Many people mistakenly use the phrases Content Strategy and Content Marketing interchangeably. These two areas of business are actually separate, and require different skills and practices. It’s crucial to understand the differences between the two, and how when combined together they will each drive business growth. 

To successfully implement both a Content Strategy and a Content Marketing plan requires a proper budget of time and money. When executed properly these will drive business growth and be profitable for the business. So it’s critical to get buy-in and support for implementing each. 

How do you get decision makers on board?

Start small and validate.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time and money to validate the results of content. Lean Startup methodology teaches us the concept of a minimum viable product (MVP). You need to come up with a lightweight and inexpensive way to test your plan. You risk losing a lot of time and money if you start out with a big project. Start small instead to find ways that can validate and quantify what actually works for your business. 

You’re making long term investment.

Content you generate can still drive traffic and revenue many years from now. It’s important that you invest in high quality content that will not become quickly outdated. So when making decisions on developing new content you want to factor in the long term gains that can be achieved. 

Consider this sustainable marketing.

Your combined Content Marketing and Content Strategy execution needs to be profitable. And with the right expertise this is a problem that’s easy to solve. You just need enough resources allocated to ensure the successful execution of the entire plan. The budget should include enough to reach completion. If you don’t actually publish and promote your content, then you won’t see the full return. 

Content Marketing is more than just the latest Hot Trend.

No one wants to miss out on a hot trend. When something is starting to take off is the time you want to be onboard. Content Marketing has become the new big thing for a reason. The time is right now, and there’s a huge opportunity cost to delaying action. 

On average, companies invest about 10 percent of their revenue in marketing. This is an area where smart decision makers know they have to make a substantial investment. Instead of saving money or adding some other benefit, marketing goes straight to the bottom line. So the better your marketing, the higher the ROI. A comprehensive Content Marketing plan built on a solid Content Strategy is simply better marketing.  

Calculate the ROI, and then build a model that works.

Showing hard numbers will motivate any decision maker. You need to find ways to track how any “costs” can be tied to revenue growth. It helps to use technology and systems for keeping track of all the data.  

The key three factors to track are:

1) How much is a new customer worth to the business. LTV – Lifetime Value 

2) What converted them into a paying customer. CTA – Call to Action

3) How much it cost to get them into that funnel. CAC – Customer Acquisition Cost

If the CAC is lower than the LTV, then your efforts are profitable and should be scaled up. It should just be common sense, and an easy decision to make, when done right. 

What it comes down to is that decision makers simply need all the information to choose wisely. Content Strategy and Content a Marketing are both integral in the successful growth of modern businesses. Having a full understanding of each gives you a competitive advantage. 

Michael Riley is a serial entrepreneur that also writes about tech and startups. He is co-founder of Boxter and previously founded the startup Simplpost. He is active in the local community as an organizer for TechGirlz, Philly Startup Leaders, and also founder of PhillyStartupTech.org. Follow him on Twitter: @itsatechworld