Seasoned B2B marketers are turning to content marketing more and more to generate qualified inbound leads and nurture existing leads to improve close rates. While content marketing has been around for a little while, it can still be a bit murky to determine what is content marketing and what isn’t.
In this post, we’ll address what is B2B content marketing and what it costs.
The Difference Between Copywriting & Content Marketing
First, let’s address the difference between copywriting and content marketing.
Copywriting is creating marketing text that explains a particular topic. It takes into account tone, style, language, audience, and context. The primary goal of copywriting is to clearly explain features, benefits, and advantages. Professional copywriting is an integral part of a B2B content marketing plan.
Content marketing is a not just copy, it is a strategy that includes a range of mediums and channels that have the goal of attracting, generating, and converting inbound leads. The primary focus of content marketing is to educate. Copywriting is one component of a larger content marketing strategy, and in some cases is a small part of the strategy.
The Difference Between Web Copy & Content Marketing
Second, let’s take a look at what makes web copy different from other types of B2B
Web copy and content is focused on explaining what products and services a company provides, addresses the needs for those products/services, and communicates the company’s unique value proposition. In other words, B2B website copy is more promotional.
Content marketing, while often a key component of the sales process, is focused not on promotion but on education. Content marketing pieces, including blog posts, white papers, guides, infographics, videos, interviews, and FAQs (to name a few), focus on providing something of value to the target market. In many cases, these types of content won’t even mention a company’s products or services.
What B2B Content Marketing Includes
Before we price it out, let’s take a look at what B2B content marketing includes. A well-crafted, professional content marketing plan will include the following:
- SEO strategy
- Content strategy + goal creation
- Editorial calendar
- Execution of SME Interviews
- Copywriting and editing
- Search engine optimization of copy and structure
- Publication onsite or offsite
- Organic promotion on B2B website, social media, newsletters, etc.
- Paid promotion on social media, search ads, retargeting ads, etc.
- Tracking, analysis, reporting
Let us be clear: drafting a blog here and there and posting it to a B2B website is not content marketing. That is blogging. What separates content marketing is everything listed above.
Read more: What is thought leadership content?
What Will B2B Content Marketing Cost?
The answer is that “it depends,” but can cover a range of prices. On a broad scale, a content marketing plan varies between $3,000 per month to $20,000+ per month, depending on goals, budgets, range of products/services, types of services, and more.
When considering the cost of a B2B content marketing strategy, realistically look at what a typical customer engagement is for your firm for the full client relationship. If you are looking to generate 10 quality leads a month for your software firm and the relationship value of each client is around $50,000, you won’t get the results you want by paying $2,000 a month for content marketing.
It’s also important to look at the real value of the professional B2B content marketing plan. You aren’t paying by the hour. Rather, you are getting the following:
- A seasoned content strategist with SEO expertise
- A skilled copywriter(s) familiar with your industry and the ability to effectively interview your subject matter experts (SMEs)
- Management of a clear editing/approval process that is handled for you
- A B2B website designer knowledgeable about user experience and conversion rate optimization (CRO)
- A website developer, as needed in case something breaks or you want particular functionality
- B2B marketing specialists who understand the nuances of selling/converting B2B products/services
- Social media expertise of each platform and what type of content performs best on each
- Advertising specialists who know how to maximize budgets and when to pull the plug if something isn’t working
Content Marketing Isn’t an Expense
In today’s competitive B2B landscape, content marketing isn’t an expense or a cost center. In fact, content marketing and B2B marketing, in general, tends to be a revenue generator. If you want more qualified, inbound leads, content marketing is your best bet for getting in front of prospects looking for your products and services.