What Does Digital Marketing Cost?
Is your small business struggling to generate the online leads you need to grow? Are you suffering due to a lack of experience in specific business practices, particularly online?
If your answers are yes, then it could be time to hire a digital marketing consultant.
With the help and experience of a professional digital marketing consultant, you can market your business more effectively to get more leads and customers. You will be able to turn those near-misses into successes.
Unfortunately, you’re probably thinking about the initial cost that comes with hiring a professional. It might even be a deterrent.
Luckily, this blog explains what factors impact their cost, how they charge for their services and average prices.
Before we get to that, let’s take a look at why you might need a consultant in the first place. Additionally, check out our digital marketing hiring guide for further information about the hiring process.
When to Hire a Digital Marketing Consultant
All business owners go through a period where you need an additional hand for your digital marketing campaigns. Bringing on-board a specialist (or even a digital marketing agency) will ensure that you can achieve the results you wish both in the short and long term. Here are some clear-cut signs of when you hire a digital marketing consultant:
- “You’re not experiencing a positive change in your leads and sales, even if you’ve tried implementing different marketing strategies” (Kevin T Payne)
- Payne also states that if “your team lacks the expertise and knowledge of developing online and offline marketing campaigns,” then it’s ideal to hire a consultant.
- The specialization that comes with them, as stated by We Are Marketing (WAM): “[they] gives you the chance to work with specialists from across all areas of the marketing spaces such as UX, SEO, Social Media, and more. You’ll optimize timeframes and resources by working with specialists in these fields.”
- WAM also mentions, “a consultant can save an organization money. Their expertise will ensure they can solve problems faster”, which means a better ROI for you.
- Fire Rock Marketing suggests that “professional marketing consultants can utilize analytics to fine-tune marketing strategies and activities. They also will fine-tune these tactics to maximize the potential leads in any strategy.”
If you’re noticing that you are experiencing these similar dilemmas, it could be time to speak to a digital marketing consultant.
Pricing Factors To Consider
Multiple factors can impact the overall cost of hiring a digital marketing consultant, including
The Consultant’s Experience & Success
Perhaps the most influential factor, compared to all the rest. Experience and the success that follows experience define the consultant. It also determines their rates and prices. The more experienced and successful they are, the more they will charge.
It can be best summed up by The Digital Network: “when you hire an entry-level employee, you naturally pay them less than a more experienced one…on the other hand, an established, experienced [professional] has employees that have the necessary expertise to get more work done better and quicker.”
The Services They Offer Or Assist With
Being a digital marketing consultant means being an expert in all things digital. It also means that consultants can directly assist with the client’s specific demands or offer services as a replacement.
Most consultants offer support for the following services:
- Marketing and branding strategies
- Assisting with ad spend, budgeting, and marketing costs
- Business development
- Project management
- On-going training modules and consulting
- Digital marketing services, such as SEO (search engine optimization), social media marketing, content marketing, and Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
What they offer or can assist with conclusively affects the final cost of the service. Depending on what they propose in terms of packages, deals and services will affect their offers.
This ties in nicely with our next point…
The Type of Work Required
What you need for your business will ultimately impact your final budget. While the consultant might be able to offer you plenty of services and benefits, it’s what you need that matters. There is no point investing in unrelated packages or deals if it doesn’t relate to your overall business needs.
The more services or assistance you want, the more it will cost you – but the more help you’ll get for your business. It’s just about figuring out what you need.
Take the time to assess what you truly want to gain from the consultant and compare it to what they offer. It will make your search – and budget handling – much easier.
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
How Consultants Set Their Rate
Consultants have multiple ways in which they can charge for their services.
Consulting Success conducted a neat survey that dissects how consultants set their rates (and also sums up this point nicely):
- The majority of consultants (31.37%) use a project-based rate to price their projects.
- 23.38% of consultants bill by the hour.
- 17.30% of consultants use value-based fees to price their projects.
- 15.40% use monthly retainers — and 12.55% of consultants use a daily rate.
How these experts set their rates will impact your overall budget and how you can approach specific projects and jobs.
The Average Cost of a Digital Marketing Consultant
It can be difficult to gauge exactly what a digital marketing consultant charges for their services. It varies on the factors mentioned above and the pricing system in which they operate.
However, some research has provided us with some baseline results that you can use as a guide:
Miles Herndon states that “these fees tend to be between $65-$300 per hour”, with an average marketing consultant charging “most commonly in the $100-$175 per hour range” for projects.
According to Credo’s digital marketing pricing survey, “the overall answer is that the average hourly rate for digital marketers worldwide is $148.13 per hour. Using the same dataset, the average hourly rate for US digital marketers is $167.28.”
Brent Purves Digital Marketing also states that “hourly fees range from about $75 to $500, depending on the experience and background of the marketing consultant and the type of project undertaken.”
Unsurprisingly, he does note that “fees will fluctuate greatly depending on the scope of work and the expertise of the consultant!”