Inbound marketing is a big buzz word right now and more and more companies are realizing the value of inbound for growing their business. What's the one question that everyone wants answered when it comes to an inbound marketing campaign - How much is it going to cost? Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer.
The actual cost of inbound marketing depends on a lot of factors, including, the type of strategies you want to implement, how fast you expect to see results, and your company growth plans. There are other considerations too - Are you interested in paid search? Do you need a complete website redesign to go along with your inbound campaign? Is your sales team ready to handle an influx of inbound leads or do they need CRM system builds and retraining?
Let's take a look at what goes into inbound marketing, pricing expectations, how much businesses typically budget for marketing, and the advantages of hiring an inbound marketing company.
Cost of Building a Marketing Strategy
You need to start by taking a strategic approach and reviewing your overall marketing objectives. Remember that inbound marketing is a long term play. It takes time and thoughtful planning. Look at where you're at now in terms of traffic, leads, qualified leads, and customers. Where do you want to go from here? Setting goals is an important first step in determining the actual cost of an inbound campaign as it helps you determine the strategies that are going to get you there.
If you don't have a solid inbound strategy already, enlist the help of a inbound marketing agency to assist you in building one. Focus on your buyer personas, brand messaging, the content you will need to create (including blogs, videos, and emails), SEO, paid search, and identify some quick wins that will help kick start your campaign.
The cost of building a marketing strategy varies. Short-term, trial-sized strategies may only cost $2k; for an in-depth, long-term plan, it's not uncommon to pay $20k. In reality, the cost of this inbound strategy is priceless, after all, it's the foundation for your entire campaign.
Don't Forget About Software Costs
When thinking about the cost of inbound marketing, you also need to factor in the cost of software. You will need a platform to implement your inbound marketing strategies. If you are wanting to consolidate your amount of software, consider setting aside a budget for HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales software that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. With a full stack of software for marketing, sales, and customer service, HubSpot allows you to run complete inbound marketing campaigns at scale.
HubSpot has different pricing options, allowing you to find the perfect plan that suits your needs. Prices range from free, for beginner marketers, up to $2,400 a month for an enterprise license. There are additional add-ons that you can purchase as well.
How Much Do Businesses Typically Budget for Inbound?
Your marketing budget should be built around your organizational goals. Understanding your growth objectives and customer numbers will help determine what your necessary budget should be. There is no golden rule when it comes to marketing budgets. Numbers will change based on industry, regions, company size, etc.
According to a report from CMO Survey, marketing budgets sit at an average of 11.1% of company wide budgets. Of course, there are slight differences between B2B companies and B2C.
Image Credit: cmosurvey.org
The study also goes on to forecast double digit increases in digital marketing spending and small decreases in traditional advertising spending. These digital marketing numbers are likely to continue to rise given the nature of inbound marketing and it's ability to deliver more sales qualified leads than outbound methods.
Image Credit: cmosurvey.org
Benefits of Hiring an Inbound Marketing Company
There is a lot that goes in to inbound marketing and success doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. Experience and expertise is key here and that is where a marketing agency can prove to be beneficial and well worth the investment. A lot of companies already have a marketing department, but they just don't know how to successfully execute an inbound campaign, as is the case with most of our clients. There are several advantages to hiring an inbound marketing company:
- Access to a team of experts in every aspect of inbound marketing (i.e. on any given full inbound campaign, we have a team of 8-10 people executing and delivering results)
- More cost effective than hiring an in-house marketing team to train and execute inbound strategies
- Generate results quicker with inbound experts
- Offers a fresh perspective on your business and your customers
Review your marketing goals and determine what it's going to take to get you there and what tools you'll need. Identify your budget to see if you can afford to enlist the help of marketing experts that can unlock the true potential of an inbound marketing campaign. I think you will find out pretty quickly just how valuable an inbound campaign is to the success of your business.