The average cost of a digital marketing campaign has plagued the mind’s of business owners for years, since the shift from traditional marketing in the early 2000s. We all know we need to invest in online marketing, but at what cost? Moreover, how much cash do we need to splash to make sure our marketing sticks?
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers, but we do talk figures throughout this blog. Ultimately, you’ll need to think just as much about how wise you are with your investments and whether they’ll reap the right results.
- Why the average cost of a digital marketing campaign is a mystery
- Digital marketing budget breakdown
- Spending on strategy and talent, as well as action
- Digital marketing ROI — Designing data-driven campaigns that deliver results
Why the average cost of a digital marketing campaign is a mystery
There’s no definitive figure for digital marketing.
One company could pay as little as £3,000 per month, while another could hit six figures. It all depends on which services you’re shelling out for and at what level.
A company paying for basic social media management and a modest email marketing campaign will inevitably spend less than an organisation with a top-tier inbound package and a website build on the books.
Without context, it’s tough to give a straight-up answer, which is why so many people wonder about the average cost of a digital marketing campaign.
There’s a little more information available about how much it costs to take care of marketing yourself than when it comes to working with agencies. All it requires is a little bit of research around the price of software and the average time it takes for a beginner to blog, email and do all the other things a marketer has already mastered.
It’s hard to grasp agency pricing as most aren’t publicly transparent about their prices. And we don’t blame them. Neither are we. Our pricing guide is locked away, only for the eyes of seriously interested and engaged prospects.
To get an absolute figure, we’d need every agency to declare the costs of every campaign they work on, which is, well, just never going to happen.
As a general rule of thumb, agency pricing is led by how good and how established an agency is. As a HubSpot Elite partner, we don’t do knock-off deals or make out-of-this-world promises for suspiciously low prices. It’s much like hiring any other expert — you’ll get what you pay for.
Digital marketing budget breakdown
This doesn’t mean this is what digital marketing services will cost for you or that these prices reflect what we charge. Instead, it’s just an idea of how different services compare financially against each other.
For example, web projects come out sky-high when compared to paid social, search and pretty much every other service. As experts, we’re not surprised by this. Web projects take a long time, require different areas of expertise and a high level of customisation.
Yet, there’s no denying there’s also a vast difference between the pricing of individual services, which this infographic doesn’t account for.
Some people might pay very little for search services, while others might have a hefty bill. And so on, for every service listed above. It all depends on what your campaign requires.
Any number of factors can influence the price of your campaign. Search campaigns consider website size and the number of pages that need to be polished. They also factor in the amount of work required and the number of keywords you want to rank for, as well as the difficulty of your industry.
Something as convoluted as web design has many variables, from functionality and CMS to copywriting and design platform. So, while it generally tends to come out on the expensive side, some websites cost thousands, if not tens of thousands, more than others.
You need to speak with someone about your requirements before you can talk money.
Spending on strategy and talent, as well as action
Speaking of money, it’s just as important where you spend it as it is how much you spend.
No, no. I'm not talking about spending with the best and most renowned agencies with an abundance of awards and advocates (even though I promise that helps too). I'm talking about what you invest your money in and your strategy behind it.
It’s no use having a generous marketing budget and then blowing it on a random PPC campaign with no real strategy or spending a sum on content with no real ranking potential.
To make your money work for you, no matter the size of your budget or the scale of your project, you’ll need to invest in the right people, asking them to do the right things at the right time.
You should consider:
The skills and experience an individual has not just in terms of their service offering but also in your industry. Are they familiar with the terminology? Do they know who your competitors are? Are they aware of your organisation’s USP?
The end goal of your campaign. Which marketing metrics are you hoping to measure and improve? What action do you want visitors to take? What’s the ideal outcome?
How each facet of your digital marketing campaign will work together. How will social, email and other content combine? Will your PPC efforts target an entirely different audience to the rest of the campaign? Can your search efforts positively impact the success of other projects?
What your customers expect from your marketing. Are you speaking to them in a tone of voice that resonates? Do they spend much time on social media? Can they find out information for every stage of the buyer’s journey?
Strategy is something an agency can take ownership of. For example, our strategists develop concepts for every marketing campaign we roll out to clients, conducting primary and secondary research to come up with the most impactful ideas. However, it’s good to know, as the individual it'll ultimately impact, a little bit about marketing and strategy.
Take some time to figure out how and why to do marketing (and find an answer that’s more compelling than “because it’s what everything else is doing”).
Digital marketing ROI — Designing data-driven campaigns that deliver results
Ultimately, digital marketing campaigns need to provide ROI, no matter how much they cost upfront. Small budget businesses and expansive budget enterprises need to see something in return for their effort and expense.
As such, put an equal, if not larger, focus on measuring marketing performance and financial forecasting.
This, in itself, is a minefield, requiring you to sit through plenty of tutorials to figure it all out. You can find small mercy in easy-to-use platforms like HubSpot that have a built-in dashboard and reporting software. Still, analysing performance is by no means ‘easy’ with some services like content marketing being utterly impossible to track ROI with 100% accuracy.
One way to easily track overall campaign ROI is using our Conversion Calculator. Unlike the rest of the tasks ahead of you, this will only take a few minutes as the calculator is pre-formatted with the only equation you’ll ever need.
Try it now for free by clicking the link below.