, Acquisition, Service and Loyalty. 

At each step, you need to encourage the consumer to stay on track to complete the journey – buy the product, grow loyalty for your brand and share their experience with friends. 

Committing to a regular publishing schedule is one of the best ways to keep your audience engaged with your brand. Using an editorial calendar can be an effective way to create a more efficient workflow. Editorial calendars can help you define and control the process of creating content, from idea through writing and publication. 

There are plenty of templates for editorial calendars online to help you to collaborate, schedule and automate your content marketing and social media. CoSchedule is a great example.

Training

Not everyone is a marketing whiz, and you may need to train your employees to create compelling content that showcases your brand and engages with the audience. Other options include hiring an agency to create content, which has its own costs. 

Design 

Coming up with some snappy copywriting may be the most important part of content marketing, but time and resources – computer applications, trained employees – are also needed to make this content look good. 

You may need to train an employee or hire a designer and ensure your tech is updated and able to create an attractive content marketing package.  

Images

Sourcing the right images for your content is a crucial decision that can either draw the customer in or turn them off. If you can invest in good quality images with an editorial angle, you will benefit from great impact and highger recall. Taking your own photographs is another option. If you do not have access to or can’t afford a photographer, there are plenty of editorial and stock photo sites that offer images, graphics and illustrations on just about every topic imaginable. Go for local sources such as AAP One for Australian and New Zealand image content, or international ones such as  AP, Reuters, Press Association, iStock, Shutterstock or Adobe. There are also free image sites such as pexels, pixabay and unsplash.

Aggregating social

Social network aggregation is the process of collecting content from multiple social network services, such as Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitch, YouTube, etc. into one unified presentation. The task is often performed by a social network aggregator such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck that pulls together information into a single location, or helps a user consolidate multiple social networking profiles into one profile. This is a necessary step to ensure you are presenting a unified and consistent brand to your consumers.

Preparing content 

This step includes proofreading the content before you send it out, utilising SEO to improve rankings, drive traffic and increase awareness in search engines. You may also need to show your content to legal teams before it goes out to ensure you don’t accidentally get into hot water. 

Promoting content 

This is the job of the marketing team and involves getting the content out with the widest reach possible in front of consumers through mediums such as social, electronic newsletters, blogs and online articles. Large organic social reach is getting harder and harder to get so for quicker and more targeted results you may want to sponsor posts on social media and promote your content hub with advertising on the most popular channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.

Analysing results

Analytics can help you find out whether all that hard work has paid off – or if you need to change your strategy. Analytics can be broken down into categories such as consumption metrics, sharing metrics, lead metrics and sales metrics, and can help you find out how many people are consuming your content, which channels they are using and how often they are being shared. It’s worthwhile understanding content marketing metrics to make sure your strategy is on track!

Mapping the customer’s journey. Source: customerthink.com

Learn about how AAP Publish can help you keep on top of your content marketing costs.

AAP Publish is way more than just a content management system. Not only does it have social media built into its very fabric, it will save you time at nearly every point of the publishing cycle. You'll rejoice at the simplicity of Publish, whether you're scheduling articles and social posts, collaborating with your team, sourcing images, embedding social... the list goes on. Check out the video below and sign up for a demo today.

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