Digital marketing is the most effective way of generating value - but it isn’t free.
Bringing customers in without expending your sales team effort is the dream of every business - but only digital marketing can accomplish this. Having an effective online presence is the key to digital marketing. Still, many businesses are confused about how much they should pay for results, often overpaying for efforts that take away from their bottom line instead of adding to it.
At Demodia, we’ve seen many companies struggle with defining their online presence and finding success with digital marketing. We’ve helped them outline a budget for their digital marketing and understand the various components that generate success online. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how much digital marketing costs and the various elements that go into it.
Why do you need digital marketing?
In today’s digital-first world, if you’re not online, you simply don’t exist for a large share of the market - especially in a covid and post-covid business environment. However, there are additional benefits to digital marketing that help you remain competitive:
- It keeps you top-of-mind with customers.
- It helps you nurture customers.
- It enables access to new markets.
- It helps you understand your customer buying journey.
- It opens up a new revenue stream.
In short, digital marketing ensures your business continuity and helps you engage with your customers on a deeper level for more sales opportunities. It does this through a combination of disciplines, from writing and design to technical automation and programming.
Let’s take a look at what makes up digital marketing.
What makes up digital marketing?
When considering how much to pay for digital marketing, it’s essential to understand what you’re paying for. Of course, you can decide the complexity and depth of your digital marketing, and you don’t need to include every aspect listed below. However, you should note that the most successful digital marketing campaigns have the elements below.
Writing and designing content is the first step towards creating a great digital marketing campaign. Your emails, website, and other marketing materials won’t mean anything to your customers until you offer relevant and interesting content.
For content creation, you need a good copywriter and graphic designer. These two team members work in tandem to create content such as infographics, blog posts, whitepapers, website pages, and emails that you will use throughout your digital marketing campaign.
Today’s websites, emails, and even entire content campaigns are powered by automation. It gives your digital marketing the potential to engage with your audience on a deeper, fundamental level at the right time, boosting your engagement and sales.
To run automation effectively, you will need an automation platform and someone who knows how to use it. These platforms can range from free to very expensive. The good news is, as these platforms become more user-friendly, you can learn to use them yourself with the countless resources online to help you.
Your website is the modern storefront of your business, and as such, it should live up to your customer expectations on every front. This means your landing pages should be responsive, uncluttered, appealing, and practical. The key for website creation is to offer something that facilitates the buyer’s journey for your customers while providing resources to nurture them at the same time.
While you can use no-code solutions like WordPress to create quick and easy websites, the more impressive and valuable websites will require some form of coding at one stage or another. In addition, you need to purchase the domain name and maintain your hosting fees year-on-year.
One of the staples of digital marketing is email marketing; however, this doesn’t mean you should just go ahead and spam your customers. Good email marketing that brings in revenue focuses on providing targetted, personalised messages to your customers and leads based on their consent and interaction with your marketing. To accomplish this effectively, it’s a good idea to gain a fundamental understanding of automation.
Executing excellent email marketing is where writing, design, coding, automation and marketing strategy all come together. Getting the right people with the right skills is the challenge here, so many companies opt for digital marketing agencies, which we’ll discuss below.
Finally, social media has become a critical element of digital marketing in today’s modern world. It enables you to reach your customers more effectively while engaging with them on their terms.
You can use many optional tools for social media, but the main driver behind every social media campaign is a dedicated social media manager. If you understand the social media platforms, how they fit together, and where you can find your ideal customers, you can perform this role. However, as with most of the disciplines above, it’s always wise to get an expert to take care of this digital marketing element.
What do I need to consider beforehand?
Digital marketing will always cost according to your objectives for the campaign. Naturally, a large, omnichannel approach run over the course of a few years will cost more than a simple 3 step email nurturing campaign.
For this reason, you should consider the following before evaluating how much you should be spending on digital marketing:
- The scope of your digital marketing.
- Your business objectives for digital marketing.
- What assets and materials already exist for your company.
- What internal skills your organisation already has.
- What is your budget for marketing.
The above considerations will all factor in how much you can expect to pay for digital marketing services, whether you hire internally or approach an agency.
How much does digital marketing cost?
While every digital marketing expenditure will be different based on the above considerations, it may prove helpful to understand the average cost for businesses that use digital marketing. The US Small Business administration suggests spending approximately 7% - 8% of their gross revenue on marketing, 50% of which should be spent on digital marketing specifically. However, most companies spend around 10%-14% of their total company budget on marketing.
So if your revenue is $1,000,000, you can expect to spend $70,000-$140,000 on total marketing, that would bring your digital marketing budget to between $35,000 and $70,000 for the year.
This is expected to cover digital marketing on the whole, but companies who do not want a comprehensive approach need not spend as much on their digital marketing. On average, here are the price ranges for specific digital marketing services that you may need.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) - $500 - $20,000+ per month
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) - 5-20% of monthly ad spend
- Email marketing - $300 - $5,000/month or $0.1 - $0.5/email
- Social Media marketing - $250 - $10,000/month
- Website Design - $2,500 - $100k
What to look for in a digital marketing agency
When it comes to digital marketing agencies, companies are often wary about the value they get for the investment they make - and for a good reason. Businesses need to find the right agency that offers a partnership for long-term success rather than a short-term relationship.
Here are a few things to look for in a digital marketing agency.
Charged on a project to project basis
So many agencies charge for the time they work instead of the result they deliver. This encourages the agency to spend more time on projects than necessary to get the maximum value from the assignment.
At Demodia, we believe agencies should charge on a project-to-project basis. This encourages agencies to get it right the first time, faster and helps businesses achieve more with their marketing budget.
Every agency will promise you excellent results in very little time. Not every agency will tell you the absolute truth of the time, effort and resources involved. Agencies who are transparent, authentic, and honest in their approach enable you to plan, prepare for expenses, and never be caught with under-delivery.
A consultancy with strong testimonials from reputable brands on its website demonstrates its trustworthiness. You should always be careful of marketing agencies who don’t have the experience or recommendations to make you feel at ease.
A digital marketing agency that will charge you before showing you what you’re paying for has its priorities in the wrong place. Agencies should demonstrate their capabilities and the value they bring to your company through a free consultation or demonstration. This also indicates confidence in their ability to generate value for your business.
Find what you’re looking for
Getting the right partner is the first step towards effective digital marketing. It saves you time, money, and frustration and lets you find success without the skills and know-how to set up an online campaign. We know how important digital marketing is today, and how it can be confusing to those who don’t have the experience to apply it. As a small company ourselves, we’ve gone through this process but found a way to succeed. That’s why we’ve spent the last 12 years planning and implementing award-winning digital marketing campaigns for B2B clients worldwide.