Let’s get the obvious out of the way: content marketing costs as much as you’re willing to pay for it. Realistically, you could begin leveraging content marketing for your organization today at the cost of nothing other than your time. Or you could hire your cousin’s friend’s brother who says he’s a copywriter for next to nothing.
Throwing together a blog page on your website and regularly adding content to it will almost certainly increase your traffic—even if that content isn’t stellar. But the effectiveness of your content marketing is directly influenced by how much experience you have and how much time you can devote to planning, researching, and generating quality content.
If free is all your organization can afford and you’ve got the time and energy to spare, starting a blog on your existing business site is a great idea. However, if you’re not the type of person that enjoys writing engaging and informative content, you might quickly find yourself running out of ideas and gas.
So content marketing can be technically free, but how much does it cost if you don’t want to do all the work on your own?
Content Marketing Costs
According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) 2020 Survey Report, the average annual budget for content marketing from all companies was $185,000. The average annual content marketing budget for small organizations (companies between 1-99 employees) was $81,500. And 46% of respondents expect their content marketing budget to grow in 2020.
Clearly, content marketing is a large and growing area of interest for modern businesses, but what specifically are these budgets being spent on? There are a lot of products and services that fall under the category of content marketing, but the typical services you’ll find and their general price ranges are:
- Marketing Audit ($500 – $25,000): Analyze your site and/or existing content across various platforms to determine the organization’s content marketing effectiveness and what aspects may require attention.
- Content Optimization ($50 – $200/hour): Update your existing content to place better on search engine result pages (SERP) and to improve the overall quality of your content and the value it provides to visitors.
- Content Strategizing ($5,000 – $50,000): Take stock of the organization’s standing in the content marketing sphere in comparison to competitors to create a detailed plan for what kind of content or keywords will perform best and the timing for releasing content on a regular basis.
- Content Promotion ($75 – $150/hour): Content marketing and digital marketing often go hand-in-hand. Content promotion helps to ensure your content finds the right audience at the right time to maximize your ROI.
- Content Creation ($500 – $3,000): Content comes in all shapes and sizes: infographics, blog posts, case studies, interactive videos, and anything else you can think of. The higher the quality or size of the project, the more it’s going to cost.
These figures are standard costs organizations can expect to pay content marketing vendors, but prices can vary drastically depending on the scope of the project and the vendor in question. Content marketing can easily start to rack up a huge bill depending on the services you want and the quality of the content itself.
However, content marketing has proven its ability to provide excellent returns on marketing spend—and the success of content marketing continues to climb. According to Demand Gen’s Content Preferences Survey Report, 71% of respondents said they consumed blog content during their purchasing process and 49% “said they now rely more on content to research and make purchase decisions.”
Content marketing is a proven method for creating brand awareness, educating your audience, building credibility, and generating leads and sales. Content marketing costs as much money as you’re willing to put into it, but the value provided by quality content marketing efforts is pretty incredible.