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Understanding Marketing Agency Pricing

on January 29, 2020

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Did you know that in 2019, global online ad spend increased by 4.7 percent? Or that location-based marketing saw gains of 14 percent, representing a $24.4 billion share of the market? In this article, we will break down what services marketing agencies offer, as well as break down agency pricing.

Social referral traffic to retail e-commerce sites expanded by 110 percent, too. As these stats demonstrate, digital marketing is here to stay. What’s more, the most successful companies are using hybrid approaches to their advantage.

What if you don’t have the money to afford agency pricing, though? You’re likely overestimating how much hiring an agency costs while underestimating its value proposition. 

As an entrepreneur, if you’re not using Google Ads, social media, and local SEO to set your company apart and convert more leads, then you’re missing out. Don’t expect your competition to make the same mistake.

With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of digital marketing agency pricing and the benefits you’ll receive from outsourcing this aspect of your business. 

marketing agency team working in conference room agency pricing

Why You Need Digital Marketing

The internet is more accessible today than ever before. The average American checks their phone five times per hour, and Millennials do so even more often. About 150 times per day!

What’s more, a shocking 26 percent of Americans report always being online. They include demographic groups such as college-educated adults and higher-income households. 

Needless to say, if you want to reach today’s consumer, a newspaper or magazine print ad isn’t going to cut it.

With constant internet use, the way people buy products and services has changed, too. The same goes for telemarketing and other forms of physical marketing. To find your customers where they are, you need to go digital.

In essence, digital marketing is any form of marketing you find online. How do businesses leverage the internet for their marketing?

In a variety of ways, including social media, search engines, email, and more. Because there are so many options when it comes to digital marketing, it’s not something we recommend doing on your own.

After all, if it proved that easy, you’d already be slaying the digital world, wouldn’t you? 

Instead, turn to a digital marketing agency to help you develop the best hybrid marketing approach based on your brand’s unique audience and needs. 

Terms to Know as You Look for Digital Marketing Help

As you learn more about finding the best digital marketing professionals to help your business “represent” online, you’re going to run across a variety of different terms. You should know what these terms mean.

Otherwise, you could end up hiring the wrong people for the job.

You might run across freelancers such as content marketers, social media marketers, email marketers, SEO specialists, and digital advertisers. What does each one do, and which one’s right for you? 

Content Marketers

Content marketers create digital content such as blog posts, case studies, and ebooks to help you convert leads into customers. Through content, they educate and provide readers with value. 

Social Media Marketers

A social media marketer promotes these blog posts through organic and paid ads to help each piece of content reach the widest audience. They also engage with customers and create other social media content.

Email Marketers

An email marketer creates an email campaign to promote the blog post to your mailing list. They also work on newsletters, autoresponder series, and much more. The best ones will help you grow your subscription lists and segment audiences.

SEO Specialists

SEO specialists use the best practices in search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your content is easy-to-find. The higher you rank on Google search engine results pages (SERPs), the bigger your traffic boost. 

Digital Advertisers

Digital advertisers specialize primarily in creating pay-per-click ads through Google AdWords. These ads also rely on specific keywords to help you attract more leads.

Hiring an Agency Means Hiring a Team

You can hire these individuals separately. Or you can work with an agency that employs all of them in one location. Not only does going with an agency help your bottom line, but you’re also guaranteed a more streamlined product. 

The best digital marketing agencies can design a custom-tailored series of campaigns to put your company head-and-shoulders above the competition. They’ll also create an overarching framework to bring all of the moving parts together. 

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Automating Your Marketing Processes and Inbound Marketing Strategies

Besides each of the functions listed above, a digital marketing agency can help you automate your process using software that handles basic operations for you. The result? No more repetitive, inefficient tasks. 

Marketing automations include sending out email newsletters, scheduling social media posts, creating lead-nurturing workflows, and campaign tracking and reporting. 

They can also help you with creating an effective inbound marketing strategy. What do we mean by inbound marketing? This term refers to a marketing methodology that focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting your customers.

These objectives are met through the creation of content that supports consumers along all steps of the buyer’s journey. 

Inbound marketing comes with countless benefits, and an excellent digital marketing agency can help you incorporate each digital marketing tactic mentioned above into a compelling, effective sales funnel. 

Digital Marketing Services Pricing

Now that you’ve got a better sense of the difference between hiring individual freelancers versus a full digital marketing agency team, let’s dive a little deeper into marketing agency pricing. 

When it comes to digital marketing, cutting corners can be disastrous. If you go with the cheapest agency you find, you’ll more than likely receive cheap results.

Of course, you still need to stay within your budget. You can’t spread your company financially thin, or marketing will be your least concern.

What to do? Start by assessing how much your company can allocate to marketing before moving forward. 

The average digital marketing budget comes in at between $36,000 ($3,000 per month) and $145,000 per year. As you can see, there’s quite a variation in these figures. 

Before sticker shock sets in, keep in mind that digital marketing represents an ongoing process. You may also need to make adjustments and evolve, which can translate into budgetary changes with the agency, too. 

Custom Digital Marketing Is Not One Size Fits All

Prices for digital marketing services vary based on the specific services you need to launch your next marketing campaign. For some companies, web design might be their highest priority, for others SEO.

How much do these different types of services cost? Let’s break them down by service type and price point. 

Web Design

Is your company’s current website outdated? Does it take forever to load, look terrible on mobile devices, or lack basic functionality? Or maybe you don’t have a website at all?

Whatever the case may be, you need to remedy the problem ASAP. After all, you should assume your competitors have stellar websites. 

Customers don’t take businesses seriously unless they have a robust digital presence viewable on multiple devices.

How much does it cost to have an agency step in to help you set up a website? One that holds up to customer scrutiny and attracts leads? 

It depends on the number of pages that you have, how complicated your backend architecture is, and a variety of other factors. That said, estimates range from $1,000 to $100,000. 

SEO Services

What’s the best way to ramp up your sales? Getting plenty of traffic to your website. How do you increase your number of website visitors? 

There are two ways to do this: SEO and PPC ads. Let’s dive into SEO first. If you’re after robust business growth, then you need SEO to ensure that leads can find your content online while searching for specific keywords. 

What does an agency do to bring more traffic to your site through SEO? They start by analyzing how your SEO is currently performing based on specific keywords you want to rank for. Then, they develop recommendations to improve those rankings. 

These recommendations involve placing keywords where they’ll help your content get found. These places include the headers, subheaders, and more of your website pages, blog posts, social media posts, etc. 

Aggressive SEO plans run anywhere between $950 per month and $2,900 per month and come with an initial investment anywhere between $3,750 and $7,000. Although this investment can seem steep, it brings with it massive benefits. 

A fantastic SEO agency will implement technical SEO, initial content development, ongoing earned media, dedicated digital marketing expertise, and content marketing assets. 

SEO requires both an investment of time and money. Although agencies who follow the best practices in SEO will see results, it can take as much as three to six months before you start to reap the benefits. 


That’s where PPC ads come into play. They offer immediate results and can provide the extra boost you need to get your pages ranking higher. Expect to pay around $450 per month for essential services.

This price tag will get you strategic bid management, a pre-determined number of target keywords, Google Ads network setup, tracking of 100 web lead phone calls, and more. 

Like SEO, such plans require an initial investment of around $1,000. 

How much should you expect to pay for top packages? Prices vary greatly, but 12 percent of your monthly ad spend is typical. This type of plan comes with an initial investment of something in the neighborhood of $2,500.

What do you get for that level of investment? Up to 10,000 targeted keywords, banner ad design, Google Ads and Bing network setup, Google Shopping management, and more. 

Find out more about why you should hire a PPC management agency.

PPC represents a critical investment in your business’s future. Don’t expect to grow your digital presence without these ads.

They allow you to reach your customers and gain a leg up against your competition. Of course, trying to DIY Google Ads could harm your web presence more than help it. 

You Pay for What You Get

A variety of factors go into digital marketing agency rates. These factors include the agency’s level of experience and the company’s size. Pricing also includes other factors such as strategy complexity, the agency services required, the company’s deadline, and more.

Sure, you can find freelancers on Fiverr, Upwork, and Craig’s List who’ll give you smashing deals on digital marketing. The quality of their work, however, can’t begin to compare with that of an agency. 

We’ve talked about the fact that when you hire an agency, you get an expert team. In other words, a digital marketing agency doesn’t just dabble in digital marketing. They own it. 

Yes, you’ll pay more for experience, but do you want to leave your entire digital marketing strategy to a newbie to save a few bucks? A top-notch agency is worth the extra dollars because they deliver the best product.

Agency Pricing Reflects a Superior Product

The final agency pricing of your digital marketing package will also depend on the size of your company. Multi-million-dollar corporations have more sophisticated digital marketing needs and assets to juggle. 

As a result, they pay higher rates for digital marketing services than-midsized companies. The services that an agency offers can also impact the final price.

Full-service agencies cost more, but they also provide wrap-around services. The result? You’ll end up with a streamlined digital marketing plan and all of your strategic needs met in one spot.

The alternative? Working with multiple agencies or freelancers to create a patchwork campaign with little to no oversight.

Collaborating with a top-rated digital marketing agency comes with countless benefits. Yes, it requires a financial investment, but it also brings with it ramped up sales and increased ROI. Keep reading for more benefits an agency offers.

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