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Though a common misconception, content marketing is not free. Sure, it can be a great way to market your brand with relatively limited physical funds. However, the true costs content marketing can run deep depending on the situation. Time is Money Like most marketing campaigns, content marketing takes a great deal of time in order to be effective. To gain a sizable following, blogs need to produce high-quality content for a few months to a year. If you’re the person writing each article, this becomes a discernible time commitment. The writing time becomes much more apparent the longer you work on it as well. You eventually need to spend more and more time finding inspirational topics to work on, research, and execute. You also have to weigh the opportunity cost of the time spent writing. What else could you have accomplished with the same amount of time? Now weigh this other task with your content marketing. Is it worth the time? Writing Can Be Expensive If you decide to outsource your writing, be it to save time or another reason, you need to factor this additional cost. Outsourced writing tends to be directly proportional to what you pay for. Tools such as ODesk, iWriter, or even Fiverr offer outsourced copywriting at a variety of pay levels – anywhere from about $1 – $150. As you would imagine, the cheaper the work, the more editing and adjusting you’ll need to do after their “final” draft. An additional cost, but a worthwhile one, is to create an original graphic to accompany your article. Infographics and other visual aids expound upon the popularity of any given piece. However, outsourcing a designer to create one of these graphics will heighten the cost once more. Many blogs take advantage of guest writers and contributors. This is an extremely effective way to get “free” content from authors. However, again the quality becomes proportional to your blog credibility and readership which takes time to build up. Popularity is Costly The third factor you need to calculate your cost is the promotions. How do you plan to drive traffic to your blog? SEO? Media buying? Promotional links? These all cost money. Your blog won’t become popular overnight. However, I believe spending a little on your content will be worth the investment. A successful blog will achieve several marketing goals such as brand awareness, lead gen, and credibility. Using the above factors you can calculate the true cost of your content marketing. In today’s society with extremely aggressive B2B marketing, content marketing becomes a critical tool to and a excellent way to stretch your resources effectively. This article originally appeared on Business 2 Community here as a guest post from me


Kevin Goldberg