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Can Small Companies Afford Inbound Marketing Pt. 1
The marketing landscape continues to shift more and more inbound and less and less outbound with each passing year, and somehow, miraculously, I haven’t aged a day. Obviously, I’m kidding. I actually just turned 25. My goals for my 25th year include not having a stroke and going to the gym just enough days a week to keep my elbow fat at bay.
No one likes a flabby wenus.
Sometimes when I’m working on my budget, I wonder if paying a monthly gym membership is actually something I can afford. And then I get a glimpse of that jiggle where my tricep ends and my elbow begins and I realize I can’t afford to NOT go to the gym.
This is all relevant because just like I can’t afford to NOT go to the gym, small companies can’t afford to NOT do inbound marketing. The good news is, a HubSpot survey found the cost per lead with inbound marketing is 60 percent lower than the cost per lead with traditional (outbound) marketing.
How Much Does Inbound Marketing Cost for Small Companies?
Inbound marketing is a term coined by the nerds at HubSpot and refers to “a methodology that helps brands attract, convert, close and delight visitors, leads and customers through a variety of channels, including social media, blogging, SEO, and email.” I’d also include PPC in that mix.
As we tally up all of those marketing channels, most small business owners are probably wondering, “And just how much is that all going to cost me?”
When you already have a business to run, stressing about a bunch of different marketing channels plain sucks and thinking about the costs to outsource them all sounds plain expensive.
To remedy this, Blue Corona coined a term of its own (suck it, HubSpot)—the Virtual Online Marketing Manager. When you make Blue Corona your Virtual Online Marketing Manager, you set an inbound marketing budget that works for you and we distribute it across the various inbound marketing channels to figure out which avenues are getting you the cheapest cost per lead and the highest return on ad spend.
But if you’d rather break it down, we can do that, too:
How Much Does SEO Cost?
The more you spend on SEO, the more results you’re likely to see. If all of your competitors are investing $5,000 a month in SEO and you’re only spending $1,000, it can be difficult to compete.
Sure, there are plenty of SEO scams out there that claim you can get $50 a month. Go ahead and try them. You’ll be back here in a few months asking how to get rid of the Google penalty. (Read why it doesn’t pay to use a cheap SEO company.)
According to a Moz survey, hourly SEO costs vary across countries, but $76-$200 an hour is most common. If you’re willing to invest $1,000 a month, you can expect to get between five to 13 hours of SEO work done a month.
Read more in our FAQ, “how much does SEO cost?”
How Much Does PPC Cost?
The New York Times recently ran a blog post on its small-business blog, “You’re the Boss,” about how AdWords isn’t practical for small businesses. Don’t mind if we disagree—we have plenty of concrete evidence that PPC CAN be effective (and affordable) for many small businesses.
For example, in six months, we improved the click thru rate (CTR) of a campaign for a trash collection company by 4.90 percent, lowered the cost per click (CPC) by $2.18, and improved the ad position by 0.6 points. The company is a small business that operates solely in southern Delaware. We have even been able to steal business from a major competitor by bidding on keywords for waste management.
And spending a ton of money is not necessary to earn tremendous results. One of our clients is in the fire protection industry. With a small budget of $800 per month ($38.10 per day from Monday through Friday), the client generated 84 web leads and 461 phone leads for a cost per lead (CPL) of $16.81. The leads range from residential fire extinguisher sales to commercial fire sprinkler and suppression system installations.
Read more in our blog post, “The Truth About AdWords for Small Businesses.”
How much PPC will cost you will depend on how much the management fee your marketing company charges is as well as the bid cost for the keywords in your industry are. Depending on your industry, non-branded terms are likely to have a more competitive auction because they have a higher search volume. For example, insurance companies and law firms can often expect to pay between $30-60 per click for certain non-branded keywords!
Figure out how much you can afford to pay per click.
Stay Tuned for Part 2
In Part 2 of this blog series, we’ll discuss how much you can expect to pay for email marketing and social media.
If you’d like to discuss our pricing options for our Virtual Online Marketing Manager packages, give us a call. We’ll give you a discount if you know of any effective exercises for getting rid of elbow fat.
About The Author: Blue Corona's Editorial Staff is determined to help you increase your leads and sales, optimize your marketing costs, and differentiate your brand by passing on our tribal knowledge. The team vigilantly stays on top of the latest in digital marketing, bringing you the top insights with expert commentary. Want to see something on our blog you haven't seen yet? Shoot us an email and our marketing team will get to work.
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