Cost to Hire A Digital Marketing Agency

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?5 min read

Hiring a digital marketing agency is usually far more affordable than businesses think. Did you know that the scope and size of a marketing campaign can fit most budgets and can be scaled up as the business grows? Many businesses make the mistake of considering digital marketing as a cost, rather than an opportunity to generate profit. This can hamper the businesses’ success and stunt their growth. In fact, it is estimated that local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit a business within one day.

The cost to hire a digital marketing agency depends on a number of factors including:

  • the scope of the project
  • their expertise
  • the agency’s experience
  • where they are located
  • the agency size

Some agencies have a monthly retainer, while others charge on a project basis. The cost can vary significantly based on the project and the agency. It can range from $1,000 a month, to $20,000 a month, and more.

In this post, we discuss the factors that influence the cost of hiring a digital marketing agency.

The Scope of the Project Has The Biggest Impact On Costcost to hire a digital marketing agency

The scope of the project has one of the biggest effects on cost. Obviously, it is more expensive to hire a digital marketing agency to build a strategy, implement the strategy, and manage a campaign on a day to day basis, than it is to simply purchase consulting services.

For businesses with a limited budget, it often makes sense to begin by hiring an agency on a consulting basis. This can include requesting a competitive analysis of the market landscape (including researching the product or service and conducting a target audience analysis and competitive analysis) and receiving a digital marketing strategy and plan.

To save money, the business can implement the plan itself, perhaps under the agency’s supervision by way of monthly or quarterly consulting sessions. This can save the business a significant amount of money and can allow growing businesses to benefit from digital marketing before having the budget to hire an agency to implement and manage all of its digital marketing campaigns directly.

The scope of the project also refers to the digital marketing services chosen. Digital marketing encompasses services such as website design and development, digital advertising, social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, video creation and more.

The more services an agency has to perform the higher the cost will be. While a business should implement a holistic strategy to maximize its return on investment, the business can begin with one or more individual services and then expand as it grows.

Experience and Expertise Provide Insights Into What Results An Agency Will Deliver

There is a direct correlation between expertise and experience, and the results that a digital marketing agency will deliver.

  • Has the agency managed millions of dollars in advertising spend, or is the agency relatively new to paid advertising?
  • Does the agency have experience and proven results with each of the digital marketing services?
  • What is their average Return on Investment for each client?

The experience and expertise of the agency’s team will have an effect on the price. A higher price may be well worth it if the agency’s experience and expertise enable it to deliver superior results. When looking for an agency make sure to ask for case studies and success stories.


It may be more expensive to hire an agency in a large city than it is to hire an agency in a smaller state or suburban area. Having said that, there are many advantages to hiring an agency near your business (or at least near the area where your business is targeting).

The advantages of hiring an agency near your business include the fact that you can have face to face meetings (something clients often find very valuable). Another advantage is that the agency will be in your time zone (which facilitates communication).

And, perhaps most importantly, a local agency will be familiar with the local competitive landscape and behavior of the local market. Consumers in Boston may respond very differently to a given campaign than consumers from Oregon or Texas.

Agency Size

cost to hire a digital marketing agencyThere is usually a correlation between the cost to hire a digital marketing agency, and the size of the agency. While the biggest agencies may charge a hefty premium, boutique agencies will usually charge more than one or two-man agencies or freelancers. This usually relates to expertise and experience.

An agency with expertise and experience will likely deliver superior results that can pay off in spades. Much can be said with respect to specialization and this is where agency size comes into play. It is preferable to work with an agency which has a separate team for each service. One team for paid advertising, a separate team for website design, a separate team for social media, and so on. While specialization may lead to an increase in costs it may be well worth it if the agency can deliver superior results.

So How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Digital Marketing Agency?

The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies to digital marketing agencies. Fortunately, for growing businesses, it is possible to retain a digital marketing agency without sacrificing quality. This is done by narrowing the scope of the marketing campaign. Businesses can begin with a limited strategy and then reinvest profits from the limited strategy into a holistic marketing strategy.

Consulting with experts from a digital marketing agency can start as low as $80-$100/hour. Monthly fees can be as low as $1,000 depending on the scope of digital marketing services.

Looking to find out exactly how much it will cost to hire a digital marketing agency for your business? We can help. Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate.