How to calculate the cost of content creation

How to calculate the cost of content creation

3 minute read

How to calculate the cost of content creation

3 minute read

How to calculate the cost of content creation

Becky Taylor

Product Marketing Manager, GatherContent

It's 2019. There's no escaping that (high quality) content is critical for business success. So why are we still struggling to have efficient processes around content creation?

Our Head of Content, Rob Mills recently presented at and attended Content Strategy Applied 2019. It was no surprise to hear that one of the most cited challenges during the conference was understanding the cost of content and how businesses can make savings, without compromising on quality.

Understanding the cost of content creation

To calculate how much content creation costs a business, you will need to quantify:

  • How much content needs to be created? Consider the number of content types (webpages, blog posts, case studies etc.) and the volume of each content type for either a specific project or during a typical time period such as a month.
  • How long it takes to create each type of content? Consider how many hours go into each stage of production, across all people involved, from brief through to publishing.
  • The financial cost of the hours required. Use the average hourly staff rate or if using contractors, £350-£550 per day is the UK market rate for an experienced web writer.

When you have these figures, use the following formula to understand the cost:

(Content Items X Content Time) X Average Hourly Staff Cost

= Cost of content effort (per project/month)

Alternatively, use our Content Cost Calculator template to quantify how much content costs your business using your current content operations set up.

Attendees to our most recent Content Delivery masterclass reported that using traditional content operations (such as word docs for writing and spreadsheets for status tracking) to create content, averaged out at massive 30.1 hours per web page! Content effort should not be underestimated.

“Content is one of the most mature disciplines, yet with the least mature operational controls.”  — Rahel Anne Bailie (Content strategy expert)

The growth of content strategy has no doubt bolstered the accepted understanding that businesses need to provide authentic, valuable content to their audiences. As the discipline of content strategy matures, now comes the need for turning strategy into a reality. This is where Content Operations (ContentOps) comes in.

Making content creation an efficient business process

A typical response to calculating the cost of content creation is shock at the time/cost, followed quickly by: “How can we can cut this down?!”. Start by understanding the points of friction that bloat your existing process.

Do you experience these frustrations when creating content in your organisation?

  • Content gets produced in different systems so there’s always a question of if the version you have is up to date
  • Traditional content editors like Word are unstructured so content is often provided in unsuitable length and needs to be edited before it can be used
  • We have to manually track the content status
  • We have to jump between 4+ tools to get content produced (spreadsheets, word docs, email, IM, Trello/Asana/Basecamp…)
  • We have to manually chase for content to be delivered
  • The process breeds relentless email chains

On top of frustration, these points of friction add time to your content creation process. When you introduce ContentOps philosophy to an organisation you can modernise the way you create content and increase efficiency:

ContentOps philosophy allows organisations to scale their operations while keeping high quality in a continuous delivery pipeline.

Is there a tool to manage content creation?

Of course!

ContentOps comes after you have defined your content strategy and before you deliver content to your audience. It is people, processes and technology that are required to create content across an organisation.

A Venn diagram showing how ContentOps is about people, process and technology from strategy all the way through to delivery

A Content Operations Platform, like GatherContent, is the technology that facilitates efficient content creation.

On average, our customers estimate they save 30% of hours previously spent managing content operations, by implementing GatherContent. How do we do it?

To learn more about GatherContent, book a demo with our team or dive straight in with a free 30-day trial.

It's 2019. There's no escaping that (high quality) content is critical for business success. So why are we still struggling to have efficient processes around content creation?

Our Head of Content, Rob Mills recently presented at and attended Content Strategy Applied 2019. It was no surprise to hear that one of the most cited challenges during the conference was understanding the cost of content and how businesses can make savings, without compromising on quality.

Understanding the cost of content creation

To calculate how much content creation costs a business, you will need to quantify:

  • How much content needs to be created? Consider the number of content types (webpages, blog posts, case studies etc.) and the volume of each content type for either a specific project or during a typical time period such as a month.
  • How long it takes to create each type of content? Consider how many hours go into each stage of production, across all people involved, from brief through to publishing.
  • The financial cost of the hours required. Use the average hourly staff rate or if using contractors, £350-£550 per day is the UK market rate for an experienced web writer.

When you have these figures, use the following formula to understand the cost:

(Content Items X Content Time) X Average Hourly Staff Cost

= Cost of content effort (per project/month)

Alternatively, use our Content Cost Calculator template to quantify how much content costs your business using your current content operations set up.

Attendees to our most recent Content Delivery masterclass reported that using traditional content operations (such as word docs for writing and spreadsheets for status tracking) to create content, averaged out at massive 30.1 hours per web page! Content effort should not be underestimated.

“Content is one of the most mature disciplines, yet with the least mature operational controls.”  — Rahel Anne Bailie (Content strategy expert)

The growth of content strategy has no doubt bolstered the accepted understanding that businesses need to provide authentic, valuable content to their audiences. As the discipline of content strategy matures, now comes the need for turning strategy into a reality. This is where Content Operations (ContentOps) comes in.

Making content creation an efficient business process

A typical response to calculating the cost of content creation is shock at the time/cost, followed quickly by: “How can we can cut this down?!”. Start by understanding the points of friction that bloat your existing process.

Do you experience these frustrations when creating content in your organisation?

  • Content gets produced in different systems so there’s always a question of if the version you have is up to date
  • Traditional content editors like Word are unstructured so content is often provided in unsuitable length and needs to be edited before it can be used
  • We have to manually track the content status
  • We have to jump between 4+ tools to get content produced (spreadsheets, word docs, email, IM, Trello/Asana/Basecamp…)
  • We have to manually chase for content to be delivered
  • The process breeds relentless email chains

On top of frustration, these points of friction add time to your content creation process. When you introduce ContentOps philosophy to an organisation you can modernise the way you create content and increase efficiency:

ContentOps philosophy allows organisations to scale their operations while keeping high quality in a continuous delivery pipeline.

Is there a tool to manage content creation?

Of course!

ContentOps comes after you have defined your content strategy and before you deliver content to your audience. It is people, processes and technology that are required to create content across an organisation.

A Venn diagram showing how ContentOps is about people, process and technology from strategy all the way through to delivery

A Content Operations Platform, like GatherContent, is the technology that facilitates efficient content creation.

On average, our customers estimate they save 30% of hours previously spent managing content operations, by implementing GatherContent. How do we do it?

To learn more about GatherContent, book a demo with our team or dive straight in with a free 30-day trial.

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About the author

Becky Taylor

Becky is a Product Marketing Manager at GatherContent. She has 10+ years working in marketing executing affiliate, content, display, mobile, search and social campaigns for high profile clients across various sectors including Travel, Entertainment and Oil & Energy.

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