Sep 24th 21

How Much Does Digital Marketing Cost

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Marketing is slowly but surely moving away from television, the pages of paper publications, and billboards. It's moving towards the digital space. Do you want to survive? Keep up with the times and plan your digital marketing budget. 

Companies are spending less and less money on offline marketing presence, and more on "renting" digital marketing space to advertise and promote products and services. Saving on such serious things as digital marketing is generally a bad idea. However, it is quite possible to optimize your marketing expenses. In this article, you will find out how much digital marketers charge for advertising, what digital marketing cost consists of, and how to achieve the best results with minimal marketing expenses.

What is digital marketing and what services does digital marketing include?

 Digital marketing is any form of marketing or advertising that is delivered through digital channels: websites, social media, mobile apps, email, search engines, and so on. It's also referred to as online marketing, internet marketing, or web marketing.

The great thing about digital marketing is that it is versatile. Digital marketing allows you to attract thousands of customers through multiple channels. A marketer can use a search engine ad, a banner on a website, a video ad on Youtube, or a Facebook post. All this will help customers find your product, get to know it, and make a purchase decision. 

Digital marketing is extremely important to businesses because it allows them to deal with a vast amount of commercial tasks.

Tools of digital marketing: 

  • Content marketing;
  • Contextual advertising;
  • Email marketing;
  • Social media digital marketing (SMM);
  • Search engine optimization (SEO);
  • Affiliate marketing;
  • Influencer marketing;
  • Mobile marketing;
  • Media marketing;
  • Crowd marketing;
  • Referral marketing.

Most of the digital marketing tools’ names listed above are pretty self-explanatory, so we won't spell out what they mean. However, later in this article, we'll break down the marketing cost of some of them.

Pricing models for digital marketing

The cost of digital marketing is very individual. It is calculated differently in each case. Nevertheless, there are several generally accepted pricing models in digital marketing.

Milestone-based digital marketing pricing

One of the most common marketing pricing systems. Milestone digital marketing pricing usually involves charging a fixed rate for each step of a marketing campaign.

This refers to the specific work performed by the contractor:

  • Preparation of a technical audit;
  • Formation of the semantic core;
  • Marketing analytics;
  • Preparation of terms of reference for the creation/optimization of pages;
  • Link placement;
  • etc.

This marketing payment option does not provide a fixed monthly payment for the contractor's work. The payment occurs for specific work performed and each stage is evaluated separately.

Pros: staged payment and a specific price for each marketing stage.

Cons: you may see the result only from a long-term perspective.


In this case, the client pays a fixed monthly cost, which includes the contractor's work and all marketing project costs.

The % of the marketing budget for project costs is determined by the agencies, it can be 20-40% of the total marketing project budget. Some contractors provide information about the % of the digital marketing cost budget,  while some do not.

Pros: a fixed price for each month of site promotion.

Cons: you may have to wait some time till the result becomes visible.


One of the more results-oriented digital marketing pricing methods is value-based pricing. This model, commonly used by agencies in paid traffic or lead generation, charges either a flat rate per result or a percentage of the revenue generated by the campaign.

Typically, the amount of costs is predicted by the contractor as well as the spending limit for the month.

Pros: the client sees the cost of the contractor's work as well as all the costs of the project (text writing, links, content)

Cons: the cost will always be non-static, but as a rule, the upper limit of monthly project costs is still stipulated.

Hourly rates

Perhaps the most intuitive digital marketing pricing model. Hourly-payed works just like any freelancer position or job. Each agency employee has an hourly rate, and the client pays only for the person they work with.

Pros: a fixed marketing price for each month to promote the site and an understanding of how much and what tasks take time.

Cons: none.

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Average rates of marketing specialists 

Let's take a look at the average, minimum, and maximum prices for the services of digital marketing agencies. It’ll give you information to rely on when choosing a digital marketing company. In general, the cost of digital marketing promotion consists of direct advertising costs and the salaries of specialists. And if the first will be the same regardless of your location, the cost of a digital marketing specialist depends very much on the region.  

For example, according to Indeed, an online marketer in the U.S. earns an average of $57,253 a year, that is, about $4,770 a month. The Glassdoor portal indicates the average salary of the digital marketer is $121 676 a year, which is approximately $10 100 a month. If you take the average value, the services of a digital marketing specialist will cost $35 per hour. Things are not much better in Western Europe. In Germany, a digital marketer's salary can reach about $35-40 dollars per hour. 

In this perspective, in terms of price-to-quality ratio, Eastern Europe looks very attractive. For example, in Ukraine, digital marketer salaries are much lower. According to the Serpstat study, the Internet marketer in Kyiv earns an average of $1000, which is about $6 per hour. Feel the difference.

Since the skill set is the same for a digital marketer in any country, you should consider turning to outsource specialists. This way you will significantly save your budget and get a quality result.

TOP factors affecting digital marketing cost 

Three key points that interest businesses at the stage of selecting a digital marketing contractor are cost, timing, and guarantees. The price of website marketing is a key question. What are the factors that affect the cost of digital marketing services?


The task

It's about the amount of work and its nature. Simply put, you need to determine whether it is necessary to build a house or expand its square footage. The digital marketing task determines the amount of digital marketing work, the necessary digital marketing project team, the budget, as well as the timing. All of these factors affect the price.


The scale

The scale of the digital marketing project is one of the first points when estimating the cost of digital marketing services because it concerns the amount of team’s work. Here you need to consider the priorities of the project and the task at hand. This can affect the amount of work, the overall project budget, and how much the work will cost. Website digital marketing promotion and the processes that need to be set up to produce results tightly depend on the size of the site.


Niche and competition

Prices for website digital marketing promotion also depend on the business niche. Difficult competition implies more analytics to make decisions. In addition, if the topic requires a high level of expertise in content preparation this will also increase costs.



There is more competition in New York or San Francisco than in Salt Lake City. In addition, the number of regions in which the site will be promoted is also an issue, which will also affect the cost.


Project team

The composition of the team directly depends on the organization of work within the digital marketing agency, as well as the amount of work on the project. At the very minimum budget, there will be a marketer and a PM. Depending on the project, the availability of subject matter experts in the staff/team of the client, there will be also a programmer, copywriter, content manager, and designer involved.

The result is achieved by marketing the resource by key queries. An SEO-optimizer promotes a site using a prearranged list of keywords in order to get the pages to the top of search engine results. Most often the aim of marketing is to reach the TOP-1, TOP-3, or TOP-10 by selected requests. The promotion may take about 6 months or more.

You should also include in your digital marketing budget funds for the purchase of links to paid resources. Some content providers may also need to purchase specialized SEO software, as well as pay for additional texts and technical work over the SEO cost plan. To avoid unforeseen expenses, it is recommended to calculate monthly costs of site promotion as soon as possible.

  • Collection of search queries
    starting from $250
  • Grouping/clustering of search queries
    starting from $500
  • Creation of the structure of the website based on search queries clusters
    starting from $250
  • Website indexing improvement; increase of the page speed
    starting from $50 for one Tech spec
  • Creation of the Technical Requirements for content
    starting from $100 for one Tech spec
  • Increase of the Digital Authority of the website
    starting from $500 per month
  • SEO-texts creation
    $13 for 1000 characters

Content marketing cost

Content marketing may seem ineffective as you need time to see how it works. For example, content marketing knows how to work with loyal audiences, lifetime value, returns and building a quality brand.

Content marketing can:

  • sell directly: when you do it, you engage your audience, and then write some selling posts;
  • make your ads cheaper and warmer;
  • grow expertise in the eyes of consumers.

Generally speaking, any digital marketing content is an audience attraction point. Digital content marketing works in the same way as classic advertising. The difference is that you don't buy advertising space, you pull in an audience through content.

Content marketing is considered based on the objectives and size of the business.

Size of business = size of the audience that content marketing works with.

You may have a very expensive business that produces lux jewelry, but that business has a very small audience. For it, a niche blog on your website and nice distribution will be enough.

Or maybe you have a transcontinental logistics company that solves complex problems. They need to be communicated to a specialized audience of specialists in different languages. That's going to be expensive.

But if you still want a specific answer in numbers about how much content marketing costs, here is the answer:

  • Creation of the Technical Requirements for content
    starting from $100 for one Tech spec
  • SEO-texts creation
    $13 for 1000 characters

    Ads management cost

For the additional digital marketing promotion of the expert content in the media or social networks, you can connect advertising. With the right approach, such a campaign will not require a lot of resources, but to do this you must carefully work with the target audience. Choose the right targeting settings, create a catchy creative, little by little test different formats, and do not forget to put restrictions on the budget.

Approximate cost of ads management:

  • Advertising targeting campaign launch and optimization on Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads
    starting from $500 per month
  • Advertising remarketing campaign
    starting from $250 per month

Social media marketing cost

The price of paid digital marketing promotion in social networks is determined individually. Young brands in the first years of existence use it as the main channel for profit. The explanation for this is the large coverage of the target audience, which can be interested in a new product or service. In addition, you can start targeting even if you don't have a website yet.

Another advantage of marketing on Facebook and Instagram is the ability to offer specific products to a specific target audience. For example, if a company sells both women's and men's bags, separate marketing campaigns are created to show men and women what they want.

The price of marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube is calculated individually. The main factor that determines how much SMM marketing costs for a particular company is the goal it plans to achieve using this marketing channel, as well as the amount of work that needs to be done to reach this marketing goal.

Top recommendations for reducing digital marketing cost 

Know your target audience

Even if your buyers are a few tens of thousands, they differ from the rest of the people. They are your target audience and they have one thing in common - the need for your product or its competitor. You need to find out why and when they need it, where they look for it, how they discuss it, with whom they consult, what prevents them from buying it, and with what money they buy it.

By answering the questions about your customer, you can identify the sources of information they have in common. And these sources may be very different from the mass media you use to communicate with your target audience. Engage only those channels of communication that your potential buyers use. And reach them with the exact marketing message that is in the context of their purchase.

Focus on evergreen content

All search engines create algorithms to rank search results by their "relevance", as the search engines understand it. SEO optimizers try to circumvent these algorithms. Publish content that is really important and interesting to your customer. For example, start a blog.

Emphasize expertise

Use the opinion of someone who your target audience sees as an expert. Don't shoot the star for the star's sake. A star can only convince you to choose your product if they know it better than anyone else. For example, if the athlete has actually participated in the development and testing of sports equipment, they could convince others to buy it. In other cases, you need to analyze the opinions of those who have already bought your product and communicate to potential buyers.


This is probably the smartest way to reduce marketing costs. We've already said that marketing specialists' rates vary from region to region. So why not take advantage of it? Hire marketing professionals from a region that is culturally closer to you, but the salaries of marketing professionals there are much lower. The Eastern European region and Ukraine, in particular, stand out in this regard. You will definitely not regret your choice.

Creating a marketing budget is never easy, especially when you want to get results in digital marketing. We hope that our marketing guide will help you come up with ideas and strategies to reduce your marketing spend without damaging your brand.

In the end, your marketing budget will probably never stay the same. If you get rid of a marketing tactic, you can always include it again if you need to, or you can introduce new marketing trends that require outsourcing or small additional costs.

Whatever you decide, make sure you invest wisely.

Bogdan Misiurenko

Business Development Manager
I’ve got 5+ years of hands-on experience in building and executing software development services within numerous industry domains. Some of them include real estate, e-commerce, logistics, and retail. Let’s keep in touch and build something great together!
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