What Should Your Content Marketing Budget Be? | Express Writers

What Should Your Content Marketing Budget Be?

by | Mar 7, 2023 | Content Marketing

The benefits of content marketing are clear: it can help any organization boost brand exposure, increase sales, and improve customer loyalty.

Studies show that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing strategies while generating about 3 times as many leads.

However, compared to its benefits, knowing how much your content marketing budget should be is often harder to pinpoint. Beyond setting an amount, you also must choose what to spend your money on and where.

Unfortunately, there is no magical one-size-fits-all formula for calculating the ideal content marketing budget for every business. Still, there are some good guidelines that can get you pointed in the right direction.

Keep reading to learn how much your business should invest in your content marketing.

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Why You Need a Content Marketing Budget

There are no simple solutions in today’s complicated online world. That includes your content marketing budget. With the ever-changing economics of today’s world, the content marketing budget can seem like an easy thing for business executives to cut.

However, with a solid understanding of why your business needs a strong content marketing budget, you can hopefully avoid budget cuts and maintain, or even grow, your resources.

A well-structured content marketing strategy and budget can show higher-ups how much of an impact this money has and why it is in the best interest of the brand to fully invest in content.

Here are some powerful statistics that show the importance of a content marketing budget:

Without a solid content marketing budget, you could potentially be throwing money toward ineffective mediums or channels. Knowing how much to spend and where to spend is crucial to your content marketing success.

What Should a Content Marketing Budget Cover?

According to the Deloitte annual CMO Survey, marketing expenses increased to 13.8% of businesses’ overall budgets as of September 2022. This is the highest amount in the history of the CMO survey (since 2008).

Marketing Budgets 2023

Source: https://cmosurvey.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/The_CMO_Survey-Highlights_and_Insights_Report-September_2022.pdf

While a marketing budget will include more than just content marketing, content marketing could be a significant portion of the overall marketing budget. This is especially relevant with the decline of traditional marketing mediums like television and radio ads.

The typical content marketing budget includes funding for a variety of things, including:

  • Content marketing strategy: You need a structured plan for your content marketing to succeed. This typically requires time, money, and effort to create.
  • Content creation: Whether you use an in-house team or outsource your content creation, you must pay someone to create your content.
  • Content distribution: Once your content is published, the chances of someone reading or viewing it are somewhat low unless you distribute or promote it. This typically includes paid ads, promoted social media posts, and sponsored content.
  • Labor costs: You need to pay professionals to create, publish, and distribute your content.
  • Equipment costs: Along with standard business hardware, like computers, you also need to invest in quality software like a content management system (CMS) and social media management tools.

How to Build a Content Marketing Budget

The ideal content marketing budget for your business is going to look different than the content marketing budget for another business. This means it may take some trial and error to find the best combination for your content marketing strategy.

To help you create the most cost-effective budget, here are a few things you should consider:

  • The size of your company
  • Your industry
  • The effect content can have on your brand
  • Who you want to target with your content
  • What content channels will be the most effective for your brand
  • The average content marketing budgets for similar businesses

There are three key steps in determining the ideal content marketing budget for your business.

1. Set Your Budget 

According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), the average B2B business allocates 26% of its marketing budget to content marketing. For B2C businesses, that number was only 22%. However, CMI suggests that the businesses with the best content marketing outcomes reserve about 40% of their marketing budgets for content marketing.

This means if your overall marketing budget is $50,000, you should spend between $11,000 and $20,000 on content marketing.

If you are just starting out, consider setting your budget at the lower end of that range to avoid overextending yourself in the beginning. This gives you room to grow instead of feeling like you wasted money on something that didn’t work.

2. Distribute Your Budget 

Once you have settled on a content marketing budget that everyone is comfortable with, you must shift your focus to distributing the funds. Before you start handing over money, consider the following:

  • What goals do you want to achieve with your content?
  • What is my distribution plan?
  • How will I measure the performance of my content marketing?
  • What tools do I need to help me be successful?

Answering these questions can give you some direction in your budget allocation and help you choose your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Now, you can move on to content considerations. There are a wide range of content types to choose from, each with its own unique costs and benefits.

For example, blogs are relatively inexpensive to produce and can be a good source for lead generation. More attention-grabbing, high-value content, like videos and infographics, costs more and quickly exhausts your budget. However, that does not mean you should ignore them. A high-quality video that costs significantly more to produce than a blog may bring you more leads and new customers than any blog.

Your business must decide which channels and types of content are most valuable for your target audience. If they show little interest in video, it might not be worth it for you to produce many.

In the end, you should offer various types of content that fit within your budget while staying focused on your goals and the needs of your audience.

3. Track Your Performance 

To make your content marketing budget work effectively, you should continually monitor the performance of your campaigns. This can show you where you might be spending too much or too little.

For example, if you produce a blog that gets a lot of engagement on Facebook and other social media sites, you might think it is a success. However, if those likes and comments don’t turn into conversions, something isn’t working. Make sure you are tracking and paying attention to the right metrics to optimize your content marketing budget and strategy.

For businesses that are small or just getting started with content marketing, you should focus on a few KPIs until your brand recognition has grown enough. Once you are more established and comfortable with content marketing, you can branch out with a more vigorous strategy.

Content Marketing Budgets Based on Business Size

One of the largest factors in determining a content marketing budget is the size of your business.

Here are a few example budgets broken down by business size.

Content Marketing Budget for Solopreneurs

If you are a one-person business, your content marketing budget and strategy will be unique to you. If you are just starting your business, you will likely have to do nearly everything on your own because you have limited resources to pay anyone else.

An example of a marketing budget for solopreneurs is $1,000 per month. With this budget, you can spend:

  • $200 on graphic design
  • $600 on paid social media posts and ads
  • $200 on retargeted ads for Facebook and Google

With a budget this small, you will likely need to create your own content. You should plan to spend at least an hour writing each blog post.

Your total time investment will depend on how much content you want to share each month. Are you planning a weekly blog? How much will you post on social media? What about eye-catching graphics and videos?

Content Marketing Budget for Small Businesses

If your business is categorized as a small business, you will have more resources than a solopreneur. You may have a small team of trusted associates and a more reliable budget for your content marketing needs.

As a small business, you might be able to afford $5,000 a month for content marketing. Of this money, you could spend:

  • $4,000 on a full-time, in-house marketer or content marketing agency
  • $800 on paid ads and retargeting
  • $200 on graphic design

Your time investment in content marketing should decrease at this stage. However, you will still need to spend some time working with either your in-house marketer or your chosen content marketing agency.

With a budget like this, you could get 2-3 blogs a week with an in-house person or 2-3 blogs per month with an agency. There might also be room for one or two larger-scale projects and social media management.

Content Marketing Budget for Mid-Market Enterprises

If your business has grown to be a mid-market enterprise, you should have more flexibility in the resources and money you put toward content marketing. You may have your own full-time marketing team that includes writers and designers.

An example of a content marketing budget for a mid-market enterprise is $15,000 a month. At this level, you may spend:

  • $8,000 on a content marketing manager and/or graphic designer
  • $4,000 for a full-time content marketing specialist
  • $2,000 on paid ads and retargeting
  • $1,000 on content creation assets (images and videos)

At this stage, your content marketing should include small projects like blogs and social media posts and more large-scale projects like deep dives into your products and more extensive video production. You should expect an output of 2-4 blogs each week and 1-2 larger projects each month.

Content Marketing Budget for Large Enterprises

By the time your business reaches this stage, you are likely a well-recognized, well-established brand. You have a lot more resources available to you. However, your marketing efforts might be subject to more oversight and strict rules.

Many large-scale enterprises have a content marketing budget of at least $50,000 a month. This may cover costs for the following:

  • $7,000 on a content marketing manager
  • $8,000 on full-time writers
  • $8,000 on graphic designers and video specialists
  • $8,000 on paid content promotion
  • $1,000 on miscellaneous needs
  • $8,000+ on additional content specialists, agency costs, content production, and media management

With a larger budget, you can spend more on multiple content specialists with expertise in various areas. You might also consider more automated tools that take over many of the menial tasks your marketing team usually takes on.

At this stage, your content team should produce 2-5 blogs a week and a few large-scale multimedia projects a month.

3 Quick Tips to Stretch Your Content Marketing Budget

No matter how big or small your company is, you don’t want to let any of your content marketing budget go to waste. Here are a few tips on how to use your budget more effectively.

1. Create an Omnichannel Experience

With omnichannel marketing, as opposed to multichannel marketing, your content will tell a similar story across all channels and should seamlessly lead from one channel to the next. This creates a user-friendly experience and helps establish your brand identity.

2. Reject Content Marketing Channels 

There may be times when even after a lot of hard work, a marketing channel isn’t working for your brand. Perhaps you don’t have a big enough audience, or you just don’t like the channel. Whatever the reason, save your marketing budget and remove channels that aren’t a good fit.

3. Use Evergreen Content

Creating content is hard work, so it can feel defeating when it seems to quickly become forgotten and outdated. Evergreen content is a type of content that avoids this problem and nearly always seems relevant. These broad topics are not tied to a specific timeframe or event and can be popular for years with few updates required.

Put Your Content Marketing Budget to Good Use with Express Writers

Outsourcing some or all of your content marketing can be a smart use of your budget. Outsourcing gives you numerous, versatile options backed by professionals who may have content marketing skills your company does not.

At Express Writers, we love working with other businesses. We know what it takes to create high-quality, SEO-optimized content that gets results.

Our team of expert writers has extensive experience in a wide range of industries, and we take pride in matching the best writer to each content request.

If you’re ready to put your content marketing budget to work, check out the Content Shop at Express Writers today.

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