A study from HubSpot reveals that marketers are increasing their inbound lead budgets this year because blog marketing brings more sales for lower costs.

This year, marketers will dedicate 41 percent of lead generation budgets to inbound marketing and just 24 percent to outbound marketing. The gap between the two strategies demonstrates a significant year-over-year increase, and this is likely because inbound marketing – particularly via corporate blogs – is proving to generate more sales for lower costs.

Hubspot's State of Inbound Marketing survey asked nearly 700 professionals about their businesses' marketing strategies, and the overall conclusion of the study is that blogs are generating real customers. Plus, the majority of marketers reported that blog leads are below the average cost of leads from other channels.

More than half of respondents (57 percent) say blogs have led to new customer acquisitions. This shows that blogs are becoming increasingly effective in generating convertible leads, supporting Brafton's earlier report that blogs impact nearly one-quarter of consumers' purchase decisions.

Consequently, marketers are allocating significantly more of their lead generation budgets to social platforms, including blogs, this year. Companies' budget spend on blogs and social media has doubled from 9 percent in 2009 to 18 percent in 2011.

Of course, creating blogs that will convert readers is an investment. Nearly 90 percent of the marketers who acquire customers via blogs say they post fresh content multiple times per day, and more than three-quarters (76 percent) say they post at least two to three times per week.

Businesses may consider outsourcing their blog marketing in order to produce content at comparable rates and achieve successful lead generation. As Brafton has reported, marketers cite finding the time to create original content as one of the leading challenges to effective content marketing.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.