You know that Inbound is an economical, sustainable method for generating qualified leads. You may even have a general idea of how much it costs. Still, what one company spends on Inbound only tells you part of the story.
Your CleanTech business has its own unique set of goals and resources. So, determining the right Inbound Marketing budget takes a good amount of self-reflection.
This can be difficult if you don’t know where to start looking, but that’s why we’re here to guide you. By the end of this article, you’ll be empowered to put together a budget that fits your company.
Elements of an Inbound Marketing Budget
Basically, you can break down your budget into 3 major categories: Content Creation, Software Expenses, and Testing and Optimization.
- Content Creation: It takes far more than a single writer to produce effective content. A keen Content Strategist, Designer, and Developer are all necessary components. Your blog has to look, feel, and function like a well-oiled machine so that the written portion can achieve its optimal impact. Expect to allocate most of your budget to this category.
- Software Expenses: There are many moving pieces that have to be managed in an Inbound campaign (ex: lead scoring and nurturing, social media, email automation, etc). Having a reliable platform like HubSpot can help you keep everything in order. Typically, these type of services are priced in tiers, with the basic packages starting at around $200 per month. Overall, this tends to compose a smaller percentage of your budget.
- Testing and Optimization: Remember all of those analytics that you’ve heard so much about? This is where they live. Outside of SEO, there’s multivariate testing, conversion rate optimization, every other “zation” that you can think of. Some of the costs will overlap with your Software Expenses, but you’ll need a Wiz or two to handle this workspace.
You have the option to either build an internal team or hire an outside agency. Which is better for your Green Energy business depends on the skill set and availability of your marketing department. HubSpot estimates that even the smallest Inbound Marketing team will cost upwards of $120,000 in salary alone.
How Much Should You Budget?
It’s been said that a company should allocate 4-8% of their gross revenue to marketing. For a successful campaign, it’s best to dedicate at least a quarter of that budget towards Inbound.
Let’s put this in perspective. For a business that generates an annual revenue of $2 million, $40,000 is the sweet spot for a professional grade campaign. If your company brings in around $60 million, your budget should come to about $1.2 million.
Considering the ROI, Inbound Marketing is well worth the money. In a report by SocialMedia B2B.com and Inboundwriter.com, B2B buisness that blog produce 67% more leads a month than their counterparts who don’t. This isn’t to say that Inbound is the only factor responsible for marketing success, but it does play a pivotal role.
The Bottom Line
Alright! You’re ready to start constructing an Inbound Marketing budget for your CleanTech organization. Although, the key word here (pun intended) is “start”.
Obviously, you have a mountain of research ahead of you. Not to mention the task of deciding between an in-house team and an outside agency.
Whichever route you choose, a solid strategy has to be the cornerstone of your campaign. There’s no concrete way to express this value in terms of a budget. But it will be the deciding factor in your online marketing success.