Content Velocity - Building a case for more content

Content Velocity - Building a case for more content

If you are a marketer creating content – especially for SEO – you intuitively know that you need more content.

But, how much more content do you need? What kinds of content?

More importantly, who’s going to create it? You probably need to get more budget to hire external writers or maybe even a new full-time writer!

How can you create a business case for content creation that will get approved?

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Why do you need to create more content?

Yes, there are a million reasons to create new content.

As a marketer, you know this intuitively. But does everyone else?

The first step is to get explicit in your own mind about the reason you need more content.

The first step is to explore all your WHYs for creating new content. Here are some common examples

* You see a gap in visibility on specific keywords or topics
* Competitors have more content, and you can prove they are winning
* You think you need to provide your buyers with more information
* You are new in the role, and you see a lack of content
* You are launching a new channel (going all-in on social, focusing on SEO, onboarding a new partner, etc.)
* You are Hiring an SDR team
* You are launching a new product or a significant new campaign

The more details you capture, the better you will be able to get everyone on the same page and going in the same direction.

Those sales content strategy details need to be precise, as similar campaigns or products may have overlapping content but different intents.

This is the very first step in building the business case, capturing what is happening that is creating the need for more content. Next, you’ll need to back this up with some data and proof and quantify what this new content will accomplish in terms of achieving your business goals.

How to build a business case for SEO Content

Building a business case for SEO content production must be well-researched and focused on data and facts over opinion.

You’ll need to have well-defined strategic goals, clear expectations for success, reasonable budget requirements, and data to back it all up.

Most of this information will come from research and analysis of your keyword spaces and topics, your historical sales and conversion analysis, your competitors, and other industry/search engine trends that may provide insights into what kind of content will succeed.

Assuming your business case is solid and gets the green light, you’ll be well served to be ready with a plan in place on how to produce, develop, and publish that content in a timely manner and then share that content workflow.

To help create a business case for SEO content, we’ve broken the process down into four main sections:

  1. State your objectives, situation analysis, and strategy
  2. Predict what you can achieve, backed up with data
  3. Estimate the cost to generate the content in terms of time, money, and resources
  4. Show how it can be piloted to get an easy decision

State the objective, situation, and strategy

As discussed above, you won’t get very far without achievable goals and objectives for your content.

It’s not enough to just say that you plan to “drive engagement.” You need to demonstrate how your content will actually bring in fresh eyes and lead to conversions.

Once you have gathered all of that, you’ll be ready to create and present your business case for increased SEO content production.

This is best put in the context of strategy.

  1. Objective
  2. Situation
  3. Our Strategy (to achieve the objective)


To generate X high-quality leads for people searching for these keywords, which will generate Y number of opportunities with Z pipeline.

We have confirmed this is possible because we’ve collected the data and done the analysis to back up this claim and create this business case.


  • Our competitors, A, B, and C, are showing up for these keywords, and we’re not
  • They have X number of articles that are in-depth and well-optimized
  • There is a high search volume
  • There are competitors paying for this traffic, indicating its value
  • We are bidding on the same or similar keywords and have proven conversion propensity


  • We’ll generate X number of articles covering the content better than any competitors
  • Need something about which articles (topics?)
  • Before writing anything, we’ll clearly define the objectives, angles, audience, and approach for each piece with content briefs that are internally reviewed and approved
  • We’ll organize the content in content hubs in the resources section of our website
  • Create content approval workflows to review articles before they go live, to ensure quality and consistency
  • Do outreach for link building to build up the authority of those pages
  • Perform scheduled content audits
  • Monitor performance/engagement and re-optimize as necessary

Additional tactics

  • Create tags/categories to sort content by type, intent, campaign, etc.
  • Optimize the articles for the target keywords based on keyword clustering
  • Share them on X channels

Make the ROI Prediction

We estimate that if we do X, we’ll achieve Y at a cost of Z.


A simplified version of a traffic and conversion estimation for an SEO plan

You would want to have your data in a high-level table with information like this:

  • Total search volume by topic
  • Estimated traffic based on expected CTR if you had visibility
  • Your average website conversion rates
  • Your average lead-to-opportunity rates
  • Average opportunity value

With this information, you can quantify the exact business value of creating the content.

Of course, in order to get to this high-level table, you’ll have to do a ton of research…

Backing up your plan with data

Here’s where most of the work is going to happen. You don’t start your presentation with this, however. It’s the hard work that needs to be done first to back up your recommendations with a solid business case:

Conduct keyword and topical research

The best way to structure your content recommendations is through thorough keyword research and organization. These are words, terms, or phrases that are intrinsically linked to the problems and solutions your business provides and are most often used by people in search engines or when researching their wants or needs.

Utilizing the right keywords throughout your content will instantly communicate to readers that they are in the right place and that the information they seek can be found within your content.

Using keyword variations can improve the search engine ranking of your piece, but overuse or “keyword stuffing” can lead to diminishing returns and even drops in rankings.

Determine blog concepts based on top keywords

Keywords don’t need to only exist in the body of content.

You’ll quickly notice that many keywords have overlap and commonality. These keywords can be grouped together and applied to the same piece of content. Using the top-ranking keyword of this newly formed “cluster,” you can then craft a content headline that is snappy, informative, and speaks directly to the reader’s pains and values.


Content clusters should be based on factors like Topic, Subtopic, and volume/impressions to ensure their relevance

Research and review competitor content

Understanding the “what” and “why” of your competitor’s content strategy can present valuable insights that you could have missed.

It’s possible that they’re basing their strategy around a data point that you dismissed or didn’t look at closely enough. Some businesses with their finger on the pulse may anticipate certain trends before they become mainstream.

Keeping an eye on competitor content will help to keep you in the know about industry trends and standards, as well as give you something to measure your own work against in terms of quality and impressions.

Audit existing content

Content audits are one of the fundamental pillars of content production and development. Of course, having an idea of the overall quality of content is certainly advisable, and content audits offer so much more when performed correctly.

A content audit can identify top performers as well as weaker pieces of content. These can then be reinforced, updated, or retired as needed. This way, you ensure that your library always has up-to-date, high-quality, and recently reviewed content at their fingertips.

Identify content gaps and opportunities

Content audits will also help to pinpoint gaps in your content, which can also be viewed as opportunities to create new materials.

If competitors produce lots of specific content, they are likely seizing on a trend or opportunity that has emerged in the market.

If you aren’t or haven’t also produced such content, you’re missing out on all that exposure and potential business.

Content gaps can shift and change over time as products and technology evolve, and customer interests change.


Different companies in the same industry can have drastically different content production rates.

Estimate the cost to generate the content

Once you have buy-in for your strategy, the next question will be, “How much is it going to cost”?

Estimating a realistic budget for your campaigns and projects, including content development, can easily make or break a proposal, as C-suite executives care about few things as much as they do financials.

In order to create a reasonable budget, you’ll mainly want to focus on two major overhead expenses: personnel and services.

Personnel expenses account for the team members who are doing the legwork to create the content. These may be in-house (in which case you’ll want to know their capacity and potentially their internal costs) or freelancers, where you will have a hard cost that is easier to estimate.

The expense categories for personnel can range from topical research, design, writing, editing, and publishing.

Depending on the size and complexity of your team, these costs can get out of control quickly if you deviate from your content production strategy.

Service expenses refer to the work done by SEO, link-building, and content management agencies that work to optimize your content for maximum effectiveness.

In the highly competitive search market, specialized agencies may be what’s required to make the difference in gaining content visibility against a sea of similar blogs.

Other considerations include actions like distribution, which we’ll cover in another blog.

Content production capacity

Capacity is a huge factor in budget planning, as this determines the volume of content that can be produced over a given time. Capacity in this context doesn’t mean “maximum output” as much as “optimal output.”

Your team will have an ideal rate of production that should satisfy your scaling content plans while also allowing for all the necessary parts of the development process to be performed acceptably. For this reason, leaving room for some redundancy is advised when determining your team’s capacity.

There may be natural plateaus that your team hits, whether that’s 6 blogs a month or 60, at which point it is more prudent to bring in additional personnel if you want to continue at that rate of growth rather than overloading your at-capacity team members.

Understanding the capacity of your content development team will allow you to consistently hit goals and stay within your budget, as well as stop your team from burning out due to overwork.

Content marketing budget
An example of personnel and service expenses accounted for alongside content production rates.

Free content budget planning sheet

Making the Content Budget Estimate

Once you have gathered all of the above information, it’s time to put it to work and game out your content production in order to determine your budget.

With all of your personnel and services providing you with rates, as well as capacity expectations for content produced, you can combine these considerations and start to map out both your production schedule and your budget.

This can be done by adding up all the costs that services charge you per month, alongside what your personnel charge for pieces completed in that time.

As an example, let’s say that you spend $5,000 per month on SEO and link-building services, and your freelancers charge you a total of $1,500 per piece of completed long-form content, including images. If you aim to publish one piece of content each week, you’re looking at $11,000 per month in personnel costs.

Then, it’s as simple as adding the two together to determine how much money you need each month.

Service Expenses ($5,000) + Personnel Expenses ($1,500 x 4) = Total Monthly Content Development Expenses ($11,000)

How can we pilot it?

This is almost certainly going to be asked, so you might as well address it upfront.

A common mistake when scaling up content is that companies overestimate their own capabilities, whether that refers to their production output, quality of writing, or results.

Be prepared to scale back your idea and implement it in phases to your content production; that way, you can ensure that every step is being completed, as well as identify where the majority of problems or bottlenecks are coming from.

For example, if you suggest creating 5 content hubs with 5 articles each, that’s 25 articles that need to be created. The cost and time to plan, develop, review, and publish this might be too much to bite off all at once, especially for smaller organizations.

To avoid this, decide in advance what materials on your content calendar are the most strategic and have the highest likelihood of success.

In this way, you are proposing that the strategic content serve as a pilot with the intent to do a proof of concept within a certain time frame. Then you can expand from there once early success is proven; you may even be able to use that pilot piece as a template for your content going forward.

Justify new content with a data-driven business case

Given the amount of time, effort, and resources that go into content creation and distribution, it’s no wonder that execs need to be convinced that a campaign is worth it.

Knowing what and how to find the right information to structure, reinforce, and present a solid business case will ensure buy-in from stakeholders and allow your team to be aligned on intent as they move forward.

You need a clear objective and plan to achieve that goal, as well as ROI and budget predictions based on data gathered from your team’s rates and capacity for content production.

To make all that information gathering easier, and to streamline production once you’ve started creating new content, check out Content Camel to manage and organize your assets intelligently so your team is always on the same page and your assets are always up to date.