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Content marketing is a proven marketing strategy. However, it takes a great deal of effort, with 60 percent of marketers publishing one new piece of content every single day. That level of commitment may translate into heavy expenses. Calculating a content marketing budget is an essential step in developing your content marketing strategy. This helps ensure you’re in a position to cover the costs and get a good return on the investment.

What Is a Content Marketing Budget?

A content marketing budget is the subset of your marketing budget dedicated to the creation, publication, and distribution of content for your content marketing strategy. These costs may include staffing, graphic design, advertising, and servers.

It’s important to have a budget in place. This budget helps to ensure you manage your business costs. Knowing exactly how much you’re spending makes it possible to evaluate the return on your investment, giving you the option to refine your marketing strategy so it’s more efficient over time.

How Much Is Your Competition Spending?

Content marketing works but the competition is fierce. Success comes at a cost, both in terms of dedication to your marketing goals and the expense associated with creating and distributing the content.

Average Expenditure

Spending on content marketing varies between the business-to-business (B2B) sector and the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector:

B2B: Marketers allocate an average of 26 percent of their total marketing budget to content marketing. 38 percent of marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase.

B2C: Marketers allocate an average of 22 percent of their total marketing budget to content marketing. 37 percent of marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase.

The Cost of Content

Average prices for content vary based on the content type, according to the 2017 State of the Creator Economy report:

  • Topical videos cost $631
  • White papers cost $959
  • Motion graphics cost $156
  • Photography costs $349
  • Articles cost $249
  • Listicles cost $214
  • Infographics cost $185

The Cost of Influencer Marketing

Statistics indicate that 94 percent of marketers who use influencer marketing believe it’s effective. 48 percent of U.S. marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budget for future campaigns. The cost of working with influencers varies based on what sponsored work is involved:

  • Streams cost $157
  • Videos cost $228
  • Blog posts cost $238
  • Tweets cost $32
  • Photographs cost $62

Considerations for Your Content Marketing Budget

When creating a content marketing budget for your company, there are many factors to consider. There’s no “one size fits all” answer to the question of how much you should spend. You need to ask yourself a series of questions about your business. Your answers to those questions should dictate a reasonable sum. Consider all of the following factors as you draw up your content marketing plan.

Company Size and Industry

Companies of all sizes use content marketing, but the size of your business is still an important consideration. Say your have a startup or small business lacking the funds and staffing necessary to run a comprehensive in-house marketing campaign. You may adopt an approach of outsourcing content. If yours is a large company in a competitive industry you may need to have the staff on hand to generate content at short notice to take advantage of new trends. The more competitive your industry is the more marketing budget you need to make your mark.

Marketing Goals

At all times, you need to keep your marketing goals in mind. If you want to generate a large amount of content quickly to develop an online presence and ensure your website launches with plenty of pages to boost your SEO through the use of links, looking for a cost-effective way to generate articles in bulk may be the best option. If you want to build your reputation, or establish yourself as a thought leader, quality is far more important than quantity. You may need to budget for a higher cost per article.

Staffing Options

A good content marketing system requires several roles including managers, writer, editors, video editors, graphic designers, tech support, and analysts. Some companies may employ people to take on these roles full time. Meanwhile other companies may decide to outsource the work to keep down their costs.

Guest Bloggers

A guest blogger may contribute to your site in exchange for a backlink on your blog page.

Freelance Writers

Half of freelance bloggers average $25 per post. The average income for a freelance blogger is $24,086 per year.

Corporate Writers

Employing a corporate blogger costs an average of $33,577 per year.

In-house Marketing Team

Employing permanent marketing staff is costly. The average content marketing specialist salaries ranging from $25,000 to $95,000. Senior content creator roles range from $44,668 to $108,636.


If you want to hand off all aspects of your content marketing, it pays to employ the services of a content marketing agency. Outsourcing costs vary considerably based on the size of the job and the pricing model the agency uses. However, some content outsourcing companies charge an hourly rate. Some may charge a fixed fee. Meanwhile others charge based on the level of success obtained.

Promotion and Distribution

Don’t forget to consider the cost of publishing and promoting your content, such as the fees associated with maintaining a company website or paying for advertising on search engines. A common cost is advertising on social media, with the price usually expressed as a cost per thousand impressions (CPM):

  • Facebook: $5.75
  • Twitter: $6.93
  • Instagram: $4.44

In the first quarter of 2018, the average CPM across all social media platforms was $5.58. This was down on the last quarter of 2017, when it peaked at $6.32.

Return on Investment

Your budget should be set in stone only as long as it needs to be. Continually reevaluate your campaigns, analyzing results and establishing the return on your investment. You may find you’re allocating too much money to ideas that simply aren’t working. You may find that a healthy return on the dollar for your investment in quality content makes it worthwhile to inject additional funds. Stay flexible. Adapt as necessary to ensure you’re always squeezing the best value possible out of every part of your budget. Don’t be afraid to cut your losses if something doesn’t work the way you expected.

Final Thought: Budget First

Getting a content marketing system off the ground is exciting, especially if it immediately shows signs of success. However, jumping in without having a budget in place is a recipe for disaster. This can increase risk of overspending or failing to identify which elements of your strategy need improvement. Before publishing any content, get your content marketing system in place and develop a budget to help you measure your metrics for success in the long term.