Digital Marketing Costs: How Much Does It Cost in 2021?

  • Samuel Darwin
  • Aug 12, 2021

If you are wondering what the likely costs of digital marketing are, this article can help you with specific costs that exist and how much you need to allocate.

In digital marketing, the costs vary from client to client because each client has different requirements and goals. So, it isn’t like one size fits all, and several costs are combined in various categories, which will usually differ in the final estimation.

Digital marketing companies are usually not transparent in their pricing, but transparent ones are said to get more inquiries. Being transparent helps your digital marketing company to gain trust and credibility among your clients in the long term.

The estimation of digital marketing costs depends on the agency’s experience, company size, hourly rates, engagement model, project-based fees, and client’s goals. So, when you consider all these factors, the cost would be pretty expensive.

The various categories where the costs will be combined are search engine optimization, social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, and content creation. Let’s now dive into the topic for more insights.

The estimation of digital marketing costs depends on the agency's experience, company size, hourly rates, engagement model, project-based fees, and client goals.
The estimation of digital marketing costs depends on the agency’s experience, company size, hourly rates, engagement model, project-based fees, and client goals.

1. Search Engine Optimization

Usually, search engine optimization comprises content development, user intent, keyword research, on-page, and off-page SEO. These all are free to implement and don’t cost anything. It depends on many factors to rank higher on Google, but it is possible with a solid SEO strategy.

SEO is pretty much volatile, and the results vary from time to time, so the process takes anywhere between 3-6 months to get desired results. Work needs to be done long-term, with frequent monitoring and analysis, and it isn’t a one-time service.

With the data from Moz, here are the likely costs of SEO services:

  • Hiring a freelancer for SEO services is usually $70 – $120 per hour.
  • A project or one SEO campaign costs anywhere between $500 – $8000.
  • If you hire a digital marketing agency, it usually costs $700 – $1500.

Have a concrete plan when you get the services of digital marketing agencies for SEO. Do your research, check online reviews, their transparency, the results they have achieved with their campaigns, and if their pricing makes justice for the services you get from them.

2. Social Media Advertising

If you are doing search engine optimization, there are necessarily no costs involved in implementing it. Still, if SEO doesn’t work as per your expectations, you need to focus on social media advertising which involves spending quite a bit of money.

Digital marketing companies need to spend social media advertising costs on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. The costs can range anywhere from $100 to $10,000 per month, so digital marketers need to be conscious about ROI.

It is pretty standard if the costs are $2000 to $8000 per month, which entirely depends on the size of the target audience, the social media platform, the niche, the competitors in the niche, and the frequency of ads that are posted on social media.

Facebook ads are pretty cheaper, which usually costs $0.50 to $2 per click and you pay based on your posts or ads that 1000 users see. Twitter ads are similar to Facebook ads, where you run a sponsored tweet campaign that costs $2 – $4 per click.

3. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is basically bidding on the search terms to get clicks. In this mode of advertising, the ROI is very crucial to make up the costs in spending for ads. You can calculate the PPC ROI using three ways: return on ad spend, return on investment, and profit per click

The PPC advertising happens on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page), and you have to try to bid on low competitive keywords, which are usually low cost. You can go after the competitive keywords if you have a good ROI strategy.

Small to medium-sized businesses usually spend anywhere from $7000 to $12000 per month on PPC advertising which is actually 5% to 25% of the digital marketing company’s monthly budget.

Those who bid the highest get the first position in PPC ads in search results. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to bid more. You just need to use the right keywords that would get a good number of clicks at low costs.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the oldest methods of marketing that is cost-effective. The average return on investment is $42 for every $1 spent, proving to be promising for digital marketers to have them in their marketing strategies to scale up their business.

It usually costs anywhere between $200 to $2000 monthly with a digital marketing agency, and the costs rise depending on the size of the target audience. The costs comprise of customized email template design and email marketing providers.

Suppose digital marketers need to make a more significant ROI from email marketing. In that case, they need to connect with the customers in a more personalized way. When the customers feel the emails are relatable to their interests, the conversion automatically increases.

The crucial aspect of email marketing is that the email headlines should not be sort of click baits. They need to resonate with the right intent and use appealing headlines to get the customers’ attention to increase the email open rates.

5. Content Creation

Content creation is an essential part of digital marketing strategy, and the costs depend on factors like content quality, project deadline, and the number of words. In most scenarios, the quality of the content determines the price, which can be higher.

The content creation usually comprises copywriting, copy editing, content writing, blog writing, product descriptions, ebooks, and emails. Digital marketers need to educate the audience with content that has accurate facts, infographics, and images.

Content creation can cost anywhere between $100 to $3000. The most cost happens when hiring copywriters, which takes up a huge pile of the content creation budget. Investing in content creation can produce better results in the long term.

Content planning and content strategy have to be suitable to utilize the content budget to its fullest potential. 61% of online purchases usually happen when the customer is reading a blog post, so that is the value of content creation which has enormous potential to gain traffic, leads, and conversions.

Final Thoughts

55% of the entire ad spend that happened in 2021 is from digital marketing. So, digital marketing companies are in a neck-to-neck competition with their competitors to stay ahead in this game and succeed.

Businesses that get digital marketing services pay anywhere between $80 – $300 on an hourly basis and $2000 to $10,000 per project, which again depends on multiple factors like target audience size, competition, project quality, and project deadline.

The other crucial factors determining the digital marketing costs are company size, marketing objectives, marketing budget, the complexity of the project, the agency’s benefit, and project timeline. 

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