Hidden Content Marketing Costs And How To Avoid Them
Behind every content marketing strategy, there is a marketing budget. Whether it’s project management tools or graphic design, there are several things to consider.
In content marketing, there are a lot of components that go into creating a perfect blog post or social media post. Content creation also takes a lot of work from different people.
Hence, content marketing costs can also be quite steep. In today’s article, we break down each component of content marketing and tell you how you can make your content strategy more cost-effective.
Challenges of content marketing
Content marketing is growing in popularity as people discover its countless benefits. However, many marketers are still skeptical about trying their hand at content marketing.
The cause may be that 47% of marketing leaders say their top three content marketing challenges are budgeting for scalable and high-quality content strategy.
Of course, in any business, there are marketing costs. Every business owner wants to reach their target audience.
However, in today’s competitive online world, these costs may not be as predictable as it seems.
A content marketing strategy usually involves a series of steps, such as:
- Setting goals
- Content planning and keyword research
- Content creation
- Tools and software
- Graphic design
- Website development
- Tracking and measurement
In your team, you need strategists, content creators, data analysts, and other people who will help you execute your content strategy.
Besides, you have to promote your content on multiple social media platforms to maximize your campaign results.
Especially, if you want to launch more complex content projects it can get expensive, for example, the costs of developing an online course can get high.
Because of all we listed above, every step of content marketing strategy requires significant investment in terms of time, resources, and money.
While content marketing proves to be cost-effective long term, you need to make the initial financial investment.
Unfortunately, content marketing costs add up when your business grows, and things can quickly get out of hand.
Tat’s why it is important to be sure that the time and money you’re investing will deliver the desired results and high ROI.
The most common way of using marketing automation software and a content marketing platform. They will maximize the use of your content marketing team’s resources, skills, and time.
Budget planning for content marketing
Content marketing costs depend on many different factors. When creating a marketing budget, you want to take into consideration:
- Business size
- Industry or niche
- Business type (B2B or B2C)
- Marketing objectives
- Distribution strategy and channels
To put it into perspective, 26% of B2B marketing specialists claimed their annual content marketing total budget was $100,000 – $1,000,000 in 2020 alone. Also, 18% of B2B marketers claimed they increased their content marketing spend since 2020.
Check out How To Create a Blog Content Strategy!
Content creation costs
When it comes to content writing, in the beginning, you might be tempted to write the articles yourself. But, unfortunately, it’s impossible to do it yourself, especially if you’re also managing other marketing actions.
The most simple and effective way to manage your content creation is to hire a freelance writer.
$0.10 – $1 per word is a usual cost for an experienced writer.
You’ll need at least ten blog posts per month, and they have to be written by a professional content writer. With each being at least 400 words, that would cost at least $400 at $0.10.
If you decide to employ a content writer, their average salary is $3,500 per month.
As your business grows, you will need more in-depth content. At this point, your blog posts should be at least 1,000 words for the sake of SEO. At $0.10, 1,000 words will cost you $1.100.
SEO should be an inherent part of your content marketing strategy. For example, if you decide to start blogging for SEO, you should publish blog posts at least 1-to 2 per week.
Considering that, you would have to pay around $1000 as writers typically charge $0.1 – $1/word.
To maximize your SEO results and analyze your content, you need SEO and content audit tools.
You need to make sure your effort is paying off, so choose SEO software wisely.
You can use Ahrefs as a tool for keyword research and monitoring. It costs $399/month for the package where all your team members can work together.
If you want to combine SEO and content audit features, you can use SEMrush, which starts at $99/month. You can also get an audit for about $500 from a content marketing strategist.
Video content is getting more attention from content marketers. It’s a great way to engage your audience and connect with prospective customers.
If you decide you want to create videos yourself, you can use tools like Rocketium and Lumen5 to help you.
Both tools’ pricing starts at $49/month though Lumen5 has a limited free option.
If you decide you need a video content creator, you can hire one on a per-project basis as an independent contractor.
It can cost you between $35-100 per hour, depending on how long and complex your video is.
After developing your YouTube channel, it can take you up to 10 hours monthly of videos. If you want top video producers to create them, you can expect to pay $1000/month.
The average cost of your content creation costs will be around $7,500 per month. However, the initial cost will rise if you add more elements to your content creation strategy (i.e., influencer cooperation, video, social media content).
Also, check out What Does CPM In Marketing Mean!
To conduct effective content optimization, you might find some tools helpful. Here are several of them:
- Feedly for providing inspiration and curating third-party content.
- Evernote and Trello for organizing your research and ideas.
- Grammarly and Hemingway for checking for typos, grammatical errors, and wordiness.
Many tools have a basic free version and a paid professional version with expanded features.
Based on your business goals and workflow, you will have to decide which tools are worth spending on.
Learn How To Create Engaging Content!
Hidden costs of content marketing
Research in content marketing falls into three categories: competitor research, topical research, and content piece research.
You need to conduct competitor research to know what content rivals produce and what topics and formats perform well for them. Some tools can help you achieve that, such as Moz Open Site Explorer ($99/month) and Ahrefs ($99+/month but has a free limited option).
Topical research mostly includes keyword research, going through industry blogs, and brainstorming ideas. Tools that can help you with this type of research: BuzzSumo ($79+/month) or Surfer Keyword Research ($49+ a month).
Content piece research regards any research required to create your content. For example, this type of research regards conducting interviews, collecting poll data, attending webinars or conferences, and more.
You may not need a tool for everything, but you need to include the time it takes you or your team to conduct the research in your budget.
Your content marketing strategy needs to be data-backed.
You need to have a great understanding of how your target audience is responding to your content. This way, you can decide on the content types and strategies to help you reach your marketing goals.
Google Analytics is a great free tool when you can start monitoring your content performance, but it won’t give you a bigger picture of your site visitors.
More benefits have the tools that provide information about your target audience’s behavior, both on-site and off-site.
You can try tools such as Hotjar ($89/month), which shows you where visitors are clicking on your web pages. Another more affordable option is Crazy Egg ($9+/month), which shows where visitors spend the most time on your site.
If you work on a marketing team, you should invest in a project management tool. Such software makes it easy for collaborators to share, edit, comment on, and schedule content.
If you are looking for a free tool Google Calendar and Google Drive will allow you to create a basic editorial calendar and edit documents.
However, you may need a more complex project management system. CoSchedule and DivvyHQ are the most popular content management tools (about $40/month to $2,200/month).
The exact cost of project management will depend on the size of your team and the collaborative features you need.
In 2017, a report from Social Media Examiner stated that 85 percent of online marketers take advantage of visual content.
The most popular free tools that help you create graphic design are Canva, Piktochart, and Pixlr.
But if you want more control over branded graphics, you can try Adobe Creative Cloud ($29.99/month)
Bear in mind that purchasing graphic design tools doesn’t bring you the same results as a skilled graphic designer. That means you may require a new hire, a design agency, or a freelancer.
Check out Evergreen Content – Examples and Guide!
Promotion and distribution
Content promotion is as valid as all the other marketing efforts
SEO is a free and effective way to drive traffic over a long period, but you may need an influx of paid traffic.
Working with influencers has become popular in recent years. However, influencer marketing could cost you $1,000 per campaign per influencer, and you’ll need at least 2 or 3 content creators.
If you are looking to cooperate with a YouTuber, the fee may be twice that.
You can also use paid ads to promote your content. First, you need to know that the average CPM (cost per thousand impressions) on Facebook will be about $7.If you have a big enough audience and can reach at least ten thousand people, you’ll spend $70. You can also use the services of an agency or a freelancer to set up Facebook Ads campaigns.
Another paid channel is Google ads. The average CPM is $2.80, which means that if you get 10k impressions, that’ll cost $28.
How to cut content marketing costs?
First, you always need a dedicated budget to build and execute your content marketing strategy. Therefore, your marketing budget should be as detailed as possible.
To make a realistic budget, you also need to assess your marketing objectives and the results you want to achieve.
However, you need a budget plan to know where and how you’re spending your money. Some expenses can’t be compromised, such as content creation and advertising.
But there are several things you can do to make your spending smarter. We have a few tips to help you avoid or minimize various content marketing costs:
- Leverage a Content Marketing Platform – a content marketing platform where you can share your work with all your team members. You can schedule publishing time and track the progress of every content piece.
- Delegate Responsibilities to Team Members -assign specific tasks to existing team members. Instead of hiring new employees, teach existing ones the right skills and provide them with suitable training and education.
- Use a Content Management System (CMS) – to help you with content publishing, distribution, and promotion, use a CMS. It helps you avoid the cost of hiring a web developer. You can easily create an eye-catching website and blog using CMS such as WordPress.
Content marketing can be a great way to drive traffic and sales, but it can also be expensive. In order to cut costs, you need to be aware of the hidden expenses involved in content marketing and take steps to minimize them. By leveraging a content marketing platform, delegating responsibilities, and using a CMS, you can reduce the cost of creating and executing a content marketing strategy.
When done correctly, content marketing can be a cost-effective way to achieve your business goals. By following the tips above, you can create a content marketing strategy that fits your budget and delivers the results you need.