In case you didn’t know Inbound 13 is currently taking place in Boston, Massachusetts.
It’s one of the world’s largest annual gathering of inbound marketers with a number of luminaries such as Arianna Huffington, Seth Godin and more than a hundred others speaking to the global online marketing community.
A lot of information is going to be passing hands over the next four days on current inbound marketing trends, the future of the medium, the technology and techniques used to generate leads and much more besides.
For the average person on the street it all may mean absolutely nothing.
I’ve met with a number of people, in fact, that wonder whether it’s all bluster. Inbound campaigns, they say, can be quite pricey – a factor which may put them off the initial investment. But that will likely be because they’re not sure what to look for in regard inbound marketing.
Are these ‘thin air’ prices?
In the vast majority of cases a pricey inbound investment’s easily justified.
The problem isn’t the price – it’s the transparency of the supplier involved that’s the issue.
Are they being ethical and showing you exactly where your money’s going as part of your campaign?
Inbound marketing spend per campaign in the UK is estimated to cost from £1,295 per month to £6,995 per month.
But why do those prices fluctuate so much? A lot of the time it’s down to the bespoke nature of the campaign in question.
No one brand is the same and campaigns need to be individually structured to get the best out of each site’s best features, unique selling points and more.
Prices can also be based on the type of inbound software the marketer in question is using, its functionality and what it can bring to the campaign.
Inbound marketing costs: revealed
I find there are a number of consistent factors in the majority of online inbound marketing campaigns. The first being…
1. Time and research
Though no one brand is the same, they’ll be up against a huge number of other brands in their sector. The competition. The guys looking to endear themselves to the market and come across as a more attractive proposition than your own company.
The agency therefore will need to do a lot of research on the market, its current trends and how to position your site differently from theirs in a bid to generate more leads and create a good ROI.
Not only will they be researching your competitors and their online habits, they’ll also need a lot of time to research who you are, your brand’s message, its current online footprint, where your previous marketing investments have gone and more.
Research is invaluable when it comes to positioning your brand against the competition, sourcing your target market, speaking to them with the right voice and much more besides.
2. Marketing software
A lot of marketing professionals use inbound software to automate some of their processes to save time, analyse marketing intelligence, and give a better overall quality to the campaign.
That can be anything from email marketing software to marketing automation tools, conversion optimisation software and others.
Hubspot’s prices for instance range from between £1,800 per year to an incredible £14,000, though it does bring a number of fantastic ‘marketing automation’ features to a creative inbound campaign.
Optify have developed a digital marketing automation tool for agencies and B2B marketers that encompass SEO, Social Media and Lead Generation capabilities. It allows users to manage, nurture and measure the effectiveness of their inbound campaigns, with their most basic version starting at around £230 per month.
GetResponse is a brilliant email marketing tool that can help improve sales and generate new leads. You can create phenomenal-looking newsletters and landing pages from £12 a month, though more popular packages at varying prices will likely be more effective.
Social media software also comes at a price. SproutSocial offers amazing engagement tools alongside very informative analytical data – the SproutSocial site says its top package costs around £65 per month.
There are a huge number of effective marketing software tools out there to generate leads, improve sales, gather analytics and more, and they don’t come cheap, especially if people want a streamlined campaign that gathers real momentum and produces results.
3. Creative direction
Software alone isn’t going to make brands stand out against the competition. A creative campaign can really grab people’s attention, sit with your brand’s overall message and turn shoppers into loyal customers.
And though good ideas can often be plucked out of thin air it takes a certain type of specialist to take a train of thought and turn it into something creative and unique:
4. Content creators
Copywriters and content creators are going to be in demand over the next few years as content marketing becomes more prominent. Commissioning original, effective blogs, features and more on a consistent basis is a great way to get your brand noticed.
5. Graphic designers
Complementing your site, content and inbound campaign with gorgeous graphics and other associated images can help attract users and provide information in original, unique ways to encourage shares and show the brand’s creative side.
6. Video producers
Video content is a highly-effective part of a content marketing strategy, especially if a creative video is lucky enough to go viral and attract a whole new audience to the brand.
Video production, though available to a lot of people thanks to smartphones and tablets, still benefits from professional equipment, construction and editorial software (which doesn’t come cheap!).
7. Search, social and PPC
Followers of my blog will know how much I value organic, ethical SEO, social media, PPC and other forms of search marketing.
Done correctly, and if in-tune with each other, a well-managed search marketing campaign can provide impressive inbound results.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Practitioners of SEO will understand what I mean when I say that an organic campaign is a long-term process.
A good SEO campaign requires a lot of work from a back-end code perspective and front-of-house site management.
Factor in keyword research, reporting and other tropes and an SEO campaign can be a labour-intensive (and rewarding) discipline.
That sentiment can be echoed with social media, especially if a client wants to make use to all channels available to them and keeping them within a consistent voice and holding a controlled published message. It’s a time consuming process.
I’ve recently written about the differences between search engine and social media PPC and which may be more beneficial for your brand.
Though PPC is a highly effective traffic and lead generator, an intensive campaign can hit the wallet hard, with AdWords costs quite costly for competitive keywords.
There are a lot of factors to consider with a tailored inbound marketing campaign, all of which can complement each other in various, unique ways.
But when considering your inbound marketing agency, don’t be afraid to ask where your money is going when you choose to invest. If your agency is transparent, ethical and has no qualms in showing how your contribution generates leads and sales, then you’re onto a winner!
To find out more about inbound marketing and how it can help your website contact Webpresence today to find out more.