How Much Does Real Content Marketing Cost?

How Much Does Real Content Marketing Cost?

If you want to get a better idea about how much real content marketing will cost your organization, look no further.

Crafting a successful content marketing strategy requires several processes working dynamically to maximize your ROI. Below is Vertical Measures’ process for developing a winning content marketing strategy – this should provide an idea of how much it might cost your organization to implement.

**Remember, cost is very relevant to the scope, size, timing, and complexity of each campaign, so use this blog post only as a guideline to understand where you might fall within the spectrum.

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How much does content research cost?

Depending on the size and scope of your company’s goals, a complete site audit could cost anywhere between $5,000-$25,000. A complete marketing audit may include:

  • Inventory of existing site content
  • Content and resource planning
  • Social media efforts
  • Competitor performance
  • Website optimization
  • Analytics tracking
  • And more…

The most important thing to keep in mind is: What are your campaign goals? By understanding your goals first and foremost, you can better understand the scope and potential cost of a campaign.

There are many content marketing goals that might apply to your business:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Grow traffic to your website
  • Increase leads
  • Boost online sales

Research is a critical starting point for any content marketing strategy. Without it, you’ll be unable to accurately measure benchmarks, marketing KPIs, and healthy expectations as you implement the strategy.


How much does a content strategy cost?

Content strategies can be priced anywhere from $5,000 for a very basic strategy, to $50,000 or more for a comprehensive strategy that might be appropriate for the Fortune 500.

Once you’ve outlined the goals you’d like content marketing to achieve, the next step is to begin developing the actual content marketing strategy.

Proper planning can mean the difference between success and failure. Many different components are involved in a content marketing strategy which includes, but are not limited to, items like:

  • Inventory of your existing content
  • Analysis of your target audience
  • Setting goals and target landmarks
  • Creation of a custom content plan for your business

One of the most essential pieces in this process is the content marketing editorial calendar. With this calendar, you can schedule article topics or blog posts in advance, so you have plenty of time to research, create, and promote your content to the relevant prospects.

Even when you start to run out of ideas, falling back on your content calendar allows you to create new content or repurpose existing content into other unique content pieces. Creating an editorial content calendar will allow you to pre-plan the topics that resonate with your audience into a strict schedule that keeps the pace of content creation efficient.


A strategy will incorporate all the research listed above, as well as a detailed plan. Because the strategy is so important, and the size and scope of businesses requiring a strategy vary greatly, you will find that pricing for this type of work varies greatly.

How much does content development cost?

Creating high-quality content can run the gamut depending on complexity, research, employee incentives, and more, but generally falls into the price range of $500 – $3,000 for solid content. This typically includes space for revisions, research, custom graphics, etc.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road and your research, analysis, and strategy planning come together. With it, you can create the most engaging content your target audience will enjoy reading and sharing, and more importantly, find useful.

Content can be created from a variety of digital mediums to reach your audience, some examples include:

  • Infographics
  • eBooks
  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • Curated content
  • Resource pages
  • Articles and/or blog posts
  • Interactive content

Once you’ve decided on a topic and content format to use, the next step in the process is to create a rough draft, wireframe, or outline for the intended content piece.

Remember, content provides a piece of internet real estate that will keep working for years and years down the road. That’s the beauty of content marketing, it’s not a flashbang opportunity like traditional advertising; it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

How much does content optimization cost?

The cost to optimize your existing or new site content can vary from provider to provider, with many charging an hourly rate (around $75-$200) to implement and execute the required changes.

What’s great content if no one knows about it, right?

Quality SEO services ensure search engines and your intended target audience find the content via many different online channels, thereby increasing your brand awareness and authority, or helping achieve any other goals you’ve set down in your strategy.

Doing the research and choosing the best titles to rank organically in search is how you get content in front of as many people as possible.

Optimizing page titles, creating SEO friendly URL’s, remembering image ALT tags, and integrating header tags are important for the on-page aspects of the site and written content. Multivariate testing can allow you to find the highest converting page layout and site copy to increase sales or leads in your online business.

How much does content promotion cost?

With such a wide array of options to get your content distributed, pricing can vary depending on the vendor and campaign goals. The prices for distribution can range from $75-150/hour to create, optimize and manage social media accounts. Or, you might need to set aside an advertising budget of $100-$1,000 to see if you can get some decent traction and ultimately a measurable ROI for a specific piece of content. This is a growing aspect of digital marketing these days, and some firms spend 10’s of thousands of dollars, per month, promoting a single piece of content.

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Now that your content is optimized, the next component is getting the right content in front of the right audience. In the early days of the internet, the only ways to promote and distribute your content were in the form of message boards or forums, and maybe some old-school press releases.

Today, however, you have a quicker and more efficient alternative to getting attention in the forms of social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, SlideShare and many more.

Having your social media accounts set up and properly handled can be instrumental in building a trusting and engaged audience that comments, retweets, likes and shares the content with their network. Including your company branding and color scheme in the customization of the various platforms will instill trust and confidence in your brand across the web.

How much for content marketing education and workshops?

The costs associated with a training in content marketing can be from as little as an hourly consulting rate, to short presentations, half day, or full-day workshops, all ranging from $800-$6,000.

Since content marketing can be such a culture shift for many companies, it’s often vital to make sure your team is trained in the art of content marketing internally. Learning the right way to research, strategize, create, optimize and promote your content can enable you to provide the most compelling, thought-provoking content as it related to your industry.

The questions and nuances of the vertical can only be conveyed by someone who lives and breathes the business every single day. Reprogramming the way an organization thinks about and creates content can be a true change for the better.


By creating a truly personalized curriculum based on your company and industry, content marketing training can be tailored to your needs and goals and can help to craft the right strategy for your content marketing efforts.

Whether choosing an onsite content marketing workshop at your company location to more affordable webinars, the options available to your company are flexible to achieve the results you deserve in the brave new world of content marketing.

Onsite workshops and presentation give you a personalized training session at your business location and can provide a ROI that will pay for itself well into the future.

The Real Cost of Content Marketing

As you can see, the cost of content marketing can broadly range from $5,000-$50,000+  per month depending on your business size, goals, marketing budget, and resources. Use this article to guide your understanding of the elements that go into the development of your program.

There is no better time to leverage your first mover advantage to become the authoritative thought leader in your industry before many of your competitors can catch up.

Getting Started

Top-down buy-in is still critical, especially for small businesses. Key executives in your organization need to recognize that a content marketing strategy is crucial to their success on the Internet, and they need to understand that they, too, will have to participate. Once the top has bought-in, you can get the rest of the staff involved. There’s a place for everyone to help create content and reach your audience at each stage of the journey.

Above all, top-down buy-in means that you can look to anyone and everyone to provide inspiration and new ideas to reach your audience. Foster a fun environment where creative expression is valued. The more you encourage creativity, the more you can gain from your content marketing strategy. And always remember, just because you wrote it, took a picture of it or shot a video, it doesn’t mean you have to publish it. But you must start creating content with the intent of using it. Your content will do nothing if it sits on your desktop.


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Brad Kuenn

Brad Kuenn is the co-author of The Customer Journey: How an Owned Audience Can Transform Your Business and Content Marketing Works. As Marketing Director at Investis Digital, Brad manages internal inbound marketing and acts as senior editor for the website. Brad’s responsible for ensuring that content efficiently reaches established goals, delivers optimum results, and aligns with Vertical Measures values. Follow him @BKuenn +Brad Kuenn