Why is Digital Marketing So Expensive? 10 Things You Should Know

Why is Digital Marketing So Expensive? 10 Things You Should Know

Usually, the words “heavy traffic” bring a sigh as you give in to yet another tedious commute. Not so with digital marketing! The goal is heavy traffic, driving people to your website and through digital media, ensuring that a good number of those visitors buy your product or service. 

Digital marketing can be expensive, but the return on your investment is worth it when done properly. In today’s online world, not doing some level of digital marketing can be costly in terms of missed opportunities for customer awareness, sales, and growth.

This article will provide some insight into why digital marketing can be thought of as expensive. I will also offer a list of things to consider if you decide to move your marketing strategy further into the digital realm. 


What’s Involved in Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing means using digital technologies such as the internet and social media to promote goods and services. Digital marketing provides a variety of ways to identify and drive people to your website and social media, convert their visit to a sale, and grow your business.

Digital marketing can be expensive, one provider notes, “The average cost for digital marketing services in 2021 ranges from $2500 to $12,000 per month, $50 to $500+ per hour, and $1000 to $7500 per project for small-to-midsize businesses.” 

To help understand this level of investment, here’s a table noting the main areas of expertise involved. Click the links to learn more about each item.


Digital Marketing Components


Marketing Strategy Optimization Digital Automation
Building brand loyalty Content optimization Paid search advertising
Campaign management Search engine optimization (SEO) Targeting, build an audience
Lead generation Linking (building, backlinks) Customer relationship management (CRM)
Lead Conversion Conversion tracking Marketing automation


Tip! – Check out Do You Need a Degree To Do Digital Marketing?


Digital Marketing Component Costs

Here’s a closer look at the top aspects of digital marketing in terms of application and cost.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

SEO includes website optimization, keyword analysis, and content optimization. Therefore, it’s worth hiring an SEO professional to help you with SEO (for one thing, there are over 230 factors in play for Google SEO.)  

Properly implemented, SEO helps you rank higher in search results. This is essential because most consumers rely on web searches to find services and products. 

Here’s an idea of the costs of SEO:

  • Hiring a professional freelancer for SEO costs about $80-$130 per hour
  • Hiring a digital marketing agency costs about $750-$1,500 per month
  • One SEO campaign or project costs about $1,000-$7,500.



Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Social Media Optimization (SMO) involve advertising on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Together these platforms provide access to an enormous number of potential customers. (Facebook alone has more than 2.8 billion monthly active users.) 

SMM costs can range from $100 to $10,000 a month. Your expense depends on the platform, your target audience, how many people you want to reach, and how often you wish to post.

The above is just an estimate, of course. You won’t fully understand the costs of your campaigns until you test and reach profitable and sustainable returns on investment.


Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

In this model, you only pay for a digital ad when someone clicks on it.

Displaying your ads on Google or Bing can bring a significant return on investment

But again, it takes expertise to set this up – PPC experts charge from $300 to $5,000 monthly. Also, as with all digital marketing, nothing is static. You want to keep ads fresh, pay attention to the click rates, and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.


Content Marketing

Online user guides, white papers, infographics, videos, and blog posts are all content you can leverage digitally. You will need a person or team to create consistently good content (think weekly blog entries) specific to your business. All relevant SEO factors also need to be in place here. 

A good copywriter will cost from $50 to $200 or more an hour, depending on your needs, of course.


Email Marketing

Email – a tried and true complement to other digital marketing methodologies.  Forbes notes that when done correctly, email marketing can give an astounding ROI of 4300%!

Email marketing campaign costs vary according to scope and complexity. Expect to spend between $300 to $2,000 monthly if you use an agency to do this. (Or, you can start with something like MailChimp for free – but it’s up to you to write the email copy, keep up with the list, and more.) 


Voice Search Optimization (VSO)

Think of this as SEO for voice-based searches (think voice-activated assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, or Microsoft’s Cortana.)

VSO is relatively new to digital marketing, but you can expect to see it gain in popularity as more and more people use voice assistance apps.


10 Things You Should Know In Digital Marketing 



10 Things You Should Know In Digital Marketing 

Here are ten things to keep in mind when you’re considering how much you want to invest in digital marketing:

1. Why you need digital marketing – your customers are on social media and the web, and you need a presence there if you want to connect with them. In addition, your potential customers start their buying journey online.

2. You’re paying for expertise – professionals who can understand your business goals and create digital marketing initiatives that optimize your ROI. 

3. Always verify the claims of a freelancer or agency. Interview them, ask for references, and check for online reviews. Inexpensive digital marketing services will most likely not drive the results you want. 

4. Digital marketing is not a “one and done” initiative. As your company grows, your digital marketing needs and goals will change. Therefore, expect digital marketing to be an ongoing initiative. 

5. The size of your company determines who you partner with for digital marketing. For example, suppose you are a four-person company focused on the local market. In that case, you don’t need to partner with a global digital marketing firm. 


Tip! – Check out How To Do Inbound Marketing – 7 Actionable Tips


6. Decide which pricing model is the best fit financially:

  • Monthly fee: Expect to spend somewhere between $2500 – $12,000 per month
  • Hourly – Providing expertise as needed. Hourly prices range from $50 to $500
  • Project – For example, launch a new campaign. Prices are usually $1000-$7500


7. Cost will vary by complexity – you pay more because you expect to get more results from a multifaceted digital marketing strategy. For example, if you’re only focused on SEO, it may be more cost-effective to partner with only one SEO expert. 

8. How quickly you need results will determine what you pay. This is due to an increased and compressed level of effort to get your campaign or optimized website up and running.

9. Consider digital marketing even if you’re a small business. While you may bring local customers in via traditional methods, you have a vast marketplace of potential customers online. 

10. Brand loyalty is worth it – digital marketing helps you create brand loyalty. By enabling targeted messages and promotions – you get to know your customer base, and they get to know you. 


digital marketing


Wrapping Up (TLDR)

Investing in digital marketing means paying for the expertise and time needed to do it correctly for your business. But it’s worth the investment because digital marketing can grow your business by increasing your customer base and potential revenue. 

As your business grows, your market share increases, and your company will become increasingly competitive and successful. Pretty much any business has the potential to succeed online.

Thanks for reading; check out the blog for more on digital marketing.

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