How Much Does Content Marketing Cost? (And What Not Having it Could Cost Your Business)

Once you know what content marketing is, the next logical question is, what’s it going to cost?

The answer is, of course, that it depends.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says companies with less than $5 million in annual sales and net profit margins of 10-12% should spend 7-8% of gross revenues on marketing and advertising. Other figures are 1-2% and 3-5%.

Marketing Costs Are Discretionary Spending

Of course, marketing has always been considered a discretionary expenditure. In recessions, depressions, and other economic downturns like the Great Pause and age of Coronavirus, marketing may not be top of mind (or top of budget).

This isn’t new: the late 20th century, it was often remarked that you could see a recession was on its way when magazines started to shrink due to reduced ad pages. It was a pretty accurate benchmark.

We live in a world of digital marketing now, though, and what constitutes marketing has changed dramatically. It’s not about weekly newspaper and monthly magazine ad spends that allow you to simultaneously target broadly and narrowly.

Importance of Digital Marketing

Instead, it’s about your digital presence, from the landing page of your web site to the user interface of your ecommerce checkout software and the smoothness of your chat bots. It’s about being found among the cacophony that is the online world, and knowing how to get people to your single-most important marketing asset, your web site. Then, it’s about keeping them there for long enough to persuade them you have something they want. Not necessarily today or even tomorrow, but ultimately.