Albert Qian
June 26, 2014

A Social Media Budget For Every Strategy: Content Marketing

With social media being so ubiquitous in marketing activities, marketers have many options to choose from when considering what platform to use. The numbers can be very confusing sometimes, in addition to the identification of why the marketer needs a particular platform.

As I look at my social media efforts month over month, I always consider what is around, my budget, ROI considerations, and more, beyond sales pitches. As a marketer, while our work may be emotional, opening up the pocketbook (or closing it) is all business. In this series we’ll be covering the high, middle, and low end social media tools that will help make any marketer — perhaps yours — an easier one.

Today’s topic is content marketing. Content marketing is a growing trend in the digital marketing space as businesses use content and thought leadership to gain a foothold in their respective markets. From sharing content to creating it, drip campaigns to full on marketing pushes, content marketing can almost be considered its own industry with bloggers pushing out so much on a daily basis.

Let’s take a look at some of the players in this market. Let us know what you think:

The High End

Who: Bundlepost, Buffer

How Much: $20 personal account, $50 mid-range, $100 for unlimited accounts for Bundlepost, $50 / $100 / $250 for Buffer

Why So Much: The folks at Bundlepost give you the bang for your buck, and then some more bang while you’re figuring out how far your buck has gone. From automated hashtagging support to customized content, pre-loaded Follow Friday tweets to the many RSS feeds you need for your business to thrive and share all sorts of content, Bundlepost is a one stop shop that’s growing on what feels like an hourly basis. There’s no reporting, but the tool does play nicely with with a suite of social media tools, from the likes of Hootsuite to Sendible, as well as Buffer, and offers a 30-day free trial. Buffer, which has something on the high end and middle end, also gives businesses profiles, social sharing across all major networks, the ability to add team members, and see analytics.

But why would anyone need a tool that sounds like content marketing on hyperdrive? Glad you asked…

You would use this tool if: You are a social media marketer with an agency, or someone who’s looking to cash in on a lot of projects. At the $100 per month price point you are not just getting the technology but also the support of the amazing Bundlepost team. And even if you aren’t, these guys are a company to watch in the coming months. With Buffer, the reasoning is fairly the same on functionality and features.

The Middle End

Who: Buffer App, Hootsuite

How Much: $8-50 per month

Why: If Follow Friday while you’re asleep or unlimited RSS feeds aren’t your thing, you can still get the power of tool scheduling. Bundlepost works with all of these, but if you’re a small business owner that’s not an agency, these may work better for you. In Hootsuite for example, all you need to do is to upload a CSV file from Microsoft Excel with all your pre-loaded tweets and you are good to go. Buffer on the other hand, offers an “awesome” version which allows you to have up to 15 accounts at a time across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more, while importing 15 feeds per social network. If you still wish to pay more, you can at a higher level with Buffer, which we discussed above.

You would use this tool if: You cared about your time. Seriously. Back office social media work as a whole is crazy, considering how much a business could spend on looking up content to share, creating the content, scheduling the content… and then doing it all over again day-after-day. Even if you don’t want to automatically hashtag things, being able to at the very least schedule content out a few days in advance is extremely helpful, because it means you can spend your time doing other things.

The Low End

Who: Klout, Tweetdeck, Facebook’s Automated Scheduler, Buffer, and many more

How much: Your time, blood, sweat, and tears

You would go this route if: You really were not wanting to spend any money at all, period. You’ll notice on this list that we have Klout, the company best known for controversial influence rankings. Klout recently got into the content game by using the topics people are influential about and then suggesting the best content to share. Tweetdeck and Buffer have built-in social media schedulers on the free end that mean you the user must individually schedule posts, and Facebook has automated scheduling for their brand pages. I certainly don’t recommend this path, but if you must, it does serve as a somewhat doable method — but don’t come back to the comments and tell us we didn’t warn you.