The cost of content marketing depends on the size of your marketing spend, and what you intend to do with it. If your firm has a $200K budget, your priorities will be different to one with a $565 million annual budget.
There has been a lot of research into the details of what companies are doing for their content marketing. But there’s not much out there on how much cash you should spend on each aspect of it.
I admit, it’s like answering the question: “how long is a piece of string?”
As a starting point, if we can’t look at the size of the pie, we can at least determine how people are cutting it up. This year’s data from the Content Marketing Institute in the US says that, on average, 32 per cent of marketing budgets are spent on content marketing. That’s up from 25 per cent last year, and predicated to grow further. So whatever your marketing budget is, your starting point for content marketing is about one-third of that.
Work out how much you should be spending on content marketing
You know that content marketing is building an audience through publishing content on a platform you control. Nowadays, that initial platform is most likely a company blog or web page, because it’s cheap. But you can also do it through magazines, videos, podcasts and live events.
So let’s establish upfront: everything costs something. Whether it costs money or time, or a combination of both, there is no such thing as free marketing. One of the great appeals of content marketing is you have a lot control over how much it costs you.
At a very basic level I suggest you spend about 45 per cent of your budget on content; about 40 per cent on marketing (which includes strategy and distribution); and about 15 per cent on measurement and quality control.
You can lean a lot more about this topic in this ebook we’ve created, which breaks down the costs in detail. Just click on the box at the bottom of this article, fill out the form, and you’ll get the book immediately. You can use these details as a guide. Or, if you already attribute these costs elsewhere, you can use the percentages as a sense check.
If you think you’re ready to branch out into this digital stuff on your own, your next step will be to get your strategy in order, and start thinking about how your content marketing will work for you. Or if you’re all over that, maybe you need some ideas on how other writers generate ideas for content.