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Posted by: Matthew Cook

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Though online marketing is significantly less expensive than traditional marketing, it still requires you to set a healthy budget if you want to see real results. But at a cost of 62% less per lead than traditional marketing, it’s worth the money. Sure, you could forgo spending a dime by doing it all yourself, but at what cost? Your time? Your other responsibilities? Your goals? Your results?

A DIY online marketing strategy could cost you less, but it won’t generate the ROI that you want to see. If you don’t want your results to suffer, you need to dish out some cash for inbound marketing, whether you’re handling the function in house or outsourcing to a digital marketing agency.

But how much is enough?

The Cost Isn’t One Size Fits All

When it comes to inbound marketing, there isn’t a simple answer to the question of how much you’ll need to spend. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Many factors need to be taken into consideration to determine budget, such as the stage of growth your company is in, the goals you want to set, and your company’s unique opportunities and challenges online. For example, depending on the stage of growth of your company, you may consider hiring a junior employee ($60,000 annual), intermediate employee ($120,000 annual), or senior employee ($250,000 annual). As the employees' experience and expertise increases, the salary increases and you can expect more in return. The same can be said for inbound marketing packages. Some are more comprehensive than others, offering more significant results at a faster rate than others. It really depends on what you want to accomplish.

Invest to See ROI

You may think that inbound marketing is cheap because so much can be done for free, if you’re willing to take the time to do it things like writing content, building a website, and posting on social media. But doing all of this on your own will likely reduce the quality of the efforts, and in turn, reduce your ROI. If you don’t have the experience, the tools, the resources, or the expertise to perform these tasks in an effective manner, you shouldn’t attempt to do it, even if it’ll reduce your needed budget.

To see real results, you need a budget to let professionals handle the work. Your budget would cover the software platforms, the tools, and the people behind the scenes, such as the professional developers, designers, writers, social media managers, data analysts, etc. These resources and people cost money, but investing in them means that you’ll actually see a return. If you’re not an inbound marketing expert, then you shouldn’t attempt to create, implement, and maintain an inbound marketing strategy by yourself.

You’ll just end up wasting a lot of time, and in the end, not seeing any results for your efforts.

Online Marketing Is a Profit Centre

Many business owners don’t invest in inbound marketing because they believe that it’s a cost centre—an added expense. Even though they wouldn’t hesitate to spend money on a new sales rep, on trade shows, etc., they believe that inbound marketing is a new expense that they simply cannot afford.

But in reality, online marketing is the best thing business owners can invest in for the growth of their companies—even if it came down to hiring a new sales person vs investing in inbound marketing or going to trade shows vs inbound marketing, inbound should win. This is because online marketing is a proven revenue-generating function. Done properly, with the help of a professional, reputable digital marketing agency, you will see a return on your investment. That’s a fact.

The results you’re going to get from inbound marketing depends heavily the amount of money you are willing to invest in it and how fast you want to get there.

How to Create an Effective Inbound Marketing Campaign