How much of my budget should I spend on content marketing? That’s probably the question I hear more than any other. It’s a welcome question because businesses don’t budget for something they don’t think will work. I was particularly happy to be asked about content marketing budgets yesterday while speaking at the PCO Conference in New Zealand. PCOs (professional conference organisers) can be a tough crowd, especially if you’re trying to convince them to divert budget away from the ‘in person’ experience – food, beverages, venue costs, entertainment and travel expenses.

Recently, the Content Marketing Institute along with MarketingProfs released their annual report on content marketing: B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends. The international survey comprised the results of nearly 1100 people (most of them in North America) almost equally split between micro, small, mid-size and large organisations. Right across the board, content marketing activity is on the rise and business is increasing content marketing budgets. The report states:

“On average, 60% of respondents indicate that they plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months.“

The overall spend on content marketing is 26% but it’s interesting to note smaller companies spend a larger percent of their budgets on content. It’s a good indicator to me content marketing is working, regardless of the size of your business. Respondents who considered themselves most effective at content marketing spent 31% of their budget on content marketing.

Good news for PCOs
It was interesting for me to note the most effective form of content is still in-person events. Undoubtedly, spending big on an event is still going to give you a good return on your investment. Content marketers are finding video events to be the next most effective kind of content. Anyway you cut it, the PCO isn’t going anywhere.

My advice
Next time someone asks me the question about how much to budget for content marketing, based on this new report I’m going to answer ‘about 25% – 30% of your total marketing budget to be effective’. If you haven’t adopted a content marketing strategy it’s a good rule of thumb figure to include in your planning. Make sure you download the free report, it’s a good read with lots of useful information in it to help you plan your content marketing activity.

Are you increasing your spend on content marketing next year?