Data is a tried-and-true way to build the credibility of content marketing. But what happens when the data itself is bad?
Content marketing is essential to the success of any B2B company – after all, a well-executed content strategy can bring tons of new leads through the door. Whether you hire in-house or outsource with a freelancer, consultant or agency, there’s a price tag attached to good content. So, how much does B2B content marketing really cost?
Before we dive in, it’s important to look at the cost of B2B content marketing in terms of return on investment (ROI).
You get what you pay for: in life and content creation. The more you invest in content creation and content marketing, the more quality content you will get. The more quality content you have, the more leads you will bring in.
So, before any kind of sticker shock sets in when going over the costs of B2B content, think about why you’re investing in content in the first place and the return on that investment.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our quick content marketing cost breakdown.
How Much Does B2B Content Marketing Cost?
The cost of content varies. If you want an average cost of a single piece of content (blog, email, white paper, infographic), you’re looking at a range from $500 – $3,000, depending on the source of said content.
A content marketing campaign (distributing content through paid channels) can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $60,000+ per month.
But the cost of content creation and campaign management is only a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to determining the entire cost of content marketing. Let’s look a little deeper into the content creation options at your disposal.
What Are My Options for Content Creation?
When it comes to creating content, your options vary. The key here is to take an inventory of your situation and discover what your content marketing needs are. Ask questions like:
- How much content do you need?
- How specialized is your subject matter?
- What is your budget?
- Why do you want to create content in the first place?
These questions will help you understand your situation so you can get the content creation solution that’s right for you. Here are some of your options.
Option #1 – Hire a Freelancer
A freelance writer is an individual who works on a short-term, per-job or per-task basis. They can be a great resource for companies that need a few one-off content projects or some extra bandwidth to get ancillary content pieces done.
Typically, a freelancer is the most budget-friendly way to get a few needed content assets quickly. Freelance writers use a variety of pricing models for their services, but the average hourly rate for a freelance writer usually comes out to around $33/hour. Expect to pay a little more if you’re looking for a technical writer.
Freelancers are great for getting things done, but if you require more long-term or strategic support, then you’re better off looking somewhere else.
Option #2 – Work with a B2B Content Marketing Consultant
The next option to consider is bringing on a consultant. Typically, a consultant will come in at a much higher rate than a freelancer, and they will have a contract lasting at least a few months.
With consultants, you do get what you pay for in that premium. Good consultants will bring more authority to affect change in your organization and strategic insights that will help guide your content marketing efforts well after their contract runs out.
If you work in a niche industry, then a consultant can be a great way to get seasoned expertise in your industry that will allow your content efforts to come off as informed and authentic.
They may not be as equipped to produce content, but they can lay out a strategy that your team can then execute.
Option #3 – Hire a Full-Time Content Marketer
If you’re looking for a long-term content marketing solution, you might need an in-house resource if you don’t already have one.
This is beneficial because your content marketing team member will become an expert in your niche who can think strategically about your brand and the content your audience will want. This person will be able to respond quickly to any content need that your organization will have.
Of course, hiring an in-house resource comes with higher costs. (Not to mention, finding a qualified candidate can be a challenge. Thankfully, with the rise in remote work, geography is no longer a limiting factor.) These hires will likely cost $5,000 to $10,000 a month in salary in addition to benefits and other onboarding costs.
And remember, this is for just one full-time team member. If you expect a lot more work needing to be done than one individual can realistically manage, and you don’t have the budget or bandwidth to hire and train a full team, you have one more option.
Option #4 – Work with an Agency
Outsourcing to an agency is a great model for getting the most work in your budget. There are some different types of content marketing agencies that you can choose from.
First, you have pure content production shops, like WebFX or Brafton. They usually have packages that range anywhere from $1,800 to $6,000/month.
With those packages, you’ll get a ton of content assets, and that’s great if quantity is what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for more strategic insights and integration with other marketing channels, you might be left wanting.
That’s where a full-service marketing agency can pick up the slack.
This is because producing content is just one side of the coin. Marketing it – that is, communicating it to the world – is an entire other side. If you want to get the most out of your content investment, we recommend an integrated approach.
A full-service integrated marketing agency provides you with a full suite of digital and traditional marketing services designed to work together to multiply results and deliver swift ROI. This agency model does come at a slight premium compared to pure content production agencies. Monthly retainers can come in at $7,000 to $14,000+ a month, depending on the scope of work. But what you get in return for that extra cost is worth it. You’re getting things like:
- Marketing strategy
- Content creation
- Web development and maintenance
- Digital advertising
- Collateral and creative support
- Email marketing
- Social media
The best integrated marketing agencies feature empowered and strategic account management teams dedicated to you. These teams serve as internal advocates and critical go-betweens. This minimizes unnecessary handoffs and cycles lost to outsourcing.
For some of you reading this article, you may find that a freelance, consultant, new hire or content-specific agency is the solution that you’re looking for. That’s great! And we wish you well in your B2B content marketing endeavors.
For many of you, though, you will find an integrated approach to B2B content marketing is the best bang for your buck. You get awesome content for a reasonable monthly retainer, plus all the follow-through a well-rounded content strategy requires for success.