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The Business Case for Content Marketing

SEO Blog
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Every marketing exec knows that simply bringing ideas to the C-Suite gets you nowhere. But bringing a sound business case gets results. To help you prove that your content marketing plan deserves resources, I’ve outlined the 3 points your business case needs to hit below. Afterwards, I elaborate on each point, helping you to make your case as effectively as possible.

Here’s are the three areas your business case must cover:

  • The resources your content marketing plan requires
  • The benefits your plan will yield
  • The alternatives you’ve considered

As I expand on these areas, remember that your content marketing business case must be tight and to the point—it’s a summary, not a seminar.

Content Marketing Resource Requirements

Your CMO needs to know how much of your company resources a new content marketing project will require. Provide the following:

  • Cost. Quarterly and yearly spends, including outside agency fees, internal team member time, new hires, and necessary tools or software.
  • Team Member Time. How many team members—including the project lead, editorial team, and web development—will devote all or part of their schedule to your content marketing plan?
  • New Hires. Will you hire internal writers, editors, SEO experts, web developers, or graphic designers?
  • Time to Launch. Can you start tomorrow? Next quarter? What resources do you need in the meantime?
  • Project Duration. How long will your content marketing project continue? How long before your results are reviewed?

Once you’ve counted the costs above, shift your focus to the benefits.

The Core Benefits of Content Marketing

Content marketing provides ROI both tangibly and intangibly by:

Increasing Qualified Leads

Ranking for organic search results brings more potential customers to your site as long as you’ve carefully chosen your keywords and written content that responds precisely to the search intent behind each keyword. If you come to your CMO prepared with the amount of monthly traffic you think the blog will get in the first two years, the conversion rate, and the total number of leads, you’ll impress them.

Improving Brand Recognition

When you regularly post quality thought leadership content that discusses the pain points of your customers, more readers will come to your site seeking solutions. As traffic and conversion rates increase, market share can also rise. For example, in a SaaS business, a company could increase their market share by 5% within the first two years of running a targeted thought leadership campaign.

Opening New Marketing Channels

You’re spending time and resources crafting expert level content for your blog, so don’t just keep that content to one location. Instead, share the fruits of your labor on social media and via email marketing campaigns to further engage your audience. Perhaps your firm has established a goal of increasing revenue by 30%. With that goal in mind, you can expand your marketing channels and track how revenue changes in response.

Cementing a Lasting Marketing Foundation

The content you post will generate a ripple effect that will spread out over years. As such, your firm will need to develop a strategy to capitalize on the compounding nature of traffic and ensure consistent posting for the future. For example, a firm that has been only posting intermittently might see a 60% increase in traffic over the first 6 months of publishing thought leadership content twice weekly—and this number will only continue to compound in the next 2-5 years.

Comparing Marketing Alternatives by ROI

To conclude that your content marketing initiative will be the most worthwhile use of company resources, you need to weigh it against alternatives. Ideally, you’d come to the discussion with a robust cost-benefit analysis to back up each option, but summarize the results in a chart like the one below to finish your business case.

Online Advertising (Pay-per-click) Print Advertising
Cost Benefit Cost Benefit
Number of placements ($X/Quarter/Year)Design firm fees


Team member time

New team members

Placement reach (Impressions→Clicks)Lead Gen



(Leads→ Rev/Q/Y)

Number of placements ($X/Quarter/Year)Design firm fees


Team member time

New team members

Placement reach (Spots→Contacts)Lead Gen




If you’re already pursuing alternative marketing strategies, use existing information to project the expected return from increasing resources in that channel. Contrast this with the expected return from the same resources dedicated to content marketing. When it’s complete, your content marketing business case should look like this:

Sample Content Marketing Business Case

Looking for a template to start writing your content marketing business case? Feel free to use the sample below:

Content Marketing Business Case

Write a 1-2 sentence summary describing the purpose and method of content marketing.

Project Resource Requirements

Resource Quarter Year
White Glove Thought Leadership Service $30,000 $120,000
Team Members:
Project Lead
20 hrs. 80 hrs.
New Hires None needed None needed
Total: $45,000 $180,000
Start Date: Q3 2020
Duration: 12 months with renewal option

Expected Return on Investment

Benefit Quarter Year 5 Years
Organic search traffic +20% +80% +400%
All traffic +15% +60% +300%
Leads from website +9 +36 +180
Leads from email +2 +8 +40
Leads from LinkedIn +4 +20 +100
Avg. $/Lead $3,400
Revenue Goal $51,000 $204,000 $1,020,000

Project Alternatives

Content Marketing Online Advertising Print Advertising
Cost: $180k Cost: $180k Cost: $180k
Return: $204k Return: $195k Return: ?

Plan of Action

Write 3-5 sentences describing how and when you will implement your content marketing plan.

With your business case planned and prepared for your next meeting, the only thing left to do is get ready to put your content marketing plan in motion. Our firm provides the strategy, goals, projections, plans, and implementation of content marketing projects for dozens of companies every year. If you need help, contact us today.

Evan Bailyn

Evan Bailyn is a best-selling author and award-winning speaker on the subjects of SEO and thought leadership. Contact Evan here.