Your goal is simple – create content that informs and provides value to your target audience. Content marketing is a strategic roadmap for accomplishing goals while attracting and engaging prospects and leads. It also allows your brand to level up by creating authentic content explicitly designed to solve your target audience’s pain points.
However, how do you do that without doing something that another brand already did? It’s true – there’s no such thing as an “original idea” anymore. How you present and roll out that idea is where originality comes into play.
Pitching targeted content marketing ideas is more than brainstorming what you believe your target audience wants to see – it’s also about showing how your ideas can help reach prospects and grow businesses. Let’s look at how.
What is Content Marketing?
When you use articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, and other content forms to attract, engage, convert, and retain your target audience, that strategy is content marketing. Additional examples include:
- Case studies
- Landing pages
- Online courses
- Pillar pages
- SlideShare content
The list goes on. Think of content marketing as the bridge that gaps what your target audience is looking for and what you produce. That means you’re creating content that answers your target audience’s questions, meeting their needs, and solving their pain points.
That leads us to our next point – what about when you have content marketing ideas you’d like to pitch to clients? Here’s a five-step process for pitching targeted content marketing ideas:
Five Steps for Pitching Content Marketing Ideas
Having great ideas is one thing but conveying them is another. Communicating ideas is challenging if you don’t understand how to show clients how great your idea is or why it’ll work for them. In other words, when pitching content marketing ideas, which involves achieving two goals:
- Presenting an intangible idea to clients in the best way
- Convince clients that your idea helps them achieve their goal or goals
Remember, pitching isn’t limited to clients – you might also need to create content marketing idea pitches for your boss. No matter who receives these pitches, they’re going to have questions, and it’s up to you be arm yourself with the best answers.
Step One: The Planning Phase
Pitching content marketing ideas is much more than telling someone you have a great idea – you have to show them WHY. You might map it out or picture it clearly in your mind. However, that doesn’t take you very far if you can’t explain those ideas.
Let’s break down how to do that simply:
- Brainstorm: Spend a little time brainstorming the best ways to describe your idea
- Draft: Develop talking points you’ll use during the pitch
- Outline: Take those talking points a step further by outlining how you’ll convince the client or your boss that it’s the best idea
The planning phase also involves understanding your target audience, which requires research. Kick-off this research by following these tips:
- Create your ideal customer profile: This profile should contain your target audience’s age, gender, income level, and location.
- Market research: Use focus groups, interviews, and surveys to conduct market research.
- Reexamine your products and services: After identifying and researching your target audience, look at which features and benefits your current products and services could attract new business.
- Research the competition: This research involves examining competitors’ social media networks and what pain points they solve for their target audience.
- Leverage existing data: You already have a customer base, and that data is valuable – look at how you’re currently building and managing relationships and where your customer base spends most of their time.
Step Two: Number Crunching
Now, let’s take the planning phase one step further – number crunching. Because it’s challenging for some to envision creative concepts, showing specific pricing, delivery dates, and repurposing opportunities develops a clearer picture. These figures round out the project’s scope and help excite clients or your boss by showing how your content marketing ideas lead to successful outcomes.
We learn from HubSpot’s 2021 report, “Not Another Marketing Report,” that marketers increased their budgets by over 60% this year. The report further indicates that, during 2021, 28% of their survey’s respondents planned to newly invest in content marketing – a percentage up 17% from 2020. Pricing for your content marketing pitch should include details like:
- The time it takes for conducting keyword research, writing content, designing, and more.
- If content creation is beyond your company’s bandwidth, the cost of hiring freelancers.
- How much it’ll cost to work with a content marketing platform, like nDash, for example
- Those costs of promoting content on social media, with paid advertising, and more
Use a content strategy to show how you plan to deliver on the promises in your content marketing ideas. The strategy should include details like the target audience you plan to reach, relevant goals you plan to achieve, your execution plans, and how you plan to measure success.
Consider offering a pilot program if you believe your client or boss might still be on the fence when pitching. That could involve spending between three and six months executing and running the ideas in your content marketing plan. Complete some legwork to entice a sign-off on the delivery dates you’re pitching by:
- Completing a competitor analysis
- Conducting personal interviews
- Creating personas
- Outlining brand messaging and positioning
- Conducting keyword research
- Completing a content strategy
- Outlining topic ideation
- Compiling an editorial calendar
Repurposing content involves looking at your existing content, how well it’s performing, and finding opportunities to present it in a new format. For example, this could mean looking at a top-performing blog post and repurposing it into an infographic or a slide presentation. The number-crunching here involves using your pitch to show:
- Top-performing content
- How to create more high-value content from those pieces
- How much time you’ll save by not having to start from scratch
Step Three: Identify the Competition
We’ve already discussed identifying and researching the competition a couple of times. This research shows that it isn’t necessary to reinvent the wheel. So, your best recourse is arming your pitch with examples of how the competition uses ideas similar to what you’re presenting and how you can do better.
If you can’t find solid visual examples of the competition executing your ideas or variations, create a list of competitors who currently use content marketing. For example, which could include a blog they update regularly or their newsletter distribution strategies. Tips for completing competitor research include:
- Find your industry or niche’s top performers – ideally, the top five performers
- Identify the keywords and topics the competition focuses on
- Determine the competition’s off-site efforts, including link building, guest posting, and more
- Review how the competition creates content – is it casual or formal? Do they use visuals, videos, and other media? How long are their posts? Do they use pillar content?
- Assess your competition’s content distribution strategies
Step Four: Create a Content Strategy
Even though we’ve touched lightly on content strategies, it’s worth mentioning the importance of creating one in this step. The idea is to show every part of the process in your content marketing pitch, and you can achieve that goal by creating a content strategy. This strategy provides the evidence the client or your boss needs to see that you can carry your project from beginning to end.
Here are questions to ask yourself when creating a content strategy:
- What are my goals?
- Who is my target audience?
- How is my content currently performing?
- How do I plan to manage my content?
- What types of content do I want to create?
- How do I plan to complete content ideation?
- How do I plan to publish and manage my content?
Step Five: Pitch & Adapt
The last step is presenting your content marketing ideas. Keep your content marketing pitch short and to the point – around fifteen minutes is ideal, or you might lose their attention. And remember, with every pitch, there comes questions, concerns, and the desire to make changes. Be ready for that.
Be Prepared for Alterations
It’s not a personal attack when a client or your boss wants to poke holes in the ideas you present them. It’s a natural part of the pitching process to receive comments and feedback, and that could include pointing out opportunities or mistakes you might miss. Avoid glossing over or ignoring feedback – instead, look at it as an opportunity to adapt and show how you can solve these issues.
Showing that you’re willing to go with the flow with alterations can be a quick win. For example, if the person you’re pitching to wants to make slight changes to your idea, grant it to them. In doing so, you’re showing them that your ideas are worth their investment and that you’re open to team collaborations.
It’s never easy to pitch content marketing ideas, and the best way to see positive results is through thorough preparation.