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What Goes Into a Marketing Agency Pricing: Rates and Services Explained

on January 23, 2020

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72% of customers who search for local businesses online end up at a firm five miles from them. Yours could be one of those stores.

Customers now research online for services or products they need before going offline to buy them.

To win on this new front, you need to hire a digital marketing agency specialized in delivering the results you require. How much you pay an agency can be confusing, especially if you are new to it. Here is a definitive guide to agency pricing that can help you make a wise decision.
stacks of coins sitting next to calculator agency pricing

Do You Need a Digital Marketing Agency?

In today’s marketing landscape, many firms have a general idea as to why digital marketing is essential. However, do you know precisely how hiring a marketing agency impacts your business?

1. Grow Your Revenue

Like other traditional forms of marketing, digital can also provide an uplift to your top line. With search engine optimization (SEO), you can draw in organic traffic from search engines and convert them using lead optimization tactics.

Aside from that, using pay-per-click (PPC) marketing can help you increase your visibility to potential targeted clients. You can then integrate PPC and SEO to ensure that the eyeballs you attract end up becoming paying customers.

Seeing that 53% of customers tend to use search to lookup local businesses, you need an agency’s expertise to tap into this customer base.

2. Increase Brand Awareness

While extending short term offers and packages can get your firm to generate income today, a long term strategy is necessary. Investing in your customer’s brand loyalty and awareness are long term measures to secure tomorrow’s success.

Digital marketing plays a role in this by enabling you to develop evergreen content. Such material can keep delivering the results you need for a time to come, generating regular traffic and value with little maintenance.

With social media becoming entrenched in the lives of your target clientele, you need a strategy for the long term.

A digital marketing agency has the specialized skills to ensure that you keep producing evergreen material and generate value from your social media platforms.

With the right approach, you can cultivate persistent brand awareness that can carry your business during downturns.

3. Cost Efficiency in Marketing

When a business is thinking of wading into digital marketing, the question is whether to have it in-house or hire an agency. If you are looking to be cost-efficient (and which business isn’t?), then going with an agency is a no-brainer.

A digital agency will operate as an independent contractor. Therefore, you won’t have to contribute to payroll taxes on it. Furthermore, you also cut down on recurrent costs that come with full-time staff. These expenses include healthcare and other benefits.

Another issue that you may not consider is that digital marketing operations require some hefty expenses for software and other operational assets. Unless you expect to deploy an extreme number of campaigns, you will likely not make the investment worthwhile.

A digital agency, on the other hand, can help you access such assets with minimal investment. Once you put all this together, you can see how, in the long run, working with an agency becomes cheaper for you.

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Services That Digital Marketing Agencies Offer

Now that you know some of the salient benefits of hiring an agency, it’s time to look at the kind of services you can expect.

1. Search Engine Optimization

SEO sits at the core of digital marketing, and it aims to ensure you rank well in search engine results. SEO contains several strategies whose only goal is to draw as much relevant organic traffic to your online properties as possible.

Having a digital marketing agency board will help you identify the right SEO keywords to use. You’ll also get the expertise to determine the most attractive content type to leverage.

When you bring an agency on board to manage your SEO efforts, expect to spend between $350 and $2,000. If you prefer bringing in a consultant for the same, then you might spend between $80 and $100 per hour.

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing is an ongoing strategy to reach your target audience with relevant and high-value material. Content marketing offers a compelling return on investment (ROI) and involves everything from infographics to videos.

The key to content marketing is to understand how each format adds value to your audience. Pair that knowledge with material that helps your audience tangibly solve their problems, and you have good marketing on your hands.

To realize the benefits of content marketing, you need to develop material regularly. Businesses that use it as a one-off might feel frustrated since the results will be negligible.

Thus, when you’re thinking of a content marketing budget, you need to factor in how long you plan on using the strategy.

The average rate digital marketing agencies charge for content marketing services depends on your type of firm. Therefore, for small to medium businesses, plan to spend between $1,000 and $20,000 per month. For larger enterprises, the budget range will exceed these figures.

3. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Like SEO, PPC is a strategy to grow your visibility, but through paid ads in search results.

With PPC, you only pay when a user clicks on the ad, which differs from traditional advertising. In addition, these ads show up above organic search results and give an ROI of $2 for every $1 you put in. The ROI will shoot to $8 if you decide to use Google Ads for your PPC campaign.

Hiring a digital marketing agency for PPC management can run small and medium firms between $9,000 ad $10,000 per month.

4. Email Marketing

Even as the new technology takes root, good old email is still a marketing channel that’s crucial for you. If you’re looking to build brand awareness and loyalty, then this option is especially suitable for the task.

When you partner with an experienced digital marketing firm, you can expect an ROI of $44 for every $1 you put in.

Not only is email marketing cost-effective, but it also feeds into your other digital marketing initiatives. You can, therefore, repurpose content from other channels such as video and social media for use in email marketing.

The price range for email marketing falls between $300 and $2,500, but other aspects of the service can move the costs up.

5. Video Marketing

Another staid marketing format that an agency can serve you in is video marketing. Video marketing is an ongoing strategy that uses visual content to grow your brand awareness, lift your conversions, and increase your sales.

A reputable digital marketing agency has the skill to enable you to integrate your video content with other formats. For example, when you develop a ‘how-to’ blog post, you can include video material. At the same time, this instructional video can stand on its own to help you tap into a different audience base.

Video marketing services typically cost between $1,200 and $25,000, with the vast gap stemming from how each project’s scope can vary.

6. Social Media Marketing

Businesses now have an understanding as to how social media can grow or diminish their brand. However, seeing that 90% of American companies use social media, you need to differentiate yourself amid the clamor.

To help your firm win with social media, an agency can help you increase your brand awareness, and grow your online presence.

You can also use social media to handle customer care matters more efficiently. Chatbots are one notable example that businesses are using to process routine customer care matters on social media.

Whether you are a B2B or B2C firm, social media can impact your sales, but you can expect to part with $900 to $20,000 a month for the service.

7. Web Design

Your company website is digital real estate that you own, and marketing agencies understand the need to make it core to your strategy.

While other platforms do bring in traffic, you do not control them. You might wake up tomorrow and find that third party platform your firm relied on no longer exists.

To avoid setting your strategy back, you can partner with a digital marketing agency to develop a top-performing site.

A reputable agency can help you build a website that contributes to high search rankings. Such an agency can also help you craft a site that delivers exceptional user experience to help convert leads who come to check you out.

Many users are willing to part with some cash for excellent user experience. Such insight ensures that you can expect to generate around $100 for every dollar you sink into user experience testing.

Digital Marketing Agency Pricing Model

Whenever you want to approach a digital marketing agency, you need to know how they will charge. That can help you identify the best option for your business. Here are some commonly used agency pricing models you might encounter.

1. Hourly Rates

An hourly rate is a simple concept that clients appreciate from digital marketing agencies. Here, the firm will set a price per hour, and what you pay will be the hourly charge multiplied by the number of hours on your invoice.

Charging by the hour can best apply to short term or non-complex projects such as graphic design. Be mindful of forecasting how much time your campaign might take when considering an agency that charges by the hour.

The hourly pricing model is best for one-off projects, however, this is not a pricing model that our team at ROI Amplified believes in. With hourly pricing, transparency is lost. Agencies could tell customers a project took more hours than it actually did, and the customer has no way of checking how long the project actually took.

On the other side, if a project takes a significantly shorter amount of time than expected, the marketing agency is losing out on their profit. Our expert design team at ROI Amplified should not be punished for quick turnaround times on superior designs that beat the competition.

2. Retainer

Our team truly believes in the retainer-based pricing model. With retainer-based pricing, clients determine which services they would like the marketing team to manage during their onboarding, and pay a set monthly rate for all of these services. Services can include SEO, Google Ads Management, Social Media Management, Website Management, Graphic Design Services, Blog Post Creation and Posting, and more.

At ROI Amplified, we act as the in-house marketing team for our clients, which is why we believe in retainer-based pricing. There is never any question about how much will be charged for each service. Services can also be added and dropped as the client sees fit. Our team strives to provide exceptional customer service to our clients, and using a retainer-based pricing model allows us to keep our clients (and ourselves) happy.

3. Project-Based

A project-based pricing approach is where an agency charges you a flat fee per project. For the firm, this is attractive as they can charge you for their expertise and not the time spent.

Project-based pricing offers more transparency than charging an hourly rate. That is because clients will recieve the same quality of work for a price that is determined before the project has started. No matter how long the project takes, the price doesn not change. This means that clients are not overcharged for their project, and agencies are not undercharging if a project does not take as long as anticipated.

If you are working with a digital marketing agency for the first time, go for project-based pricing. Should you like what you get, you can then make a more binding commitment.

4. Performance-Based Pricing

Sometimes you might run into an agency that charges based on its performance. For example, an agency that develops copy might charge you a percentage of the sales you close due to the copy they create. If their content does not bring in sales, they do not get paid.

When selecting such an agency, take a careful look at their metrics to assess their ability to deliver on what you agree on. Performance-based pricing is complex, and there are bound to be discrepancies on both sides as to what qualifies as results. Companies that use performance-based pricing could also be sending leads to multiple companies, meaning they could be sending results to you and your competition.

Hire the Right Agency to Hit Your Target

As the online space bears an even more pressing presence on customer purchase behavior, investing in digital marketing becomes paramount. You need to hire a digital ad agency to help you woo clients online, but how to pay them can be confusing. Conduct your research into factors affecting agency pricing to ensure you partner with the right firm.

ROI Amplified is an online marketing agency that believes in making your ad investment deliver a tangible return. Talk to us to learn how an online marketing agency can help your business bloom.