What are the true costs of Inbound Marketing?

Post by
Chris Mitchell
Minute Read
September 1, 2020
Last Updated:
October 19, 2020

By now, we're pretty sure almost everyone in marketing has heard of the benefits of Inbound Marketing and how cost effective this strategy can be. Inbound marketing can help nurture leads at every stage of the customer life cycle and accelerate the buying process.

  • According to Hubspot, Inbound leads cost 61% less on average than outbound leads. 
  • The average cost per lead drops 80% after five months of consistent inbound marketing (Eloqua). 

People fail to mention that even though the return on investment can be excellent, it's also essential to understand what goes into creating this type of strategy.

Unfortunately, calculating inbound marketing's cost depends on multiple factors, such as if your website is ready for inbound marketing, your current web page's SEO score, the type of industry your company is in, what kind of content, and how often you'll be creating it.

Let's break it down:

Who Creates The Content

Creating quality content can be tricky because of different limitations: if chosen to develop it through in-house teams, you'll probably find an excellent source of high quality, specialized industry specific knowledge in which you don't need to spend additional budget on research, but your teams may not have the tools or the time to convert the in-house knowledge into content.

Hiring an external team can be an excellent solution for this. Many content writers and creators out there have a fantastic set of skills that can be employed to convert your in-house knowledge into quality content. However, their costs can be higher depending on the quality of the work, the writer's experience, and how specific the market you are targeting is. This is why their pricing range can go anywhere from U$S5 to $125 an hour on freelance platforms like Fiverr or Workana.

The created content may also require images. While there are decent image stock options which offer free licensed images, like freepik.com, it may be a good idea to use paid image banks where you have more options and don't need to attribute their creators. These types of image banks, like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock, can start from $29 a month.

The same principles can be applied to other types of content creation, such as video creation and edition, where prices can also fluctuate if you choose to do it through a freelancer or an agency. 

According to the type of content you are creating, you may need to acquire a licensed system to support your content. Some examples can be interactive surveys or calculators, software, and custom branded games. 

Where The Inbound Marketing Content Is Placed

Where you choose to host your content can also play a key role in how your users find and consume your content. The most common way seen is in blog posts. If your company currently uses a Content Management System, such as WordPress or Webflow, then chances are you probably won't have additional costs for uploading your content. But like many websites, some things may need a programmer's and designer's assistance, and you should consider this in your budget  if you're starting out.

Another place you can publish inbound content is in Landing Pages. These are usually structured on a different domain or subdomain and may require an additional, custom design that may need the help of programmers and designers.

These landing pages, if accompanied by an integral campaign, will probably require forms and autoresponder emails that'll enable you with the ability to capture information from your leads and that they'll be able to receive the content quickly and easily—simple email solutions like Sendinblue start from $25 a month, which include lead capture form solutions. We'll get more into detail about what more complex solutions can do for you when we discuss marketing automation.

Guest posts are prevalent in inbound marketing strategies. Depending on the webpage, becoming a guest writer in a blog can be free or can have a cost associated with it, as this generates traffic and reputation to your site. 

Guest posting benefits your inbound marketing in 2 ways:

  • Guest posts can drive referral traffic to your website from other relevant websites.
  • Guest posts can improve your SEO by building your domain authority by passing link juice from authoritative and relevant websites that Google already trusts. This results of consistent guest posting can improve inbound marketing by making website pages and blog posts rank higher in search results, thus boosting organic traffic. 

Tools To Leverage Inbound Marketing Content

Although inbound content can be used to generate organic traffic and leads without needing additional efforts after it's uploaded to the web, the content can provide better results if it's included in a more holistic strategy.

Marketing automation can play a significant role in leveraging the inbound marketing strategy. Besides providing tools to create landing pages, emails, and forms without the need of a programmer, it also provides the framework to develop workflows and action groups to engage and nurture the leads that have interacted with the content, to move them more effectively through the marketing funnel.

Depending on the system's complexity, the number of leads that'll be uploaded to the system, the number of users, and features you'll need. These systems can go anywhere from $50 to thousands of dollars per month. 

In Conclusion…

As we mentioned before, there's no exact way of measuring how much inbound marketing can cost because there are many individual factors and decisions that impact its pricing.

It's important to mention that even though pricing can end up being costly, these numbers shouldn't keep you from seeing the real benefits and the return of investment that can be generated from these activities.

At Intelus, we can help you launch and improve your Inbound Marketing strategy. You can reach out to us for a 30-minute consultation to learn more about how we can equip your marketing team with processes and infrastructure to generate endless high quality opportunities in your sales pipeline.

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