Content marketing is an umbrella term for one of the most widely used marketing techniques today. It’s essential for most businesses in the digital space and you’re likely producing it, even if you don’t know it. That being said, it can take up a large part of your marketing budget, so you may be wondering: how much does content marketing cost? We’re adding it all up in this article, taking into account the processes and the various types.
Content marketing in 3 steps
Content Marketing Strategy:
Time and money need to be invested into content marketing, as it needs to provide value and be original to be successful. This begins with developing a strategy for it, which will largely influence your costs as you’ll determine the scope of your efforts at this stage. This should be viewed as an offering based on your business' USPs to attract your audience and keep them engaged as leads. Part of your strategy will be to determine the types of content you’d like to share, be it blog posts, eBooks, videos, social media posts etc. Naturally, each of these will need to be created by someone with a specific skill set. You’ll need to consider copywriter costs, as well as potentially social media managers and graphic designers.
In order to manage your budget and the roll out of this marketing strategy, one should have a content plan that stipulates deadlines. Note that we are talking about content marketing here, with the assumption that you have a website or alternative platform to share content on. If not, website design needs to be added as an essential cost. You also need to take into account creating content of various quantities and values, depending on where people are along in the sales funnel.
Once you have a plan of what you need to create, you can calculate one of the main costs involved in this process - that of the creation of the content. This needs to take into account all visual and audible content, from text to videos and the like. Producing various types of content provides a multimedia rich array of content, which is more stimulating for audiences and can communicate the information in ways that are most optimal. At this point, you’ll need to consider the processes relevant to your content plan, and incur the costs of creating, editing, designing and publishing the content.
An important part of content marketing and a key success driver is content distribution - which, comes down to sharing your content as widely as possible with a specific focus on your customers and potential customers. Therefore, you need to consider the methods of distribution, which can have costs attached to them.
For instance, consider employing search engine marketing and paid ads on social media. These costs are designed to help your efforts to be seen, and can vary greatly. You can spend a small amount, yet it will be highly targeted and therefore have a good rate of effectiveness. Also consider the use of a scheduling tool to automate your social media posts, or use a CRM system that has SEO integrations to assist you with optimising the content in order to drive visibility with limited manual processes employed. Businesses should also look to networking with industry leaders and affiliates to increase their brand footprint without incurring further costs.
Average cost of content marketing
A major factor in the costs of content marketing will be based on whether you decide to do it in house or if you outsource it. Let’s take a closer look at each option and the average costs associated with each:
- In-house: Depending on the size of your business and the marketing team you have, you can opt to have someone producing content for you on a full time basis. This may, however, restrict you in terms of the kind of content that that person or team can create, so you may need to hire freelancers from time to time as well.
- Freelance: Freelancers have various rates, based on industry standards and their skills and experience. This should be vetted by your company to ensure you are getting a fair and reliable deal. They can assist you on a project by project basis.
Agency: Working with an agency has many benefits, as they handle everything for you and have access to a wide range of highly skilled people to create all sorts of content. This can increase your content offering, as well as the methods of sharing content and your reach, while receiving more advanced analytics on the performance of these.
What it all comes down to
Content marketing can be defined as a three step process, from strategy to creation and distribution. However, there are many variations and factors within each of those stages that can influence the costs associated with this marketing technique. The answer is, the cost will be dependent on how you choose to deliver the content, as well as the content needs of your business. There are far too many variables to determine cost estimates, so we recommend that you can take your marketing budget and develop your strategy based on that, keeping in mind all that we have mentioned here.
With all of this in mind, it's important to note that content marketing is one of the rare areas of marketing that can be effective even if zero budget is employed. For example, if you are confident as a writer, creating a blog is just an investment of time and as long as you have a website or blog to publish on, your content now has the capability of engaging a wider audience. Even if you don't have a website or a blog, consider using platforms such as LinkedIn or Medium to host and publish your content. These platforms offer wide organic reach and can help you to build an audience for your content marketing.
Looking for an agency to work with?
Nexa has worked with a number of businesses, both big and small, with their content marketing needs. We can assist you based on the budget you have, producing many facets of content marketing that are of premium quality. Book a session with us today to get started.