How Much Does It Cost To Outsource Digital Marketing?

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Many business owners are choosing to outsource their digital marketing to a professional firm because it can help to grow their business and increase their revenue. You may be considering the same thing, but what are the costs involved in this process?

  1. The Cost of Different Digital Marketing Strategies
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  3. Paid Advertising Management
  4. Website Development
  5. Content Writing
  6. Social Media
  7. Graphic Design
  8. Email Marketing
  9. Web Analytics
  10. Agency or Freelancer?
  11. Hiring an Outsourced Marketing Agency
  12. Hiring a Marketing Freelancer
  13. The Overall Cost
  14. The Cost of Outsourcing vs. Doing Your Own Digital Marketing

1. The Cost of Different Digital Marketing Strategies

These are the primary strategies managed by a digital marketing agency, and in a customized arrangement with your marketing partner, you may only utilize some of these strategies or have them manage other strategies not listed below based on your industry and target audience.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the ongoing process of building website authority so that it is more likely to gain targeted exposure in search engines. The better visibility your web pages have in the search results, the more likely you are to attract prospective and existing customers to your business. SEO will bring your business higher up in search results for targeted keyword phrases and attract new customers looking for the products or services that you offer.

The cost of having an outsourced marketing agency handle SEO depends on the size of your business and your competitive landscape, but if your business is on the smaller side, you can expect to pay about $1,000 to $3,000 per month for SEO.

3. Paid Advertising Management

Paid advertising is a great strategy for most businesses. Paid advertising allows you to display an ad for your product or service to people who are searching for your product or service at that very moment. From search engine results pages to shopping ads for products, paid ads are the best way to find your intended audience at the right time of their search. Paid advertising can target platforms where their target audience is throughout the day, maximizing your advertising spend and achieving the highest level of cost per acquisition.

4. Website Development

One indispensable asset for a business owner is an understandable and visually appealing website that showcases your products and services in a way that makes them appealing to customers. Having an outsourced marketing agency create your website up from scratch can cost anywhere between $5,000 and more than $35,000. It completely depends on the quality of the website, your requirements, and their experience. Some web development features include:

  • Custom contact forms are created for capturing online inquiries.
  • Integration with a back-end database / CRM.
  • Fully functional blog allows for easy posting and sharing of content.
  • Ability to update your website 24/7.
  • Custom calls to action.
  • Creation and optimization of your website’s navigational paths, messaging, calls-to-action, and conversion funnels.
  • Implementation of web analytics.

5. Content Writing

Having a blog section on your website is a great way to connect with your target audience and share information about your business’s products and services. Businesses should focus on producing quality content that resonates with their intended audience, and helps them find more information on something that they are interested in. This is how your audience will get to know your business, and see the value in the products and services you provide. You can pay an outsourced marketing agency to manage your content writing per word, per hour, per article, or for groups of articles. Most of the time, this will cost about $200+ per article. The more technical the content, the higher the cost.

6. Social Media

An increasingly important aspect of digital marketing, social media is a fantastic way to interact with your target audience on a more personal level. Your outsourced digital marketing partner can post regularly and respond to messages as a representative of your business on several different social media platforms. You can expect to pay them about $700 a month for a basic branding and awareness promotion, but over $5,000 per month for strategies like paid advertising.

7. Graphic Design

A digital marketing agency with experience in graphic design can make sure you have a recognizable logo and visual look that fits your business’s products and tone. This aspect can merge into website design because they can put together logos, infographics, and anything else requiring an artist’s eye. Design plays a crucial role in every business. It is what helps you communicate with your audience effectively and establishes brand identity. Graphic design projects are usually paid between $100 and $150 per hour.

8. Email Marketing

Email marketing consists of sending out emails to a list of current and potential customers regularly, with the intent to encourage further purchases or interactions from your business. Email marketing also requires a fair amount of technical knowledge to keep emails from going to spam folders and obtain a good open and conversion rate. The cost of outsourcing email marketing usually costs between $500 and $2,000 per month depending on how many emails you want to be sent out in that period.

9. Web Analytics

As a business owner, it is necessary to ask yourself: are you accurately measuring your marketing & advertising spend? If you’re not measuring what you do, how do you know if it’s really working? Web analytics allow business owners to know where their leads or purchases are coming from and reallocate their budget toward the strategies that are converting.

If you are spending money on advertising and it isn’t working then why do it? Measurement of advertising dollars is crucial. Without web analytics, how will you ever know whether or not your campaign is working? One of the most important behind-the-scenes jobs of a digital marketing agency is to analyze data about your marketing campaigns and find out what the true return on investment is. The cost of web analytics is usually wrapped into the outsourced marketing agency retainer fee based on the contracted services.

10. Agency or Freelancer?

One of the main decisions that a business owner faces while seeking to hire a digital marketing partner is whether they should hire a professional outsourced marketing agency or a freelancer. Both sides have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Some considerations are:

  • Cost
  • Skillset
  • Length of engagement
  • Flexibility
  • Niche specific
  • Communication

11. Hiring an Outsourced Marketing Agency

An outsourced marketing agency can be more reliable because your business will have a digital marketing partner who keeps track of what they do. This means that there is less work for you as the business owner, because of a guaranteed quality of work. It should be easier to get started with an marketing agency because they are usually working in other large established companies so they know how to work with existing marketing departments.

Due to depth of experience, marketing agencies should be able to leverage past campaign performance and apply that to new accounts thus saving businesses time and money. marketing agencies should know what works (or doesn’t work) for a business based on their vertical.

A digital marketing agency should have more resources in place to finish up your project quickly if you are on a tight deadline. By leveraging the agency’s talent pool, your project and be implemented faster and for less cost.

12. Hiring a Marketing Freelancer

Marketing freelancers do not have the supervision of a higher-up or the publicity that an agency employee will, and as the business owner, it is your responsibility to seek them out and manage them when hired. Some businesses have the bandwidth to do this while others do not.

Although significantly less expensive to hire than an marketing agency on retainer, a marketing freelancer does not have anyone monitoring their quality of work and you may have to meet with several before you find one that suits your business’s needs. Despite this, the digital marketing work done by a freelancer can still be just as high-quality as that of an agency.

Many businesses are turning to an Outsourced CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) as a viable option. Hiring a seasoned marketing executive who can help their business plan all marketing activities with full understanding of the competitive environment, market jeopardies, and quantitative goals. According to, the median salary of a CMO is $154,000; add on things like health insurance and a bonus structure, and that number scales well above $200,000.

  • The cost of an outsourced CMO is a fraction of what you would pay a full-time employee.
  • With outside eyes examining your situation, you’ll get skilled marketing guidance.
  • With a solid marketing plan from a seasoned professional your company will prosper.

13. The Overall Cost

The final cost of hiring a digital marketing partner per month completely depends on what tasks and strategies you have your marketing partner managing, whether they’re a freelancer or from an agency, and a variety of other variables. Whatever the case, though, with a solid digital marketing campaign your business should be bringing in enough revenue to more than make up for what you pay your marketing partner.

14. The Cost of Outsourcing vs. Doing Your Own Digital Marketing

Although it may seem expensive to outsource your business’s digital marketing, it actually saves a lot of money in the long run. Rather than having to pay a full-time employee on your team solely for the purpose of digital marketing, you can hire a seasoned professional(s) to do the same tasks only when they’re needed. In addition, someone who specializes in digital marketing will have more experience and knowledge than the employees in your business, and they can offer valuable insight into beneficial marketing strategies.

If you outsource your digital marketing to an agency or freelancer who is known for their excellent work, the marketing they provide will likely be of higher quality than what you or your employees can do.


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