If you’re a business owner or marketing executive, you know the importance of using digital marketing to land new clients. You also face the challenge of operating within a limited budget with unlimited spending choices. 

Modern marketing methods change rapidly, and the more traditional ways tend to yield less and less effective results until they finally become obsolete. Inbound marketing is one of the most effective means of attracting, converting, and closing new clients. Its cost are not nearly as high as many suppose, and its benefits can far outweigh them.

What is Inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers using relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying experience. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.

Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not need to fight for potential customers attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of the customers you want to attract, you attract the right people and build trust and credibility for your business.

There are many “moving parts” to an inbound system, from initial analysis to tactical execution. The process is ongoing and has proven to continually bring in new customers when done well.

How much does inbound marketing cost?

The following is a breakdown of the labor costs of the 7 major segments of a complete inbound strategy with a summary at the end. This doesn’t consider other fixed costs, such as software, hardware and other resources that will be required.

1. Ongoing Inbound Strategy & Analysis

Building your brand’s reputation and visibility online takes a little time and effort. Ongoing analysis and adaptation is required to continually improve the results to reach your goals.  This includes developing personas, goals and tactical plans. With the current digital marketing skills shortage, top quality consultants are in high demand, especially when it comes to developing strategy.

Roughly 2-3 hours per month should be spent on strategy, analysis of results and ongoing planning.

Budget between $600 & $900 per month.

2. Blogging & Content Creation

A recent HubSpot survey revealed that websites generate two-thirds more leads if they feature blogs with quality, relevant content that customers are interested in reading.

Putting out quality webinars, YouTube videos, and whitepapers is also critical. The costs for creating content can range significantly depending on your goals. The content creation process involves idea creation, research, copywriting, artwork/photography, SEO on-page optimization, web design, coding, testing and publishing.

Blogging costs vary depending on the level of experience and the number of blogs required per month. Experienced bloggers generally cost on average $25/hour and it takes 1 to 2 hours from start to finish.

Budget between $700 and $2500 per month.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Making your website easy to search for and find is crucial and worth paying for. The expense will be relative to the bulk of content on your website you wanted optimized for keywords, uniqueness, and other ranking criteria. You will also need to a manual link-building strategy since automated systems promise much but deliver little. SEO costs vary by the amount of content you currently have or need optimized.

Budget between $1000 and $3,000 per month

4. Social Media Publishing & Monitoring

Major social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have grown so much that it’s advisable to spend as much as 2 hours a day on publishing original & curated content in addition to monitoring and engaging with your audience.

As most business owners and CEO’s cannot afford this level of time investment, it is often best to outsource this task or delegate this activity.

Assuming that a good social media strategy and plan is in place and we’re budgeting for daily activities, if we take two hours as our minimum for social media activities, that’s an average of 40 hours per month.

Budget between $700 and $2500 per month.

5. Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns

Not every inbound campaign uses paid media but PPC are still a very powerful lead generation tool.

This is the most costly strategy to tackle on your own, and it is worth hiring a professional who can get the most results out of every click. Most of the cost, at least, is at the front end, while the benefits can keep rolling in for months or even years. A common method in the management of PPC campaigns is that 50% of the total ad spend is what the estimated cost of the management fees are.

Budget between $700 and $2000+ per month.

6. Email Marketing & Lead Nurturing

Without following up on the leads your inbound marketing creates, you will not get optimal benefit out of it. Sending emails to respond to all inquiries and otherwise communicating with prospects is an imperative. You need to maintain your leads and “nurture” them through their buyers journey into becoming new clients. The costs for this depend on the level of personalization, automation and frequency.

Budget between $700 and $1100 per month.

7. Campaigns & Special Projects

Successful Inbound marketing campaigns include great offers like webinars, video content, white papers and other graphic or web designed user experiences and even custom mobile app development custom.

Campaign costs can range from $2000 to well over $10,000 depending on the goals and impact required. 

Bottom Line Costs of Inbound Marketing

These costs are only a guide and every company is a little different.  Here is the summary of the costs of inbound marketing.

Core inbound marketing strategy and execution  – $5000 to $12,000/month 

Custom campaigns & special projects – $2000 to $15,000/month

Yearly budget: $60,000 to $200,000

Thanks for hanging out this long. I hope this has been helpful.

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