digital agency office

As a Small businesses owner you know you are constantly harassed with ads for “Easy website builders,” or “SEO companies that claim they will rank you #1 in Google for $199 per month” every day. This can make you think that your marketing efforts should be relatively inexpensive. Maybe not $0, but something low. This can make marketing seem easy, since most of the time you get done for you services or a simple software that will do most of the work for you.

But when you really think about it, does that sound reasonable and honest?

There is nothing “Free” or “Easy” about marketing. In fact, every single ad you have seen for a “free and simple” anything is the result of an effective marketing strategy, one that a company has paid good money for so they are be able show it to you, and influence your buying decision. You will see 2 of these ads in this very article, so meta!

Just because anyone can take a $10 dollar Udemy course on marketing, it doesn’t mean they can craft a revenue generating marketing strategy. Clearly, there is a lot of professional work to be done so that you can see results. 

Small businesses will pay, on average, $11k upfront and above $4k on a monthly basis to ensure they have professional help and a marketing strategy that will bring in results.

This article will show you how your marketing dollars can be used for various marketing tactics and how agencies justify their pricing.

But,

like any budget, you need to focus on the highest return on investment and the tactics that make sense to you.

Common Reasons to Hire a Marketing Agency

hands drawing marketing plan on white notebook

Marketing requires many strategies in order to be effective and the whole process of turning a stranger into a client can take 8 stages to be effective.

Each stage requires specific talents, expertise and skill sets. You wouldn’t want a high school student to perform open surgery on you, right?

Well…

The same applies for digital marketing.

You need trained individuals that can help you get the results that you want, and more importantly, help you understand the process and why it is crucial for your business.

“Most agencies will bill out roughly $100 per hour for their employees’ time, which must also cover un-billed time spent on training, development, Q&A, etc” – Ron Dod, Visiture

A couple of the skills marketing agencies leverage to create a successful marketing plan include: 

  • Website Development
  • Content Strategy
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Paid Advertisement
  • Email Marketing 

Web Development

website screen wireframe

Chances are your business already has an active website.

If it doesn’t,

Making one should be your #1 priority right now. Even if you have one, it doesn’t necessarily mean this task is ready to be crossed off the list either, as websites need to evolve, in order to attract and retain clients. 

Simply put…

A website is an investment

And,

Your hub to help navigate clients closer to the sale.

Did I mention it works 24/7 for you?

Well now you know…

…and knowing is half the battle!

Quotes for website design and implementation can vary from a few thousand dollars to well into six figures, depending on a business’ goals.

On average, a 5 page website built on WordPress can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. More custom solutions with tracked forms, social media integration, and other cool features would be more in the $5,000 to $15,000 range. 

Larger websites of 100+ pages with e-commerce, members sections can go as high as $60,000 depending on the complexity. Building a great website could take more than 25 hours, hence the higher cost.

Why would you hire a digital marketing agency instead of your local web developer to build your website?

There are many things that can go wrong with a website. Here are 2 that stand out.

Is it built to attract prospects?

The user experience is key,

Yet is one of the easiest components to mess up because it requires comprehensive knowledge of the constantly changing preferences of your target audience. 

Will your prospects and clients find the information they need easily? 

Condensing your company’s brand, pitch, and offerings into a simple 6-page website is not a simple task. A fine balance must be reached so that you can be successful at delivering the right information, at the right time.

Can I build it myself?

The alternative to hiring a marketing agency for your website is to do it yourself. The most popular go to is WIX but even that will take time away from your busy day, and the end product can turn out to be well…

…Not very good.

Content Strategy

content marketing

Content is the glue that ties marketing and advertising together. It is by far the most important aspect of any marketing strategy. It has the power to drive traffic to your social media channels and website. It also, if done right, helps move prospects further down your sales funnel.

Great content can position your business as the trusted expert in your area.

Not only will it attract more attention,

It will also bring in the right kind of leads.

The beauty of it all is that your prospects love good content that will help them solve their problems and by providing such content, you are winning big time.

Need another reason?

Google loves rewarding pages by boosting them in search rankings. So if you have great content, the platform will favor you.

Furthermore,

When it comes to email, if the content is written poorly it will do little to drive that sale from that prospect or established client. 

But again, 

In order to get great results from content marketing, you will need to work with an expert.

What does a typical investment for content marketing look like?

Crafting great content is not an easy task and there is a price to be paid in order to see return on investment.

A basic content strategy could cost anywhere between $1,500 to $6,000 a month for small businesses. This budget will create targeted content for the right customers. An agency will have a content strategist that will assist in this process.

The content created needs to be clear in order to grab the attention of the internet consumer, which is by default, constantly distracted.

The costs for website content can range from $75 to $1,500 based on the scope and length of the work for every well-optimized page. Individual blog posts can cost around $50 to $500.   

The scope of the content marketing strategy will also incorporate distributing the material in various formats (blog, social media, video, e-mail, landing pages). As you can see this can be a very time consuming task.   

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Search Engine Optimization

seo rocket

There used to be a time when ranking on the first page of Google was a piece of cake.

Well…

Times have changed.

91.5% of search traffic is filtered on the first page of Google, with over 50% of the clicks going to the first three results. Did I mention that the closer you are to the top of the search results, the more money you can bring in?

Organic SEO is a long-term strategy that requires lots and lots of research. Although you shouldn’t expect to see fast results, a good SEO strategy can significantly increase the amount of leads and future business in a few months.

On-page SEO refers, for the most part, to the way the content on your website and blog articles are created. If you have poorly written content and are not using targeted keywords, you might not do so well. Services that charge around $200 – $300 a month usually only cover on-page SEO and won’t have a significant impact (if any) on your rankings. 

Now,

Off-page SEO is the behind-the-scenes work that can involve everything from link building to reaching out to experts in your industry. Experienced SEO firms can charge anywhere from $750 to $5,000+ a month depending on the industry and cities targeted. 

Looking for our prices? Check out our Pricing Page HERE

Social Media Marketing 

social media

Social media has been a gift and a curse to every business since the early days. 

On one hand…

It allows businesses to segment and target their ideal customers with precision based on the amount of data that can be collected.

On the other hand…

As a business owner,

…you have to be monitoring the social media channels in order to see what others think of your products, your name and your company. Social media channels also serve as customer service forums. So again, monitoring is key. You never know when a prospect will ask you a few questions, expecting an answer as quickly as posible. 

Social media marketing starts with a holistic strategy that involves picking the correct channels, crafting the right message, distributing that message, and managing communities of followers.This alone could be the job of up to 5 people, yikes!

The industry average for social media marketing services can start at $800 and go as far as $7,000.

Most business owners however,

Opt to have an in house team member handles their social media, and can even save time and cut corners by using tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to achieve better results.

Paid Advertisement Campaigns

Digital Marketing team

Paid advertisement campaigns can either be run as a flat monthly rate (usually ranging from $250 to $450 per month), as a service fee or as a set percentage of the ad spend.

Marketing agencies utilize their previous Paid advertisement experience to save you money by optimizing the campaign. By doing so, they can focus on tactics that are actually working an discard what is not. There is a science to it and a bunch of data interpretation so that you as the business owner pay less and earn better results in the long run.

Email Marketing 

computer with email in screen

Email marketing has been the best way to reach customers for almost 20 years. According to an eMarketer study, the median email marketing ROI is 122%. That’s high compared to other digital marketing channels.

But,

Having a good message is only the first step to a successful email campaign.

A marketing agency that involves email marketing will do everything from lead generation and list-building, to building out a conversion funnel, to creating automated e-mail campaigns. 

The costs vary on the data complexity, email components, if there is automation in place, sequencing and cost of software to name a few.

Marketing Agencies Are Constantly Up To Date 

Good marketing agencies should keep up with trends in every part of the digital media atmosphere, since software, user behavior and media channels are constantly evolving.

In essence,

Marketing agencies have no choice but to stay sharp or risk doing ineffective work for their clients.

Therefore…

…smart marketing agencies invest heavily on educating and training their whole team.

How to Pick a Marketing Agency

hands holding mobile devices

If you choose to go the marketing agency route, your best bet is to get a couple of proposals from different agencies to better understand the solutions they can provide you.

But before you do that,

It is a good idea to conduct a data-focused audit of your own business and think about what you are particularly good at, what has worked in the past and what is working now, as far as your own marketing goes.

It also never hurts to think about things that are not working and keeping you up at night. When you truly understand your marketing needs, you will be ready to hire on a digital marketing agency.

Having clear goals and focusing on one revenue generating tactic at a time is crucial to your success. Communicate your end result with your agency at all times.

After all,

Their main goal is to bring you money!

I hope these words created a clear path to your success, help you understand your digital marketing needs and shed light on the topic of agency pricing.

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Looking for our prices? Check out our Pricing Page HERE


Josué Oliveras Pérez

CEO and Co-founder of Success With Marketing. Thrive Global Contributor, Information Officer BRN Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce Harbor & Small Business Marketing Expert. I have helped many local businesses with their digital marketing needs for more than 5 years. In my off time, you can find me tasting some local beers around Gig Harbor, WA or searching for music from the 90’s at a vinyl record shop near you.

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