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B2B Content Marketing Cost: A Clear Explanation

SEO Blog
B2b Content Costs (4)

Executing a B2B content marketing campaign requires careful consideration of both the direct costs and indirect ones, such as management time and supporting tech tools. In this guide, we’ll compare the six most common models and break down their costs.

At a high level, there are two different approaches to B2B content marketing: outsourced and in-house.

  • The in-house model of B2B content marketing is best for larger midsize or enterprise companies and will result in the most highly integrated content, but it is also easily the most expensive and complicated to execute.
  • The outsourced model of B2B content marketing can be found at a variety of price points, making them easier to scale and customize for small to medium sized businesses; however, quality can be an issue with the team creating the content being outside your organization. 

Each of these models — in-house and outsourced — has its own pros and cons. We break down those details in the chart below, as well as what types of companies they’re best suited for.

Comparison of B2B Content Marketing Cost

ModelProsCons Best ForCost
In-House Content Marketing TeamHigh long-term ROI

Most highly integrated with your company and branding

Most expensive, both in time and direct cost.

ROI depends on excellent strategic planning, training, and management.

Enterprise and larger midsize companies with a well-established organic lead generation program, and don’t need an investment to pay off right away$20,000 – $35,000 monthly in employee costs (salary, benefits, taxes), training, and management, as well as supporting tech costs such as subscriptions to research tools.
Outsourced Thought Leadership MarketingHigh long-term ROI.

Comprehensive approach, second only to an in-house team.

Team of specialists in marketing, conversion strategy and content development chosen for your campaign

4-6 months before you begin to see results.

Management time required during ramp to consistent content production.

Small to midsize companies looking for high-ROI lead generation, particularly those in complex B2B industries. Enterprises as a bridge to creating an in-house content marketing program.$10,000 – $15,000 monthly
Single In-House WriterEasy to train in your company ecosystem

Integrated with your team

Limited bandwidth and no synergy with other content marketing professionals such as SEO strategists.Smaller companies that want control and have finite needs$6,000 – $9,000 monthly for salary plus benefits, taxes, training, management and supporting tech costs.
Outsourced SME Consultant WriterHigh degree of industry expertise

Lower cost than a full-time in-house writer.

Competing for the SME’s attention

Missing additional content marketing expertise

Highly technical companies with limited budgets$2,000 – $5,000 monthly
Outsourced Content Marketing AgencySmall team of content marketing pros; ability to flex to meet market challenges.Agency has limited expertise, especially when it comes to technical content

Average content makes it difficult to move visitors through the marketing conversion funnel

Companies in less complex industries, particularly those with low ticket values. (This model is generally more-suited for B2C than B2B.)$5,000 – $10,000 monthly
A la Carte FreelancersLow cost and no commitment on your partInconsistent quality

Time required for vetting writers/preparing content for publication

Firms that need only a small amount of content or for whom the difference between “good” and “excellent” quality isn’t that important.$150 – $1,000 per piece

How to Analyze an Investment in Content Marketing

As the chart shows, the direct cost is just one of many factors to consider. You should also weigh:

  • How does ROI compare long term? If your budget allows, think about long-term ROI, not just cost. Research shows that ROI for high quality content marketing is much higher in years 2-3, and has an average break-even point in the 6-12 months.
  • What type of strategy is the right choice for your industry? According to our internal data, the industries that benefit most from content marketing are either highly technical, such as PCB Design and IoT, or trust-based industries such as Financial Services and Commercial Insurance. Less complex industries, such as eCommerce or Staffing, still see high ROIs but the gap between content marketing and PPC is less pronounced.
  • How well does content marketing integrate with your overall approach to lead generation? Content marketing complements email marketing, LinkedIn posting, and webinar marketing particularly well, and the cost of investing in all of them is lower than their individual costs combined.

Know when it’s time to get help

The great conundrum of content marketing is that, while there are a lot of choices, the number of choices can inhibit action. Thankfully, quality writing can be vetted, and references can be requested. 

You probably found this article because of our own talent at content marketing. For more than a dozen years, we’ve been partnering with companies like yours in a variety of industries, helping them meet and exceed marketing goals. If you have any questions or would like to discuss working together on a content marketing campaign, schedule a call with us here.

Evan Bailyn

Evan Bailyn is a best-selling author and award-winning speaker on the subjects of SEO and thought leadership. Contact Evan here.

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