How Much Does Content Marketing Cost?

Doesn’t it sometimes seem as if content marketing is the new SEO?! Everyone in the digital marketing world has content marketing on their mind. Everyone. It’s everywhere. Still, a lot of people don’t know a lot about it. Just like SEO.

And good luck figuring out how much you should be spending on content marketing. If you ask Google, the most popular answer is $1,000 to $20,000 per month. That doesn’t really answer your question. You can’t use that to set your content marketing budget. It’s too broad.

The truth is that content marketing is difficult to price because it’s unique to each client and has many variables. Think of it as trying to prepare an estimate for a custom home without having all of the details. The customer tells you that he or she wants a quote for a single-family, three-bedroom custom home. You have a general idea of what the home would look like, but you have no idea what features it will have, etc.

So, what do you do? The customer wants a quote. You want to earn her or his business. Most likely, you prepare a base quote and explain that the quoted amount will most likely go up as additional details are known. At least, the customer has an idea of what the starting price would be. That may or may not satisfy the customer.

This is similar to what happens when we receive quote requests for content marketing. Because information is limited and the scope of the project is not yet ironed out, our best option is to keep it simple and provide a starting price point. We’re not trying to be super secretive about our prices. The opposite is true. Our dream is to have prices for every single thing under the sun, but that’s not possible because there are many exceptions.

Let’s Break Things Down and Talk Money

This list will not include every single content marketing wish list item because that’s probably not possible. Every business has unique needs and wants, which is why one quote doesn’t fit all. The things not mentioned are the things that are on the custom quote level.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Online Content Strategy

This is the foundation of all of your content marketing efforts. It outlines the planning, development, distribution and management of your online content. Think of it as your content marketing roadmap.  Most digital marketing agencies charge a one-time fee of $3,000 – $10,000 for a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Since most local businesses are smaller and have less intricate content marketing needs, our content marketing strategy fee is between $699 and $2,999. Of course, there are exceptions, if we’re working with a bigger client with more complex needs.

Blog Posts

If no one has told you that your business should have a blog, your business should have a blog! Now, how much time and money should you spend on your blog? You have the option to write it yourself, which can be an uphill climb if you have never written blog posts before. It will most likely take 5-8 hours to write a 2,000-word blog post. You do the math.

You can find freelance blog writers who write blog posts for as little as $25 per post. While this price is tempting, in the end, you get what you pay for. If you decide to go this route, you should have realistic expectations in terms of blog post depth, length and quality. For $25, you can expect to receive a very basic blog post of 200 – 500 words, with no real depth. It will most likely be generic and have no authentic representation of your brand.

If you’re serious about content marketing and you want search engines to recognize your website is a good source of relevant information, you’ll want to spend a little more. Maybe you’ll even consider a digital marketing agency to write higher quality blog posts that reflect your brand image and message. Our blog writing services start at $137, and average at around $217 per blog post.

Videos

People love videos. People watch videos to learn how to fix things, listen to their favorite songs, learn new ideas, and the list goes on. YouTube is universal. If you’re not publishing video content, you’re missing a huge slice of the online audience.

This is actually one of the areas of content marketing we, as an agency, have slacked off in. We haven’t done it because it’s a lot of work and it feels scary. Because we want to practice what we preach, we’re going to start creating and publishing more video content in 2019.

Your video content can be as basic as a Facebook Live broadcast with a cell phone, but you can go the extra mile with a professionally produced video of you telling your customers why you do what you do. Video prices are all over the place because there are so many variables. In general, you can expect to pay between $150 and $350 per hour for a professionally produced video. Of course, you can do it for much less if you do it yourself using expensive equipment. Either option is acceptable.

Infographics

Pinterest is infographics galore. There’s an infographic for everything; from how to braid your hair in two minutes to how to take a perfect selfie. Anything you can think of, there’s probably an infographic for it somewhere on the Internet. People love them because they’re fun and make life easier. Businesses love them because they’re a great way to build brand recognition and pull people in.

Infographics often look fun and simple, but they’re not easy to create. A lot of time and effort goes into creating a good infographic. Most agencies charge between $2,000 and $5,000 per infographic. Our price per infographic is between $597 and $2,997. 

That may seem like a huge price range, but there are so many variables when it comes to creating an infographic. It’s a lot like website design pricing. There is idea generation, research, and the actual design work. All three of those can vary widely.

Take research for example. If you have a good idea for an infographic and already have the supporting data, that will make things easier and cheaper. However, if you don’t have the data you want in the infographic, it cost more to generate an idea and then research and compile the necessary data.

The other factor is the size or length of your infographic. This will affect the amount of design work required. A short infographic with two to four sections of data might be on the lower half of that price range. Eight or more sections and you’re starting to get on the top end of the price range.

White Papers, Guides, Tutorials

If you’re really serious about content marketing, part of your strategy may be to create and publish white papers, guides and tutorials. This is one of the best ways to establish yourself as a voice of authority in your industry.

As with everything else, the price varies. You can hire someone on websites like Fiverr to write a white paper for you for as little as $5. The quality will most likely be poor at best, but you can give it a shot. It is highly unlikely that a $5 white paper will be good enough to be published under your brand name.

A more realistic price for a high-quality white paper, guide or tutorial is between $3,000 and $7,000. That sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but it’s also an investment in a piece of content that may bring you many customers and change your industry standing. You get out what you put in. Making money costs money. We charge between $67 and $197 per hour for white papers, guides and tutorials.

We also recommend people only create these sorts of more involved documents as part of a larger content marketing strategy. In this scenario, we are often able to repurpose content created from other resources, like blog posts and infographics, to create the basis for a larger document. This can reduce the overall price slightly and help ensure consistency in your brand messaging.

Great Content Isn’t Cheap, But It’s Worth Every Penny

Just like with anything in life, you get what you pay for. If your goal is to crush it with content marketing and become THE voice of authority in your industry, you should be prepared to spend a decent amount of money and time.

You will not shoot to the top overnight, but you’ll get there if you stay consistent and committed to your content marketing strategy. The best news is that it’ll be difficult for your competitors to dethrone you once you become the voice for your industry. They’ll have to spend a lot of time and money to catch up and take over.

Now, the best of the best part is that being the voice of authority gives you a competitive advantage. You’re the top dog. More customers are drawn to your business and your competitors can’t touch you.

Think of some of the greatest brands in the world or even here in the Tampa Bay area. They’re the voice of authority in their industry. Competitors want to be like them. Customers want to identify with their brand. This is why great content is worth every penny.

Baby Steps

Even if you can’t afford a super fancy infographic or a sleek guide, you can still do content marketing and do it well. Start with a strategy and do a few things that you know you can do well. Something is better than nothing. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same is true of content marketing.

If you have content marketing stories, tips, feedback or questions, we’d love to hear them. Let us know in the comments. It’d mean the most to us.

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