You can often hear people asking, “What is the cost of inbound marketing?”. This question doesn’t have a clear and distinct answer.
The truth is that it varies a lot between different companies depending on the competition, growth targets, and internal capacity.
But there are a couple of cost items that you should keep in mind if you want to succeed with inbound marketing. In this article, I’ll go through them in detail.
Factors To Consider In The Cost Of Inbound Marketing
1. The Start-Up Costs Of Involving Your Entire Company
You can often find marketing teams that are frustrated because they are not able to contribute to the extent necessary to succeed with content or inbound marketing.
Often the marketing team starts on a smaller scale and later involves more people in the organization. The problem is that during the process, they experience internal resistance, which slows down the inbound strategy. This prevents the marketing team from realizing the vision they had once promised to the management team.
Therefore, before beginning the content work, your company should involve all key people who will contribute to the work so that everyone is on the same page. There must be a consensus in terms of the vision and the goal of the investment.
This means that you must involve:
- All experts and specialists on various subject matters within the company
- Your sales teams, sales managers, and KAM (Key Account Managers)
- Your company management (including CEO, business area managers, CFO, etc.)
- Customer service/ loyalty program managers
You need to involve these people as early as possible – preferably by arranging some form of an event. Examples include workshops on inbound marketing or kickoff meetings where all the participants are invited to share their thoughts and expectations.
The purpose of the event is to clarify why your company invests in inbound marketing, how it should go about it and what you need to do as a team to succeed in it.
If you do not share the vision of the inbound strategy with everyone from the beginning, you are likely to face resistance later.
It is better to address all the concerns initially than to have them slow things down when the strategy has already begun, and large investments have already been made in terms of time and money.
2. Get Your Experts And Specialists Involved
Another important aspect is to involve your company’s experts and specialists. These could be senior employees who have worked for a long time in the industry and play a key role in what your company offers the customers.
The feedback that we often get is that these people do not have the time to participate in an inbound or content marketing strategy because they are involved in customer assignments. This may be due to a misunderstanding of how much time is required from these people.
The idea is not for these people to sit and write long blog posts. It is to work with the marketing team to produce the content needed to execute the inbound strategy – which is to answer your future customers’ questions and concerns. In practice, this could be as little as 30-60 minutes per month which is not too much to ask for.
Whether this is considered a cost or not depends on your company’s method of reporting time and resources. But it is, after all, time that matters in terms of potential income or additional internal costs.
3. Someone Needs To Own The Content Production
Inbound marketing is about creating content that educates and helps the target group with their buying journey. It is also a method that builds credibility and makes your company the preferred choice when a customer is looking for a service that you offer.
Therefore, you need someone who is dedicated to producing this content. A person who does not have other major commitments but who can plan and prioritize the task of collecting information, coordinating the content work, and ensuring that it is published on different channels.
Often this person is called a content manager – a role that is not seen in many B2B companies. You can outsource this role and also get help with the production of content.
At KISS Investments, our view is that it is better to assign this to a person that is part of your team. This way, you have better control over how to improve your inbound marketing strategy instead of having to depend on an external agency.
You Should Be Able To Measure Results (ROI)
How much do you do in sales with your content?
You can often see companies doing things online without knowing the kind of return that it generates. It might be nice to see that the graphs are showing an upward trajectory on Google Analytics. But what do they really mean for the company’s bottom line?
From a management perspective, this is especially important to make decisions on increasing or reducing the resources for working on digital marketing and sales.
Therefore, you need to invest in tools and processes to measure the results. For example, it could be HubSpot’s inbound marketing tool that connects sales with marketing activities.
You need data that provides more information than Google Analytics. It should show you the click-through rate, what works, and the ROI generated by your efforts. Here you can read more about how to calculate ROI on your digital marketing.