How Much Should Inbound Marketing Cost?
The importance of inbound marketing continues to be top of mind for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and even large enterprise business. You may be asking yourself, what is the cost associated with inbound marketing?
Well, the short answer is free. You can do your inbound marketing for free. However, there is a trade-off and this trade-off is time. So, let’s explore the cost factors of inbound marketing.
Cost Factors Of Inbound Marketing
You are still reading so the free option did not answer your question. I am glad you are still reading because the answer to the cost of inbound marketing is not that easy. Let’s examine the factors that go into your inbound marketing price.
Does Your Company Have Customer Personas or Target Markets?
Inbound marketing starts with the customer persona. The customer persona or buyer persona is a fictional character that is a representation of your ideal customer. The customer persona helps drive your blogging, social media strategy, and your overall inbound marketing process.
In order to develop a customer persona, you need to do interviews of your client base and get to know your ideal customer. Yes, you are going to make some assumptions, but you really need to get to know this customer persona. You can also have more than one.
If this is already complete, the cost has already been absorbed. However, if it has not been completed, it can take a month or two to get this information in hand a develop the customer personas. Again, this is the building block of your inbound marketing strategy.
What Are Your Expectations?
What is your expectation of inbound marketing? Do you expect to see results right of way or do you envision the process taking a couple months? If you are expecting results right of way, you are going to have to use more resources to accomplish this. If you want to take a more laid-back approach, then the resources are not going to be as extensive.
Blogging for business is important to your overall inbound marketing success. Blogging takes time and effort to build up enough posts and pages to become a valuable resource in your industry. Blogging 2-3 times per week will increase the chances that your inbound marketing will take off, but there is a cost associated with blogging this often.
Do You Need Internal Vs External Help?
As a small business, you might take the approach of handling your inbound marketing internally. If this is the case, there really is no hard expense. Everyone is responsible for creating a blog post and updating social media. However, this rarely produces the results that your business is looking for.
Inbound marketing takes dedication and an external marketing agency can help you drive the results that you are looking for. However, an external marketing agency will cost your company hard cash. The investment will vary from agency to agency.
However, an agency will probably be your best bet because they are the experts in inbound marketing. Another benefit is that inbound marketing agencies typically have a creative staff and web development on staff. This will save your business money in the long run.
Learn more about a partner marketing agency, a marketing agency that grows with your company.
How Fierce Is Your Competition?
One of the hardest parts of inbound marketing is breaking through the noise. Estimates say that over 2 million blog post are written every day. Now, many of these blog posts are about cute cats and have nothing to do with your industry.
The more competitive your industry the more hours it will take to start seeing results. The more competitive the industry, the higher the cost will be to deploy your inbound marketing campaigns.
Get to know what your competition is doing and how much time and effort you or your inbound marketing agency will need to spend on your efforts.
Is Your Website Marketing Ready?
Yes, your website is going to be the backbone of your inbound marketing efforts. You have to ask yourself if your website is inbound marketing ready. I have talked to many small business owners that believe their website was a waste of money. However, inbound marketing will give your website a purpose.
If your website is mobile ready and ready to capture leads, you will be able to avoid the cost of a website refresh. In honesty, most websites need to be refreshed when inbound marketing is introduced. Most websites are not optimized for inbound marketing or lead capture.
Depending on the readiness of your website, your cost will vary.
Are You Going To Use Paid Promotion?
One of the best ways to speed up the success of your inbound marketing is to use pay per click campaign through Google or social media ads through Facebook. Using ads will help you generate traffic to your key landing pages and begin to generate leads fast.
Again, this cost is going to be dependent on your budget. You can invest $20 per month or $20,000 per month. It is really up to you and your goals with inbound marketing.
If done the right way, you will start to see results quickly through pay per click campaigns and social media ads. Just make sure that these campaigns are part of your overall sales funnel.
Should You Hire A Marketing Agency?
This brings us to the next logical question. Should you hire a marketing agency to execute against your inbound marketing strategy? Well, this really comes down to two things. Do you have the expertise to run your campaigns and do you have the manpower to execute your campaigns?
Do You Have The Expertise?
Inbound marketing is more than just writing a blog post here and there. Inbound marketing uncovers core questions your customers are asking and answers them. It helps you look at your marketing differently. For example, you are probably wondering how much inbound marketing costs. Well, part of the Mammoth inbound marketing plan is to answer that for you through this blog post.
It takes a deep understanding of customer psychology to uncover the right blog topics that are going to convert to leads and revenue. This is why so many inbound marketing campaigns fail. The content is not really doing anything.
Second, you have to be able to create content that your customer wants and can understand. Not everyone enjoys writing blog posts. In fact, not many people enjoy writing or should be writing. This eliminates the majority of business owners and many marketing managers from the inbound marketing game.
Should you hire a marketing agency? Well, yes if you do not have the expertise to execute your campaigns.
Do You Have The Staff?
Okay, maybe you are a bestselling author and you know your customer like the back of your hand. Well, you are also juggling HR, payroll, business development, and accounting. Yes, running a business is hard work and you are probably doing the majority of the heavy lifting.
So, you need to reflect and make sure you and your staff have the bandwidth to execute against a solid inbound marketing plan. A half-assed inbound marketing plan will not work, it will not generate leads, and you will quit before you see any benefit for your inbound marketing plan.
There is one other item to consider here. Inbound marketing takes multiple people to execute. You need someone to write your blogs, someone to create your images for social media, and someone to create landing pages on your website. Unless you have the jack of all trades marketer on staff, you might want to let an inbound marketing agency take care of it for you.
How Much Does Inbound Marketing Cost?
How much does inbound marketing cost? As you can see, there is no real straightforward answer to this question. There are multiple questions your business needs to ask yourself before you make this decision. Start with your expectations and work backward. Inbound marketing will generate demand for your business, so you should take this investment seriously.