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How Much Should Content Marketing Really Cost?

by | Sep 24, 2015 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

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content-marketing-costsQuality content is absolutely essential for any successful inbound marketing campaign – but how much should it cost?

Perhaps you’ve realised you need to start filling your blog with quality content marketing in order to fuel the amount of leads and sales coming into your business, but you simply don’t have the time to spend hours writing it yourself.

That’s okay – many companies end up outsourcing their content to freelance copywriters (like myself) or agencies who can build up an effective content marketing strategy.

If you’ve been thinking about outsourcing your content marketing, you’ve probably already come across various different ideas about price – from agencies which charge hundreds of pounds, to content mills that are cheap as chips, and everything in-between.

Below, I’m going to give you a better idea of how much content marketing should really cost.

The average cost of content marketing

Hmmm, this is a tricky one.

A recent study by the Content Marketing Institute stated that on average, around 30% of B2B budgets are spent on content marketing.

However, whether you’re outsourcing your content marketing or getting someone in-house, it really depends on the experience level and going rate of any particular writer or agency, as well as your budget.

Determining your costs

The cost of your content marketing will really come down to how much content you’re going to need on a monthly basis.

Personally, I’d recommend starting at no less than two blog posts per week that focus on answering your customers’ questions and addressing their challenges.

But there are a few different routes you can go down when it comes to actually sourcing your content. The main ones are:

Freelance

As a freelance writer, I’ve seen my peers charge anywhere between £25 – £60 per hour for their work – and I’d say this is probably the average range you can expect to pay.

Each blog post should probably take a writer between 1 and-a-half to two hours to write. So, if that writer charges £40 per hour, for eight pieces of content per month, you’d be looking at between £480 – £640 per month.

A freelance writer can be a good option for some companies, although not all freelancers are experienced with inbound marketing, so you could be spending money on content that doesn’t get the desired results.

You may also want to hire an editor to ensure that all the work that goes out is completely flawless.

Agency

A professional marketing agency will have the experience and expertise to take you exactly where you need to be with your content. The range of services on offer from these agencies can vary, and often can go much further than simply coming up with quality content.

I’d always recommend going for an agency that uses an inbound marketing approach, and can work with your existing budget.

The average monthly cost you can expect to pay for an agency can typically be anywhere between £1,500 – £4,500.

In-house

According to Payscale.com, the average annual salary you can expect to pay an in-house copywriter is just over £22k. Of course, this really depends on the experience level of the writer, with the higher end of the scale rising to around £34k.

Remember, having your own dedicated copywriter may not always be the best option, unless they are also experienced in inbound marketing and can put together an effective content marketing strategy.

Ways to save on budget

There ARE ways to cut this price down, and maybe small businesses find cut-rate content from content mills such as Copify or Zerys.

However, the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ really applies here. If you’re only prepared to pay £10 for a 500-word piece, you can’t expect the writer to spend a lot of time researching or checking for typos.

You also can’t guarantee you’re going to get an experienced writer, or someone who knows anything about the subject you’ve requested, so you’re really taking a bit of a gamble on these sites.

I suppose you could argue that for such a cheap rate, it’s a gamble worth taking – and there ARE some talented writers on such sites – but some view content mills as taking advantage of good writers who are down on their luck and really deserve to get paid more for their work.

In fact, you could say content mills are the Primark outlet of content marketing.

Conclusion

When it comes to successful inbound marketing, quality content is key. Many business end up outsourcing their content marketing, however, it’s not always easy to figure out how much you should be paying for quality content.

On average, freelance copywriters can charge anything between £25 – £60 per hour for their content. This means that per month, for eight articles, you would be paying anywhere between £300 – £960 per month.

Of course, there are cheaper options out there such as content mills, but remember; you get what you pay for.

How much would you pay for quality content?

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