Summer 2020


“When I was asked to lead content

marketing at SAP, I was given no budget but a mandate from the executive team to build our ‘thought leadership’ online,” Brenner says. “The only way to create content without a budget is to tap into the experts that sit inside your organization. And I knew I couldn’t force anyone to do it.” Brenner found 12 employees who were

already sharing their expertise online and asked them to join the company’s efforts. When those 12 employees received recognition for their contributions, other employees raised their hands to help. “Today, the platform I built for SAP has thousands of contributors,” Brenner says proudly, “and none of them are paid!” If you are one of the lucky ones with

Part 2: THE BUDGET The art of convincing the boss that content marketing is worth trying might be in your skill set, but asking for the budget can be a different animal. It may mean showing what you can do yourself and with internal resources in the early stages before presenting a budget and plan. “I spend two or three hours per week

creating content for my audience, and we now get more than a million website visitors each year,” Brenner says. “All our leads and new customers come from an initial interaction with our [website] content, so we are our own case study.” He goes on to explain, “The reason I define content marketing as content that is published on your own website is because you own it. We don’t control what social platforms do with our content, yet they are the ones monetizing the traffic from our content. Content marketing has to start with something every company has—its own website.” Of course, from there you’ll want to

encourage the social accounts of your brand— and your employees—to share that content on

social media in order to reach a wider audience, but the goal is always to drive them to your website. Where you get the content that will attract visitors to your page is sometimes closer than you think. It has been said that a company’s biggest asset is its employees, but whoever first said that probably wasn’t thinking about content marketing. The first impulse of many companies in search of content creators is to look outside rather than inside their walls. Often, those with the best knowledge to pass on to customers or consumers are right under your nose.

Content marketing has to start with something every company has—its own website.

more content than you know what to do with, congratulations! Your challenge now is to get that content into the hands of the right people, and more of them. Brenner says being content rich and distribution poor is a “next- level problem” and that reaching the next stage will likely require a budget and resources to optimize distribution. “The platform really depends on the industry, but we have used Facebook retargeting, LinkedIn sponsored updates, and native platforms like Outbrain that allow us to present our client content to targeted audiences, often based on their interests and behavior,” he explains.


TERMS The notion that it is easy to put a value on the content you create is perhaps a novel one to many, but Brenner insists it’s fairly simple. Even better, you can compare what you spend on content creation with what you spend on ads and see the difference in ROI. In his bestselling book The Content Formula, Brenner outlines 10 specific mathematical formulas that can be used to prove the ROI of content. One straightforward way to measure it is to look at whether your company is spending advertising dollars to

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