What's in this article?
Content marketing isn’t just about sales — it’s about building an audience and boosting traffic.
Once you have a large and loyal audience, you can sell them anything. But you have to put in the work and money first.
Speaking of money, how much does content marketing cost, anyway? And is it worth the price? Why not just invest in a PPC strategy?
To answer these questions, Kaleidico recently began testing out a new theory — what would happen if we multiplied our monthly blog output? Would we see a significant increase in organic search traffic from blogging alone?
The answer is a resounding yes!
We have found that cranking out a high quantity of blog posts month after month is indeed driving a high amount of traffic to our website, as well as generating new leads to fuel our marketing business!
In this article, I’ll give a brief explanation on content marketing and SEO, how they’re similar and different, and break down the costs of hiring a content marketing and SEO specialist.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that uses free content (blogs, videos, images, infographics, etc.) to reach a target audience across various channels online.
The main vehicle for content marketing is Google’s search engine, making it very similar to search engine marketing and inbound marketing.
The key idea is this — people turn to Google to find answers to their questions. They type in their query and press “search.” Upon pressing search, hundreds of thousands of websites, blog posts, and other online content are listed by their relevance.
The user clicks on a link and is redirected to the content’s origin website.
The aim of content marketing is to produce enough high-quality content that will make a website highly visible in a Google search.
However, content marketing isn’t limited to Google search engines — content is meant to be shared across many channels, or websites, to improve its visibility.
Social media sites, YouTube, Reddit, Quora, and other websites are prime spots for content to be shared to, furthering the reach of a single piece of content.
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Should I invest in content marketing efforts over paid ads?
There’s a saying about content marketing versus paid advertising — content lasts forever, but ads stop showing when the money runs out.
Content marketing works differently than traditional advertising. Unlike advertising, which is forward and overtly salesy, content marketing is often used as “the foot in the door” to introduce people to a new product or company.
The point of content marketing is to 1. Get people’s attention and 2. Keep their attention by getting them to come back for more content.
Because the longer you can keep somebody involved with your brand and messaging, the stronger their brand loyalty will be, and the more they will trust you.
Creating content has an immediate cost, just like running PPC ads, but the difference is that content stays on the internet, essentially forever.
A well-written blog can attract thousands of visitors over years, making the return on investment (ROI) substantial.
Of course, we’re not saying you shouldn’t run PPC ads — you probably should. However, a website can generate enough monthly traffic from new blogs alone!
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an internet marketing strategy that uses various tactics to improve a website’s visibility in a Google search.
The key word is “optimization,” meaning making tons of tiny little changes to a website that make a big difference in getting noticed by Google’s web crawler and Google searchers.
For example, did you know you could get your blog post to rank better by adding a couple images to it? That’s one example of an SEO tactic.
Another key aspect of SEO is keyword research — finding out what Google search terms get a high monthly amount of traffic, and then writing content using those specific search terms. For this reason, SEO and content marketing often get confused because they’re so closely related and integral to each other — SEO is used to improve a content marketing’s goals and objectives.
SEO’s main goal is to improve a website’s “organic” or unpaid traffic. This means that SEO does not use paid ads at all, and only relies on making changes to the freely available content on websites such as:
- About page
- Site navigation
- All media on website (words, images, videos, animations)
Is SEO and content marketing worth the cost?
Yes, SEO and content marketing are essential for companies that want to improve their website’s traffic, Google ranking, and online visibility.
Think of SEO and content marketing as just another form of advertising, because that’s what it is, basically.
However, the key difference is SEO and content marketing is much more targeted than traditional advertising. With a normal TV ad, tons of people outside of the target demographic often are forced to watch an ad that has no relevance to them.
But with SEO and content marketing, the targeting can be highly specific — you’re only showing your content to people who are actively searching for it online.
Ok, that’s not always true, sometimes people stumble upon content without looking for it, but even then, it’s usually because you knew what websites to share your content on.
A huge part of SEO and content marketing is spending time understanding the target audience — who they are, their pain points, which websites they visit, and the specific keywords they search for.
Once we have that information, we can then craft several different content marketing pieces, such as blogs, videos, infographic, images, etc.
As I mentioned, once you’ve created content and published it online, it will stay there indefinitely, which means content marketing is part of a longer digital marketing strategy.
Content marketing examples
Successful content marketing strategy will use a variety of content types, including free-to-read blogs, and exclusive downloadable content to build and engage an audience.
Most people think of content marketing solely as “blogging.” While this is mostly true, there are tons of other forms of content you should be creating to reach all of your target audience online.
Not all internet users are huge readers. To reach these people, you’ll need to create more visual content, such as:
- Video content, particularly YouTube videos
- Cheat sheets
- Visual guides
Podcasts are also becoming increasingly popular, however, don’t feel like you need to create your own podcast. Instead, consider being a guest on a podcast related to your industry or specific niche.
Another term used in content marketing is “lead magnet” or “downloadable content.”
Have you ever visited a website that offered you a free, downloadable eBook? This is known as a lead magnet because people will gladly give up their email address to download a well-written, helpful piece of content.
Some examples of downloadable content can include:
- Case studies
- Detailed strategy plans
- White papers
How much does content marketing and SEO cost monthly?
A company that hires a “content studio” to manage their SEO, competitive research, content creation, and publishing can expect to spend anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000 a month.
For this cost, the client gets access to an entire marketing agency for roughly the average salary of hiring one experienced marketing director!
Instead of hiring new employees to handle your company’s SEO and blog writing tasks, it’s often cheaper and easier to hire a full-service marketing agency that can handle all the digital marketing aspects.
In addition to SEO and content marketing, a full-service agency can also provide graphic design, branding, PPC ads, email marketing, social media management, and more.
Of course, adding these services will increase the project’s scope and price, however, it becomes easier to add on these services when you’re working with just one agency.
Bottom line: content marketing and SEO isn’t as expensive as you think it is — it’s often cheaper and easier than hiring new employees or marketing directors!
What’s included in the cost of content marketing and SEO?
When you hire a content studio to handle your content marketing and SEO, you’ll get a team of experts that can accurately analyze the competitive landscape you’re trying to break into.
You’ll be able to work with an account manager who will be your main point of contact when interacting with the content studio.
Your account manager is responsible for:
- Meeting with you initially to learn about your campaign’s objectives
- Emailing, calling, and communicating with you about your project, including updates and answering your questions
- Translating your goals and objectives for the SEO specialist and writers
- Maintaining and overseeing your account’s activities
Once you’ve established a relationship with your account manager, they’ll give your campaign’s information to the SEO specialist.
The SEO specialist will then begin to:
- Research your competitors online
- See what keywords your competitors currently rank for
- See what paid keywords your competitors are paying for
- Find new search terms and understand their monthly estimated traffic
- Study the top ranking website and blog posts
- Make suggestions on what keywords to target and how many blog posts to write monthly
Using this information, a content writer (sometimes also the SEO specialist) can begin the steps to create content:
- Write an intriguing article title using the targeted keyword
- Write a 1,000 word blog post, or longer, to rank in Google’s search engine results page
- Find and add appropriate images and videos to embed into article
- Add internal links to existing blog posts
- Add external links to outside websites to verify claims made in blogs
- Structure blog post in appropriate header types for improved scannability and readability
- Craft compelling calls-to-action to encourage reader to take next steps
- Write a meta-description that accurately describes what the blog post is about using the targeted keyword
Once the content has been written, the editor will proofread the article, optimize the keywords to make sure they’re being used appropriately, add comments, and send the article back to the original writer to correct the edits, if there are any.
Once the article is complete, it is then handed off to another employee to publish the blog, which consists of:
- Adding more photos to a blog (if there aren’t any)
- Adding alt-text to images
- Formatting the blog correctly
- Adding dynamic forms, widgets, and call-out boxes
- Fixing any broken links
- Inserting the meta-description for the article
Once the content has been written, edited, and published, it is later analyzed to make further optimizations, such as:
- Changing the article’s title to get more clicks
- Finding the top-performing articles and rewriting and expanding them to rank even higher
- Deleting or merging underperforming blogs with other blog posts
- Determining the best blogs to write more variations on those types of blog posts
Download our free Proven Content Marketing Plan eBook
Kaleidico — a content creation studio for lead generation
Kaleidico is a full-service marketing agency specializing in content marketing and lead generation for mortgage lenders, law firms, and fintech companies.
Companies often work with us to handle their entire digital marketing strategy — from website creation, SEO, content strategy, content creation, PPC ads, to email marketing and social media management.
If you want to get more traffic, more visibility, and generate more leads online, contact us.
We not only offer direct content marketing for companies in need of monthly blogs, but also offer white label content marketing services to marketing agencies looking to offer more services to their existing clients.
Hire Kaleidico to handle all of your content marketing and SEO needs.