The costs of content creation are usually allocated to search engine optimization (SEO). After all, now that "content marketing" is officially hot again due to the intersection of social media and SEO, generally the SEO teams and their supervisors and often the VP of marketing (wearing an SEO/social media hat) determine what gets written about and how much content should be written. However, great content doesn't only empower SEO and social media. When properly managed, great content also empowers your paid search campaign.
This week alone, the topic of the importance of great content and investment in content came up within our clients and in a discussion with a former colleague of mine, Stacey (Roarty) London at TextBroker. Stacey postulated that the vast majority of online marketers were significantly under-investing in content both on the SEO/social and search engine marketing (SEM) sides of their marketing initiatives. The conversation turned to the potential need for a "rule of thumb" for investment levels in content creation. After discussing that concept with her team, Stacey proposed a 50-15 rule. Fifty percent of SEO investment should be in content creation and 15 percent of SEM budget should be allocated to content creation. As you might expect, I greeted the idea of a one-size-fits-all rule of thumb with skepticism, a host of caveats, and conditions. However, because so many marketers and advertisers under-invest in content, I found myself thinking about all the reasons why those under-investing in content should consider ramping up that investment and how a rule-of-thumb might help them.
Below, I'll cover primarily pay per click (PPC)-specific reasons to invest more in content creation, but as you might imagine, the same content investment can benefit both the paid and organic/social sides of the online marketing initiatives. Here are my five reasons and the rationales behind those reasons:
Each business is different and therefore its online marketing strategy is different as well. So, you'll have to evaluate the best investment levels for content creation for your specific business and where you are in the content creation lifecycle. Yet, when it comes to getting senior management to approve new budget, sometimes a rule of thumb gets you budget, other times even the most intelligent presentation as to the value of the investment of incremental budget alone might fall on deaf ears. So, feel free to use the 50-15 content investment rule of thumb or create your own.
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Kevin Lee, Didit cofounder and executive chairman, has been an acknowledged search engine marketing expert since 1995. His years of SEM expertise provide the foundation for Didit's proprietary Maestro search campaign technology. The company's unparalleled results, custom strategies, and client growth have earned it recognition not only among marketers but also as part of the 2007 Inc 500 (No. 137) as well as three-time Deloitte's Fast 500 placement. Kevin's latest book, "Search Engine Advertising" has been widely praised.
Industry leadership includes being a founding board member of SEMPO and its first elected chairman. "The Wall St. Journal," "BusinessWeek," "The New York Times," Bloomberg, CNET, "USA Today," "San Jose Mercury News," and other press quote Kevin regularly. Kevin lectures at leading industry conferences, plus New York, Columbia, Fordham, and Pace universities. Kevin earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management in 1992 and lives in Manhattan with his wife, a New York psychologist and children.