Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing Inc

“Working back from impact enables you to think not only about how much something costs, but also what it is worth.”

A proper budget will be built relative to expected outcome. When you are thinking about your content marketing strategy overall, you have to map what you’re doing in content to the revenue impact that content is going to have. Working back from impact enables you to think not only about how much something costs, but also what it is worth. Determining what it is worth also relates to an appropriate budget allocation. You’re not necessarily determining what channels you will be using at this point, but you are deciding what you’re willing to spend to achieve an outcome.

Working back from expected outcomes in this way is a good approach to creating a content budget, not only for deciding what you need in the way of budget, but also because it helps justify the spend to a manager or CFO.

Then as the plan moves forward, you have metrics that can help you see if you are achieving the outcomes you are looking for. It can be difficult to measure content effectiveness because most content is not a direct response in which you see immediate action. Identifying influence and attribution to specific content is also difficult. However, if you understand what that next step should be to move an audience toward the outcome you are looking for, you can measure that.

Measurement is an important part of budget allocation adjustments as you execute your plan. If you see that something is working, you need to have the flexibility to double down on it. You should be asking yourself how much more you can do to sustain those results.

On the other side of the equation, you also have to be willing to look at things that aren’t working and pull the plug. Any good manager or CFO will want to see responsibility on both sides of the spending equation. There’s an opportunity cost to not cutting budget on things that are failing. There’s also an opportunity cost to not increasing funding on things that are working and can scale.

This is an excerpt from 7 Experts on Using the Content Lifecycle to Maximize Content ROI. The eBook was generously sponsored by Aprimo.