Super Bowl ads cost a lot.
The average cost of an ad is around $5 million. Marketing for one commercial spot can cost as much as $1.25 million.
That comes out to about $41,600 dollars / second.
$5 million for one short spot?
Could it be wasted money?
The truth, according to a Stanford study, is that commercials by soda and beer companies have an insignificant effect on revenue. And 80% of commercials do nothing to boost sales or purchase intent, according to Bloomberg experts.
Here’s my next question.
Could content marketing outperform a Super Bowl ad?
I think so.
In today’s post, I’m making the argument that it can, by comparing a two-year investment in content marketing ($37k) vs. a 1-second Super Bowl ad investment ($41k). Read on.
The High Cost of Being in the Super Bowl Ad Game
Companies justify the cost of advertising in order to keep pace with the competition, to give their brand greater visibility, and to keep consumers talking long after the winning touchdown is made.
To add to the mix, the rise of social media and advanced technology means we can share, YouTube, and tweet these commercials over and over again after companies have rushed to take the first place in line when commercial previews are unveiled in January.
Fun fact: the steep $5 million price tag is double what a Super Bowl ad cost ten years ago.
Can you afford to spend that much on content marketing?
The best of content creators could come up with a variety of efficient ways to spend $41,000 dollars in their efforts aside from a 30-second television spot.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be crazy expensive. And there are many ways a brand can spread a message that are both cost-effective and impactful.
Check out these incredible content marketing statistics:
- 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog. (BlogHer)
- 70% of consumers say they prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. (SlideShare)
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing. (Demand Metric)
See the pattern? Content marketing costs are less expensive and the preferred method for consumers to get to know a brand. This frees us up to explore other avenues in our quest to deliver authoritative and authentic copy.
Thankfully, those methods are cost-effective, allowing us to market a brand without a hefty price tag; we’ve gathered three effective tools and some powerful stats to show you how.
Ready to jump in?
The Math: Content Marketing Costs vs. Super Bowl Ad Costs
(Content costs based on our agency services at Express Writers. Keep reading for the breakdown.)
Why High-Quality Content Marketing Plays a Vital Role in a Brand’s Life (& 3 Winners)
Content marketers have proven time and again that they don’t need to spend thousands of dollars per second on flashy advertising in order to be successful. Reasonably-priced content marketing has the potential to make a difference to a brand’s online life.
High-quality tools like e-books, blogging packages, and social media can do wonders for a marketer’s efforts and bring a new vitality to a brand’s online presence for a non-millionaire price.
Here are three cost-effective, lead-generating content tactics you can use when you don’t have millions to invest in a Super Bowl ad.
With the right promotion and the support of a collaborative team, an e-book can not only generate leads, but also be the tool that converts. An e-book can set you apart as an authority in your field and can serve as a powerful source of information for your audience for years to come.
Another benefit of ebooks is the opportunity to deconstruct the content into smaller pieces, which could include:
- a series of newsletters
- blog posts
- podcast series
- a list of do’s and don’ts
Barry Feldman over at Convince and Convert calls this the “e-book equation.” He notes that while planning for your ebook, it should be formed in such a way to “cast a wide net over a fertile area that traces to one of your strengths,” then outlined, researched, and written with the knowledge that it will “foster offspring.”
In the 2017 Content Marketing Institute Benchmarks report, 75% of B2C marketers noted that blogging was one of an average of seven marketing tactics used in their efforts; this fell just under the top answer of social media content
Graphic from SlideShare
Just over half of those surveyed said blogging will be most critical to their content marketing success.
In their most basic form, blogs are easy to use and can cost almost nothing to maintain. As a converting tool, blogs can be the fuel that moves readers to your social media channels and sales pages. Blogs are the place where SEO is maximized.
Successful blogging in today’s world of content development is easier than ever. The accessibility of quality tools for content marketers leaves us with little excuse for delivering subpar content on an inconsistent basis.
- Quora is a question-and-answer site that will help content creators with new ideas for topics. (link)
- BuzzSumo allows you to enter a topic or website into the search box and find the key influencers to help promote your content. (link)
- Canva lets users express creativity through custom-made images, and many of the elements are free. (link)
If used consistently and creatively, blogs can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. Why does consistent blogging win? Read more here.
3. Social Media
The rise of social media over the past several years has had both a direct and indirect impact on content marketing and search engine optimization. Having a social media presence is not only one way to build brand awareness, it also connects us more closely with our audience with opportunity for engagement.
In the CMI research mentioned above, social media channels followed email as the top for distribution of content, which means marketers are becoming more aware of how important it is to be linked to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Why invest in social media?
- Nearly 70% of Americans use social media to connect with others and engage with content. (Source)
- Vision trumps our other senses. We remember 10% of what we hear and 65% of what we see. (Source)
- Tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without. (Source)
- 81% of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing. (Source)
Social media continues to be an important and affordable component of an overall content strategy, and with the right approach, it’s reach can be wide.
What A 2 Year Investment in Content Services Can Bring You
The services available from our own agency offer a higher value for the cost, and our clients receive much more than they would with other avenues. Our team is made up of trained and committed writers, designers, and social media experts who combine their trained approach with industry knowledge to deliver top-notch content for your needs.
Here are just a few of the high ROI services available from our specialists at Express Writers.
- Ongoing blogging plan: Choose this plan and we will provide your website with 16 blogs per month with up to 1000 words each. Includes branded imagery, meta descriptions, and publishing. Every blog is SEO optimized, written by our engaging blog writers, and includes high-quality links and reader-friendly formatting (H2s / H3s). Proofreading by our editorial staff is included. Price: $980 per month. Additional services include content planning and expert writing. (See it here)
- Authority blogs: Receive up to 4500 words backed with keyword strategy and research by our trained Content Strategists who will find a low competition, high opportunity long-tail keyword to include and optimize for in your content. Your content is then assigned to an industry-fit Authority Writer, and written from scratch. Original illustrations will be created by our designer and you will receive a feature graphic to use on social media. Price: $900 per month. (See it here)
- Web pages: Custom Expert copy services begin at 500 words and include content written by a handpicked writing expert who specializes in your chosen subject. Select your word count, send us the details, and we will take care of the rest! Price: $90 per piece. (See it here)
- E-book/whitepapers: These two products serve as the perfect lead magnet for content marketing. A ten-page e-book is created with expert copywriting and original illustrative designs crafted from scratch. Price: $750 (See it here). Our creative and experienced marketing team writers produce whitepapers for a variety of services and businesses that can be delivered as copy only or beautifully designed for your need. Price: $100 (See it here)
- Social media plan: The social media Enterprise Plan offers you the maximum mileage for your content. You will receive custom-designed text images added to your posts, which will be posted multiple times daily to various platforms. Five custom premium branded images are designed and posted on a weekly basis, including to Pinterest. Price: $1025 per month. (See it here)
A Content Success Story
Here at Express Writers, we remain committed to delivering custom content that works for our clients. Check out what happened when a marketing agency connected with us for their content needs.
Marketing Labs is a digital marketing agency located in Worksop, England that is dedicated to helping online businesses increase their website traffic and improve conversion rates. Their team of professionals includes many individuals who possess more than a decade of experience in the area of online growth and customer service. Based on thei expertise, they were set to become a premier digital marketing agency in their area.
In their search for a copywriting agency that would bring a certain level of competency to the table, they realized they needed not only quality writing, but the speed and knowledge necessary to deliver authoritative content for their digital marketing efforts.
After connecting with Express Writers, our team began creating and implementing a content plan for the Marketing Labs blog, as well as cleaning up and optimizing the product description copy for one of their clients. The results were amazing.
See our success stories here.
The Marketing Labs team is now in place to become a leading digital marketing agency throughout all of England. As their CEO Matt says, “Being able to add the kind of quality writing (EW provides) to our services makes us an extremely attractive proposition to those seeking to optimize their digital exposure.”
Recapping the Challenges to Content Marketing
We can’t end without recapping some of the top challenges facing content marketers.
Going back to the CMI research, the top one was content strategy. The second challenge was time.
Only 40% of those surveyed claim to have a documented strategy; 42% plan to increase their content marketing spending over the next year.
If we want to enhance our efforts, we need both a documented strategy and a marketing budget. Those are two tangible steps we can start working on today, right where we are.
Once a strategy is documented (what you want to accomplish and when), and a budget is set (how much you can spend and on what), the next challenge comes with researching, writing, and scheduling all of that awesome content.
That is, if you have the time.
If not, there are some options out there.
- Delegating a team member: If you are part of a larger team, there is a good chance someone is a skilled writer or social media guru who can take over the responsibility of content creation. Maybe that means hiring someone to join the team with the specific task of writing and managing your e-books, social media, and blogs.
- Hiring a freelancer: A freelance writer may charge by the hour or the piece, and rates may be negotiable. Quality of the work may not be guaranteed, and you should remember that you get what you pay for. A freelancer may or may not be well-versed in the topics you are focusing on, so there needs to be clear communication so that the right message is delivered.
- Working with an outside agency: A well-qualified agency with a reputation for excellence and a commitment to quality will have a team of trained writers who are prepared to fulfill your content creation needs. Beyond a single, pay-by-the-page blog post, a team of writers can be invaluable for e-book creation, ongoing blog plans, and social media management that will increase the visibility of your brand and put authority behind your message.
Is Your Brand Creating Content That Makes for an Extremely Attractive Proposition?
It can be a tough business, this content marketing gig. Almost half of us feel like we are only somewhat more effective when compared with a year ago, and that’s understandable.
We face deadlines and budgets and client expectations every day, and we all know time stops for no marketer. And that’s saying nothing for our life outside of work (hopefully you have one. If not, that’s a topic for another post).
While some things are out of our hands, there some things we content marketers can control.
We can do things like:
- document a strategy
- set goals for our content
- develop a vision for our own brand that we strive to live out in our daily schedule
These are the basic parts of effective planning, and should be the basis for every piece of content we create. The strategy, goals, and vision for our brand need to be woven into the message we convey.
There are other things that are out of our control. Contrary to what we may believe, we can’t do it all, and we need the support of a collaborative team and guidance from industry experts.
We can’t perform miracles like:
- put more hours in the day
- accomplish all our goals without support
- make $41,000 suddenly appear in our budgets for advertising (unless you can, in which case, give us a call)
For all that we cannot control, there are cost-effective, time-saving options that can work wonders for our marketing efforts and make us an extremely attractive proposition. The tools at our disposal like automated scheduling and the use of repurposed content are designed to make content creation easier and are a good place to start.
Consider a partnership with an agency of well-qualified writers, designers, and social media managers who can take your good ideas and turn them into a conversion masterpiece.
Keep Moving Forward
We can’t all afford Super Bowl ads. But we can all take steps forward in the journey of creating high-quality, authoritative content that will engage our audience and keep them coming back for more. All without breaking the bank.