Inbound Marketing Costs: What You Need to Know
It can be really difficult for companies to know what to pay for an inbound marketing campaign. There are many different strategies to pursue an inbound marketing strategy, with various levels of intensity. Determining a budget depends on your customer demographic, business size, and metrics like lifetime customer values or average order size.
The Basics of Inbound Marketing Pricing Structures:
Start with Content
The core of inbound marketing is build around providing valuable content to your potential customers, and drawing them in through that value rather than interrupting their lives with your outbound marketing messages. The cost of producing this content depends on how frequently you want to share new content, how much of the content you are able to produce in-house, and what kind of content you need to produce. A monthly plan can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars for the writing and management of a monthly blog, to several thousand for high volume or extensive content development. Determining the right amount depends on your customer’s needs and your businesses’ goals.
- Summary: $200 to $3,000+ per month depending type and volume of content needed
Once the content is created, the rest of the inbound marketing campaign will make that content discoverable. Search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and more are usually leveraged for the distribution of content. This pricing for these services ranges again on the approach and strategy of your business. A monthly newsletter might just cost an hour or two of work, but sending daily emails is a different story. Same with social media posting. SEO usually starts around $500 per month for a basic, localized project and can run into the thousands for national campaigns or highly competitive keywords.
- Summary: $750 to $5,000+ per month depending on frequency and intensity of campaign
Often a lead generation tool, such as a whitepaper or other PDF download, is created and offered to potential customers in exchange for their contact info. This formally captures them as a lead. It can take between 5-20 hours to create this content and usually 2-10 hours to create a landing page depending on how detailed you want to get.
- Summary: 10 – 30 hours of work per campaign & target market; one-time expense
Automate Your Efforts
Lastly, marketing automation software is pretty essential to the inbound process. We are Hubspot partners and have enjoyed using their software end-to-end. The keyword research tool enables us to find organic search opportunities, the blog and landing page platform makes it easy for us to generate leads, and email automation means we can engage with prospects in our sleep. With the analytics integration, everything is kept at high level so we simply know what’s working and what needs improvement. An automation software like Hubspot isn’t essential to an inbound marketing campaign for smaller businesses, but is a big cost and headache-saver for businesses that want to inbound marketing right over the long run. The software as a standalone cost can be a bit pricy ($400+ per month), but if well-integrated into the rest of the campaign, is easily worth it.
- $400 to $1,000+ per month depending on traffic, lead and customer volumes
Is It Working?
The key with inbound marketing pricing is to understand it’s all about value-based pricing. Because the whole system is built to attract and nurture leads, you will have a good idea after just a few months at the direction and ROI your strategy is delivering. Inbound works best for B2B businesses with high customer values or B2C businesses with a strong following and e-commerce setup. However, basic inbound marketing principles and strategies apply to every single business. It’s easier to evaluate than other marketing tactics, and saves your business time on the front end dealing with unqualified leads.
Tying It All Together:
At the end of the day, the philosophy of inbound marketing is simple. Produce great content so customers come to you when they need you (meaning they are pre-qualified) rather than trying to always drive your message or product into their busy lives. This is done by creating great content, but also making that content discoverable through organic search, social media, and other forms of digital marketing. With an inbound campaign, most of the cost comes in creating the content, so each service you choose to support that effort comes at a nice discount. For example, we lower the cost of SEO, social media, e-newsletters and more when there is a content strategy in place, because we don’t have to create additional content for each of those services.
Overall, a good inbound campaign will usually start at a $1500 monthly retainer on the low end, and can approach $10,000+ on the high end. If you know your customer acquisition costs and conversion rates, you will be able to build a good strategy and set the right the budget for your business. Looking to get started? Contact us and we’ll discuss your options.