What’s the cost of content marketing? I’ll assume that you’ve bought into the need for content marketing, and you just want to know what it should cost.


Content marketing is just a part of your total marketing, and your marketing spend should be somewhere between 2 -5% of your gross revenue. You should allow for the following:

  • Planning ($25,000):
    • $5,000 for an external audit.
    • $20,000 to build your strategy.
  • Execution:
    • Insource for $80,000 per person, on average. You’re going to have some younger team members, and some more senior, and therefore wages will change;
    • Outsource between $2,000-$20,000 per month; or,
    • Piece rates for about $500 per article, and more for a bigger piece like an eBook.
  • Tools:
    • $1,000 per month.

All up, a small business should allow for around 5% of grow revenue on marketing and expect to see this drop to closer to 2% as you grow.

What they say

To identify the cost of content marketing I looked at several sources including five excellent articles, which I’ll summarise below.

Article 1

This article was written by an agency, as such it largely focuses on the rates per month for audit strategy and execution by media type, with an emphasis on social. The net conclusions are very consistent with our other contributors, but basically it suggests you want to be planning to spend around $2,000-$10,000 per month on content marketing.

Article 2

The next article we found is from Jacob Warwick and basically he covers in-house costs, as well as outsourcing costs, and helpfully, reminds us to remember to budget for tools.

Article 3

The third article, from Sales Lion, suggests spending between $2,000-$20,000 per month for smaller businesses, and around $50,000 for larger businesses.

Article 4

The fourth article we found is from Lloyd Faulk, and he is largely in agreement with the first 3 sources.

Article 5

The fifth article we found is not entirely relevant for today’s topic, but great article nonetheless. ‘Ranking number 0 for SEO,’ basically it’s talking about featured answers. Featured answers are when you type a phrase into Google, and instead of just getting a result, you actually get a completed answer which Google has compiled. This is a great article on how to do that effectively. Now, SEO is a part of content marketing, or more correctly, SEO is a beneficiary of good content marketing, but our subject today is really around the cost of content marketing, so not much there to share.

What I think

Drawing on my own experience in helping with the outsourced B2B marketing of a number of really great companies, I suggest the following:

  • Don’t skimp on planning, including an audit, to understand exactly where you’re at.
  • Get blended execution.
  • Don’t spend less than $2,000 per month on outsourced marketing. Basically, do it yourself if you aren’t spending at least that amount. Do it yourself until you can afford to spend $2,000 a month, then outsource it.
  • Once you’re spending around $10,000 a month, bring it back in-house.
  • Retain external experts.
Effective planning is an important foundation to your content marketing

Effective planning is an important foundation to your content marketing

There is very little variation between the articles, and even our own experience. You need to plan on spending between 2 -5% of your total revenue on marketing, and frankly, content marketing these days is the lion’s share of your marketing. Your content marketing sits in the context of your overall marketing. Your overall marketing sits in the context of your sales and marketing. You simply can’t build a content marketing plan without an overall sales and marketing plan. Of course, that’s the role of Funnel Plan.

In your funnel plan, map out the entire buyer’s journey, and identify the tactics that you’ll use for every stage in the buyer’s journey. Before that, you’re going to map out the problem that you’re trying to solve, and for whom you’re solving that; key strategic questions.

Now, if you don’t have a funnel plan, get one. Start with a free one. You can have it for free forever, with limited functionality, but it’s enough. Get started with that. When you outgrow the free version, of course you can upgrade it for not a lot of money.


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