How Much Should Inbound Marketing REALLY Cost?
Considering inbound marketing for your business, but unsure how much it’s going to cost?
Maybe you own a small business looking to increase your leads and sales with limited resources, or you already have your own marketing team just raring to get started – all you need is a bit of guidance along the way.
Whatever the reason, one thing’s for sure; trying to find the one definitive cost of inbound marketing online can be infuriating – simply because there isn’t one.
In fact, wherever you go, whether it’s an agency or a cost calculator, you’ll most likely always get quoted a different price – which is why I thought I’d put together this blog post to help you work out how much inbound marketing should REALLY cost.
The average cost of inbound marketing
Let’s get started with the basics, shall we?
The average cost of inbound marketing can be anywhere between £1,000 and £10,000 per month – and yes, I’m aware that’s a significant margin.
Your own inbound marketing costs will come down to a number of factors, such as whether you choose an agency or decide to do all your marketing in-house, along with which kind of software package you opt for, and the amount of content you intend to produce each month.
Let me break it down for you a bit more.
Determining your costs
In order to determine your inbound marketing costs, you (or your chosen agency) should first perform a full audit on your website and the content you already have.
If you have out-of-the-box content (such as ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, videos etc.) that you can leverage, it could reduce your overall costs.
If you do decide to go down the agency route, the first thing they should do is determine your challenges, as the amount of content you will need to create will be dependent on your goals and inbound marketing strategy.
In order to effectively figure out your costs, you should expect your chosen agency to carry out a scoping project that shows you everything that needs to be done, from your website flow and content, to a content marketing blueprint (CMB), content calendar, and all your outlined costs.
This should be provided in one, clear document, along with the total cost in an easy-to-understand, detailed quote (this may be chargeable).
What exactly are you paying for?
A solid inbound marketing strategy should include the following as part of your costs:
- An inbound marketing writer to work with you on ideas, conduct interviews and write the content
- A professional editor to check the content fits the persona and is written to spec.
- An experienced graphic designer to come up with visuals and infographics for your content
- An inbound-certified strategist, experienced in SEO, automation software and email workflows.
- A project manager to oversee your campaigns and put together your monthly marketing report
- Inbound marketing automation software – the glue that holds your marketing efforts together
An inbound marketing agency should provide all of this for you. However, if you decide to do all of your marketing in-house, you should check you have a big enough team to cover everything mentioned above.
You should also make sure your chosen agency (or in-house project strategist/project manager) are inbound marketing certified.
What else can affect cost?
It’s also worth noting that no two agencies will charge the same, so it’s wise to do your own research, get a few different quotes and talk to a few different agencies before you pick the one that seems right for you.
In my own research, I’ve come across agencies offering stripped-down support packages for as little as £600 per month, to full enterprise-level inbound marketing packages for over £10,000.
For a better idea of some of the best inbound marketing agencies out there, take a look at my recent blog post ‘Ratings/Reviews: Who are the Best Inbound Marketing Companies?’
If you decide to do all your marketing in-house, or recruit a freelance writer or designer to complement your team, their rate could also vary depending on experience level and geographical location. You may decide to conduct interviews to see who is the best fit for your team when taking this into consideration.
Ways to save on budget
Costs already spiralling out of control in your head? Don’t panic – there ARE ways you can save on budget.
Your first option on a budget is to do ALL of your inbound marketing in-house. However, the time it takes to find good writers, designers, and get your inbound marketing certification takes time – which is why it’s often easier to go down the agency route.
Or, you could try taking care of various elements of your inbound marketing (such as a the design, or content creation) yourself, but still have the expertise of a certified inbound marketing strategist guiding the way.
Some inbound marketing agencies offer custom (or stripped down) packages that offer basic support for your own team, or a limited amount of monthly content.
Analysing and tracking results
Finally, it’s important to invest in software that allows you to analyse the effectiveness of your inbound marketing efforts and helps you to achieve the best possible – as I mentioned briefly above.
Inbound marketing automation software (such as HubSpot) can help you every step of the way, from measuring which content is generating the most leads and sales, to exactly how your email marketing, landing pages and social media campaigns are performing.
They can also be an end-to-end solution and help you with what’s known as lifecycle marketing, which tracks your visitors right through to the end of their journey when they finally become customers – so you know exactly what’s working and what isn’t.
Software like this can cost anywhere between £1,000 and £20,000 per year, and usually needs to be paid up front, so it’s important to figure this into your costs.
If you like the idea of inbound marketing to help grow your business, but aren’t sure whether it’s financially viable, the above guide should help give you a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay, depending on your needs.
The average cost of inbound can be anywhere between £1,000 and £10,000 per month, and will depend on which agency and software you choose, and the type of package you decide to go for. If you have the time, you could even opt to save on budget by doing some or all of your inbound marketing in-house.
Remember, you should factor in the cost of:
- An inbound-certified writer
- A professional editor
- An experienced graphic designer
- An inbound-certified project strategist
- A project manager
- Inbound marketing automation software