How to Budget for Content Marketing This Year and Next

Jesse is an Online PR Specialist and has a passion for DIY projects.

Much of what we click online — from the headlines that grab our attention to the videos that entertain us — is content created for a company’s content marketing strategyMore than 50% of businesses use content marketing, which isn’t a surprise since those companies see six times more conversions.

Which introduces the question: How do I budget for content marketing?

The success of your strategy and range of your talent largely rests on your content marketing budget, and poor budgeting for content marketing can easily turn out poor designs and execution. It can quickly become a tangled mess with multiple types of content and multiple target audiences.

That’s why this post shares:

  • How to calculate a content marketing budget
  • How much different types of content marketing, like blog posts, cost
  • How to budget for content marketing appropriately

Keep reading to learn how to create your content marketing budget — and if you’re looking for content marketing help, ask WebFX. We feature more than 100 specialized writers, plus experienced content marketers, and can help you produce fantastic content that earns traffic, shares, and revenue!

How much should I budget for content marketing?

If you’re wondering how much to budget for content marketing, the average business invests 25-30% of its marketing budget into content marketing. For reference, companies with less than $5 million in revenue (and a profit margin of 10-12%) invest 7-8% of their revenue into marketing.

For example, if your business’s annual revenue is $3 million, you would set aside $210,000-$240,000 for your marketing budget — or 7-8% of your yearly revenue. Your annual content marketing budget (if following the overall average of 25-30%) would range from $52,500-$63,000.

How to budget for content marketing: 6 content types to know

When it comes to how to budget for content marketing, you need to know how much different types of content costs. For example, how much will it cost to produce a blog post for your business? Or, what will a professional YouTube video cost? Get these answers (and more) with our breakdown of content types and their average costs:

1. Blogging

Budget:  Free – $2000 per post

Almost every business that’s seen success with Internet marketing understands the importance of a blog. Blogs provide a venue for industry experts to educate current and future customers, as well as an opportunity for employees to share their own expertise. For example, on the blog you’re currently reading, we share actionable tips and tools for those who want to improve their online marketing.

Since long-form content performs so well, many blog posts will have several hundred words — or even a few thousand. That’s why blog posts, if outsourced, can cost up to $2000. If a third-party produces your blog content, make sure the service includes professional editing. Some content marketing agencies, like WebFX, will even include graphic creation.

2. Ebooks

Budget: Free – $4500+

Ebooks or tutorials, which are sometimes referred to as gated content, work in tandem with blogs. As visitors comb through your blog, they can be directed to download one of your free resources. In exchange, you might require an email sign-up, which will allow you to contact them via email in the future with updates about related content they may like to read.

You can write these ebooks yourself (which will only cost you time), or hire a freelancer. Professional freelance writers are often paid by word count, which can lead to ebooks or in-depth guides costing $4500 or more. Ebooks and gated online guides will typically have several thousand words, as well as professional graphics. 

3. Slideshows

Budget: Free – $500+

Essentially free to create with Google’s alternative to PowerPoint, a slideshow presentation is a cost-effective way to create content. They’re easy to make, navigate, and share. They also have a nice mix of visuals and text to keep viewers engaged.

You can utilize this form to create educational guides, portfolio galleries, lists of items, or even just inspirational quotes relevant to our niche/audience. 

You might then utilize the rest of your budget to strategically advertise your slideshow within a highly targeted community, such as a feature or compliment to a relevant article on a site that has a high readership.

It should be noted there are actually slideshow specialists who charge anywhere from $100 to $500 or more to create extremely professional and sleek presentations. They’ll customize images, visualize your data, and create seamless narratives for strategic messaging.

4. Infographics, charts, and media assets

Budget: Free – $5000+

The idea of an infographic has been around for centuries, dating back to 1626 (and probably earlier than that!). They’re basically a large image that creatively visualizes information, such as tips on how to remove pests from your garden or an exploration of how the Internet changes your brain.

The resurgence of the infographic started only five or six years ago with the term specifically applied to digital infographics — not infographic posters — and have become so popular that sites were created specifically for the purpose of creating infographics, such as:

These tools are relatively inexpensive and if you don’t have an in-house designer, they can provide you with professional and clean templates. And although the results typically aren’t anything earth-shattering, they’re a great way to get started with visual content creation.

If you hire a freelance designer, you’ll typically be looking at something in the $200-500 range to ensure that you get experienced, innovative design. Agencies with a team of experienced designers can charge several thousand for their services, which often include promoting your infographic, but are typically utilized for large-scale projects and businesses.

5. Video

Budget: Free – $2000+

Creating videos is one of — if not the — most popular and tried type of content online. It’s the easiest to consume, and allows you to guide, teach, and brand your company to viewers.

Budgeting for video is tricky, because there are free-ish routes and expensive ones, along with many hacks to mimic the qualities of well-recognized product videos like Apple’s.

You could use free screen recording software and video editing software to create a demo video if you have the budget for an editing product. You could also try to shoot a live video with a smartphone. And although a professional-grade video produced in-house would be ideal, chances are that unless your business works in the film or video industries, you don’t have that luxury. 

If you turn to a professional team or freelancer, this will be your most expensive type of content. The budget scales with our project size, so short, 30-second spot highlighting your office should keep you within three digits, but another 30-second spot with professional actors, makeup, and multiple locations can easily reach five digits.

Many businesses — especially online ones that require on-boarding users — will hire animators to make an educational type of video stressing the benefits of their products and services. Generally, these types of animations can range from $500-$1,000 and require hiring a professional to record voiceovers and narration.

6. Promotion

Budget: Free – $500+

Advertising and promoting your content is one of — if not the most vital part of budgeting in the content marketing process. If you have no budget leftover for promotion, your content could fall flat, no matter how great it is. You could always take your chances hoping that Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit will land you among the viral content stars, but that’s often a fool’s dream.

You’ll want to pick a specific medium/network for our content, and generally allocate at least $500 into some type of promotion. The average cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) across social networks ranges from $6.59 to $30, with LinkedIn often having low CPM and Pinterest having the highest. Your target audience will often dictate the type of platform you utilize, and if you poke around, you’ll find advertising insights for any platform you choose.

Alternatively, you can always pay for a sponsorship or placement spot on a niche website where many potential customers spend their time. Since budgeting is part of our planning phase, it’s worth looking into strategic content partnerships with relevant websites to our business.

How to budget for content marketing: 3 tips for success

When creating a content marketing budget, it’s essential to understand the costs and factors behind content marketing and the basics of creating a budget for a digital marketing strategy, whether it’s content marketing or search engine optimization (SEO).

That’s why we’ve compiled three tips for how to budget for content marketing:

  1. Set annual and quarterly goals — what do you want to accomplish and what will that take?
  2. Decide who will help you — are you staying in-house or hiring a third-party?
  3. Determine which tools you will use — how will you track and create your content?

Once you answer these questions, you can build a more accurate budget because you’ll know what you want to accomplish, who will help you achieve those goals, and how you will measure your completion of those goals.

Start planning your content marketing budget

The figures above should give you a general idea of what you should expect to pay for some of the more common types of content. However, it’s important to note that your audience should also play a role in the formats you choose. And while creating a budget isn’t easy if you’re new to the process, a few rounds of trial-and-error should get you well on your way to planning and carrying out an effective content strategy.

For professional help with your content marketing budget, browse our content marketing plans which showcase the different ways you can invest your content marketing budget. You can also contact us online (or give us a ring at 888-601-5359) to chat with an experienced strategist one-on-one about your midsized business and its content marketing needs!