Content marketing is a valuable asset for companies of all sizes. It’s also a viable strategy for business-to-business and business-to-consumer inbound marketing campaigns. But your company may not be set up for generating suitable content. Well-structured marketing strategy requires a team of professionals and a system in place. That way the right people see the right content. Outsourcing your content marketing is a solution. But, without an understanding of content marketing pricing, it’s difficult to know how much you should be spending.
Content Marketing Pricing: How Much Should You Pay?
There’s no easy answer to the question, “How much does content marketing cost?” because it varies based on a wide range of considerations, including subject matter, volume, purpose, and quality. Similarly, it’s not easy to put a figure on content marketing pricing. That figure varies significantly based on you company’s size, and what you’re hoping to achieve with a campaign.
Focusing on Content
Is your only intention to increase your online presence by generating a lot of content rapidly? Then the best approach is to find a freelancer capable of working rapidly at a reasonable rate. But for those who want targeted content marketing, it pays to put down some extra money. That way you receive high-caliber articles that reflect your company voice and aspirations.
Focusing on Results
Ultimately, what you should spend depends on your marketing budget and goals. To calculate this, you need a quantifiable measure for the return on your investment, so you’re in a position to analyze the effectiveness of content and determine subsequent pricing structures. There’s no point paying $100 per article if the work generates insufficient engagement to make that payment worthwhile. Develop a method for attaching a value to your results that identifies whether you made a profit or took a loss.
The Cost of Content Marketing
Content marketing pricing goes above and beyond the base price of the content. You may decide to pay only for content, and then handle distribution and analysis yourself; or you may pay a company to handle all aspects of your strategy. Either way, you need to factor in all of the applicable costs to determine the value for your money.
Hiring Freelance Writers
Content creators may value their services on a price-per-word or flat-rate basis. For example, you may agree on a piece of content with 1,000 words at a cost of $0.01 per word, or you may agree on a series of three articles at a price of $50 each. In some cases, it may pay to keep a writer on a retainer — paying a rolling fee in exchange for a fixed number of articles each month. Employing a corporate blogger could cost around $33,577 a year, but bloggers that receive payment per post often average only $25 per post.
Hiring an In-House Marketing Team
A well-run marketing system requires a team of professionals capable of handling all steps in the content creation process. Executives need someone to oversee the strategy. Strategists need managers to create the editorial calendar and drive the team. Managers need writers, editors, and graphic designers. You may also need analysts to define your success. Some roles may overlap, with a single person taking on several responsibilities.
If you don’t have the professionals on staff and you want to alleviate some of the burden on your time and finances, outsourcing your marketing to an agency is a possible solution. The costs depend on the scope of your campaign, and the level of support you require.
The price for a piece of content depends on the skill level required, the time taken, and the format. According to average prices from the 2017 State of the Creator Economy report:
- A white paper costs $959
- A video costs $631
- Photographs cost $349
- An article costs $249
- A listicle costs $214
- An infographic costs $185
Your promotion costs depend on when and how you intend to spread your message. This may include hosting costs for websites, or advertising costs for social media platforms. For example, the 2016 global average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) on Facebook was $5.75, while on Twitter it was $6.93 CPM.
How Can You Reduce Content Marketing Expenses?
A simple way to reduce content marketing costs is to source material from writers who specialize in the rapid production of material. Such writers work for low fees, but to achieve a rapid turnover they may fall back on techniques such as rewriting someone else’s work or combining several articles. Unfortunately, the resulting pieces may not be suitable for a fully developed content marketing system, especially if you want material that speaks to specific demographics within your core client base. A better option is to seek the best value possible within content marketing marketplaces or platforms.
- Content marketing marketplaces: Marketplaces are online networks of freelancers. You have the option to search for content providers based on criteria such as experience, influence, or price.
- Content marketing platforms: Platforms offer a complete approach to content marketing, with a network of content creators, managed support, training, integration with various distribution channels, and analysis of performance. This way, you get all the benefits of a marketplace, but with the additional support necessary to ensure you get good value and a strong return on your investment.
Regardless of whether you choose a marketplace or a platform, make sure you’re going to have access to the right skill set to drive your campaign and achieve your goals, while avoiding potentially costly mistakes. Having access to a variety of content marketing services makes it possible to adapt your strategy and work within your budget.
Takeaway: Getting What You Pay For
The old adage “you get what you pay for” is certainly true when it comes to content marketing, which is why it’s essential to understand what you want to pay for. In some cases, cheap content with a broad reach may be perfectly suitable for your needs, while sometimes it may pay to invest heavily in tailored content for specific purposes. There’s no wrong choice — only wrong expectations. By having clearly defined goals and taking the time to analyze the effectiveness of content as part of an ongoing content marketing pricing strategy, it’s possible to ensure you always know what you want out of a campaign, and have the quantifiable data to verify success.