White Paper: Time & Cost

Goals

To provide insights and references pertaining to the average cost and time it takes to produce long-form text-based marketing material of case studies and/or white papers for a B2B company.

Early Findings

The initial round of research indicates that there is sufficient information available on the cost and time taken to develop long-form white papers; however, information on case studies is relatively limited.
  • According to the "11th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report", in the 12 months leading to July 2020, 47% of B2B content marketers used white papers (8th most) and 68% (3rd most) used case studies.

Average Cost of a White Paper

  • "Results of surveys have shown time and time again that white papers are the most consumed content within the B2B buying journey."
  • "The 'average' cost for a white paper is around $4,500."
  • Writers with specific professional knowledge and experience more often charge from $5,500 to $7,000.
  • "The biggest survey ever taken (in 2007) showed that it costs $5,000 to $7,000 to hire an experienced white paper writer".
  • The average cost per page is typically $500.
  • The cost incurred toward a graphic designer who makes the white paper presentable should also be accounted for.

Pricing & Negotiation

  • It is best ask for project-based quotes than hourly rate quotes as it helps ensure that allocated budgets are not surpassed.
  • "The 2017 SOCE revealed that marketers often expect to pay up to five times more than the requested price for various types of content."

Gordon Graham & Team (Experts)

  • Gordon Graham, know to be "the top white paper expert in the world," breaks a White Paper project into two steps: planning and creating.
  • The charges and timelines for the two stages are as follows:
    • Planning: "$975 payable in advance before" starting; 2 weeks time
    • Creating: typically $6,000 to $8,000, depending on the "complexity, research, and deadline;" 6-8 weeks time

Benefits

  • "Long-form content isn’t just rewarded by the search engines it also resonates with readers."
  • A white paper can "generate lots of high-quality leads, create buzz around the product or service," and help boost sales.

Overall Spend

  • 57% of small companies (1-99 emp.), 49% of medium companies (100-999 emp.), and 20% of large (1,000+) B2B companies spent less than $100,000 on marketing in 2020 (pre-pandemic).
  • 10% of small companies (1-99 emp.), 25% of medium companies (100-999 emp.), and 30% of large (1,000+) B2B companies spent $100,000-$500,000 on marketing in 2020 (pre-pandemic).

Summary

  • The average white paper costs $4,500, including the cost of a graphic designer. Specialized, professionally written white papers typically cost $5,500 to $7,000.
  • A top white paper expert like Gordon Graham charges $975 for planning a white paper, and $6,000-$8,000 for creating a white paper. The two stages take 2 weeks and 6-8 weeks of time, respectively.
  • It is best to ask for project-based quotes rather than per-hour quotes.

Research proposal:

Only the project owner can select the next research path.
Need a similar proposal? Let's launch your next project!