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Business Development

The Ultimate Guide to a Content Marketing Proposal

Emily Schmidt
Emily Schmidt

You’ve found a lead, congrats! The next step is putting together a proposal for your work. People send many different types of proposals, with several different types of formats, but generally the type of information that needs to be included stays the same. 

For a content creation or content marketing proposal, there are several key things to consider which we’ll go through in this article. 

Before you put together your content marketing proposal

Talk with your potential client to understand what their needs are. Sometimes clients have an understanding of what they’re looking for, other times they need more direction. For a content marketing proposal, clients are coming to you with the knowledge that they want to create new content. 

Find out if they know what type of content they’re looking for - blogs, resources, support articles, etc. Within your content marketing scope you may need to include additional budget for strategy, audience research and/or competitive analyses to help determine what types of content should be created. 

Other times, the proposal is much more specific. The client has the strategy and wants you to execute on the work. Either way, knowing where the client is at will make it much easier to have specific proposal that’s more likely to close.

What to include in your content marketing proposal

Overview & Goals

The first thing to include in your content marketing proposal is an overview of your services and the goals you're working towards. 

For content marketing, here are a few examples of relevant goals:

  • Increase traffic by X amount
  • Create X new pieces of content
  • Determine what types of content to create and make a plan of execution

The goals are everything you’re working towards that you’ll go into more details following the proposal. 

Scope of Work

The scope of work is the full and specific details of everything that you’re proposing. This includes strategy work, execution, planning, and everything else that is relevant. 

Example Scope of Work for Content Marketing Proposal

Competitive Analysis

  • Determine what are competitors doing in this space that is making them successful or unsuccessful?
  • Competitors aren't just direct competitors that have similar products, but are those that are also ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page)
  • Understanding both SERP competitors and direct competitors allows us to identify where we can create competitive content
  • What types of content are ranking well in the SERPs?

Keyword Research & Keyword Matrix (SEO Research)

  • Identify keywords and topics for creation
  • Create evergreen content backed by SEO strategy
  • Optimize for rankability in SERPs
  • Outline Titles, H1s, H2s, and meta descriptions
  • Identify 30-40 new pieces of content

Content Roadmap

  • Determine how many pieces of content should be created per month
  • Create a timeline for the content that was created within the keyword matrix

Market & Audience Research

  • What are the challenges that our users have?
  • When do they look for a tool?
  • How do they find tools?
  • How do they choose between tools?

Existing Site Page Optimization

  • Optimize existing site pages metadata
  • Analyze CTA's, messaging, and information from a usability & SEO perspective
  • Identify content opportunity & keyword opportunity for the site pages 

Timeline

The timeline breaks out when the work will be accomplished and how long it will take. This can be laid out in several different ways from estimating how many days, weeks, or months a specific item will take, or more general information of what the priorities are and what will occur first, second, or third. 

If you’re doing strategy work for the content marketing, typically you have to create the strategy before you can create a content roadmap and determine the timeline for the execution of the deliverables. 

Indicating that the timeline will come or be updated with more information is fine in the proposal. 

Fees

The fees section breaks out how much everything will cost. This can be hourly based or project based depending on how your business operates. 

This is the simplest but one of the most important things to include within the proposal. This is the starting point for negotiations and conversation.

Additional Considerations

Other helpful information you can put within your proposal is either testimonials or case studies of what previous work you’ve done that would help them make a choice to work with you. 

This can be included in a word document format, but can also be included in a pitch deck with slides. 

Any information you think would be helpful to include to help your potential client make a decision would be helpful here.

Proposal Format

There are many different types of ways you can present your proposal. The most simple of these is a word document, PDF, or google doc. All of these lay out the information simply and concisely. Depending on the client, the information they’re looking for, and the type of work, this is a simple and quick way of breaking it out. 

There are also many different tools you can use to help create a proposal with specific information already included. Tispr offers a free proposal tool that allows you to enter the information and send it to your client. It integrates esignatures so your clients can simply sign the proposal and send it back to you. 

You’re able to incorporate your branding information, move around different areas within the proposal. Below we’ve included the template found on Tispr.


If you need a deck or presentation for your proposal there are additional tools if you don’t want to create your own from scratch. Tools like Proposify offer templates if you’re in need of a different structure for your content marketing proposal. 


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