The cost of a brand story

Stories come in many forms. Depending on the size of the organization, and whether it’s a B2B or B2C company, resources and budgets can vary tremendously.

However, don’t be discouraged if you are a small business owner with little means. The art of storytelling and engaging an audience is all about relevancy, and there are many examples of influencers who are great at earning people’s attention. If they can do it, you can do it too.

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Leave it to the pro storytellers

Another positive trend for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is the rise of the gig economy. There are so many talented writers, freelance journalists, podcasters and videographers who have the skills and experience of crafting engaging stories, that all a small business owner needs to do is outsource their task to a pro communicator. Business owners can focus their time on running a business instead of thinking about a blog post they need to write.

Also, even if you are pro communicator working for a mid to large-sized company and produce many things in-house, you can still scale your work up or down by collaborating with freelancers.  Hiring experts outside your organization also has the added benefit that they have the skills and experience you may be lacking, and could possibly do a better job.

Stories can be packaged cheaply

Now, you might think you don’t have the budget, nor do you want to spend your scarce resources on something you find is difficult to produce. Fortunately, stories do come in many shapes and sizes and, again, it all comes down to the art of creating a compelling story. So in short, a story doesn’t need to cost much and can be relatively inexpensive depending on what you would like to achieve.

So that raises the question, ‘What is the cost of a story?’ Within marketing, a story can fall under one of three categories: hero, hub or hygiene content. Below is a description of what each category means and the related cost estimates in each.

The three categories of content marketing

*The price obviously depends on the scope of the project and the content type. Creating a couple of social media posts and a blog post obviously costs less than doing an animated film or corporate video.

A strategic marketing model to work from

Ideally, you should be creating content that spans across the three categories of hero, hub, and hygiene. However, there are a lot of SMBs that are exceptional at hygiene and hub content, but never manage to produce the big hero marketing. Nevertheless, they still manage to get a lot of traction. The most important thing as a marketer is to ensure you are providing value to your customers and prospects; it certainly doesn’t have to come in the shape of an expensive TV commercial.

Cost estimates for various types of content

To give you an idea, below are some rough cost estimates for various content types. The price of things very much depends on whether you are recruiting a specialist or a generalist writer, the profile of the freelancer and their fees, and cost of services and taxes in your market. However, the content below should give you a basic idea.

If these price ranges fall outside of what you can afford, don’t worry – do it yourself and try to start creating content. The most important thing is to be out there, engaging your target groups and providing them with valuable and useful content.  

Order types Price range
Text (press releases, blog posts, news stories)           $100 – $600
Pictures (for 5 photos)    $400 – $500
Movie (up to 3 minutes)    $4,000 – $5,000  
Podcast    $1,000 – $1,500
Translations (up to 3,000 characters)      $200 – $250
Content rewrite or editing (500 characters)    $100 – $120

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