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Big budgets are synonymous with paid media programs, while earned (read: social) teams are famously underfunded. Well, luckily for us—the "merry band of social media upstarts"—this is changing in lots of companies. How can you swing the pendulum of spend in your company in your direction? Here are five approaches to use to make your case to your CMO/CFO:
1. Anchor your request with irrefutable market data that confirms the need to shift investment to social media and community-driven content for your content supply chain. The data to support this is everywhere. The most recent evidence? It's clear the "world's content is increasingly findable, shareable and tagged," says Mary Meeker of KPCB. This is one of her main insights in her just-released annual industry bellwether "Internet Trends". Tell them that your team has the skills to socialize your content by adding keywords, orchestrating engaging blogs, launching effective campaigns on Twitter and Slideshare, and that's just the beginning….
2. Demonstrate point #1 with measurable results. Prove that content (whitepapers, videos, blogs) titled, tagged and laden with smart keywords (high in global search volume) generates significantly higher traffic to your webpages. Have your SEO experts recommend terms to use in titles, abstracts, body copy and tags that rank high in global search volume. Set up a test case to show the before and after results of the insertion of keywords.
3. Demonstrate that content promoted via multi-channel social and community tactics, including blogs, tweets and Google+ achieves reach, engagement and conversion far beyond what is possible with traditional push campaigns. Ah, then the word "attribution" rears its head—and the conversations generally bog down. Attribution is simply how to properly assign credit to the multiple touch points in a customer journey that leads to a sale—simple to define, hard to achieve. See the Forrester Research chart below that shows that nearly half of digital marketers use no form of attribution. The Holy Grail is to provide attribution all along the customer journey, separating your pull marketing tactics from the traditional push methods. So, in the meantime, pilot this approach with data you CAN find—Omniture data, tracking links, etc., until your systems are robust enough to support it.
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Source: Forrester Research Interactive Marketing Executive Panel survey, Q2, 2012: Measurement is a Digital Media Buyer's Best Friend.
4. Document the positive effects of social and community for the most common use cases for your marketing teams: campaigns, events, demand gen webcasts, or whatever might be most applicable. Create helpful case studies where you can measure the uptick relatively easily (none of it's a cakewalk!). Also, choose your case studies strategically based on the interests of your decision-makers and provide a playbook on how to replicate your results. See some examples of common use cases in the diagram below.
5. Commit to training the broader marketing organization on how to accelerate their programs with social and community tactics. Create checklists, how-tos and case studies that distribute this skill set, ramping up your marketing team's adoption of these crucial skills. See a snapshot below of the pre-launch, at launch and post-launch checklists my team created for our colleagues. Importantly, ask you CMO to help you make this curriculum a priority for others. Everyone is very busy, so it's understandably difficult to get people to stop for training. Lastly, provide colleagues with connections into groups that promote smart content marketing techniques like the Content Marketing Institute.
To see how the Digital, Social and Communities Marketing team at SAP is "making the case for social" everyday, watch (and join) our community, the SAP Community Network for ongoing demonstrations of these strategies with SAP's solution portfolio.
Question: What information have you used to convince your Marketing leadership team to allocate more resources to your social and community programs? I'd love to hear your thoughts.