Digital Marketing Cost In 2021: An Easy Breakdown

Digital Marketing Cost

Because of the huge benefit of digital marketing, every day thousands of businesses want to know how much digital marketing cost before they will embrace digital marketing for their business marketing needs.

While this is the case, many professionals and businesses out there are still contemplating how effective it will be and how to go about it.

How much does digital marketing cost?. That is the exact question I get from customers every now and then. 

Sometimes I myself won’t give them any direct answer. But the real answer to this question is “it depends”.

Digital marketing pricing is not fixed. This is because the digital marketing world is an ever-changing field.

If you have an interest in adopting digital marketing to spur your business growth but aren't sure how much you will invest in it, then, read on. 

This digital marketing pricing guide will assist you. It'll offer you an idea of what to invest in digital marketing and what you'll expect in terms of pay-off whether you're employed with a marketing firm or doing it on your own. 

Factors to determine your digital marketing cost

Every business is unique, so a one-size-fits-all digital marketing approach won’t work at all. So before we dip down the real cost of online marketing, here below are Questions you should answer to determine your digital marketing cost:

1. How big is your business?.

The digital marketing cost for small businesses will be lower considerably to that of a larger enterprise in some aspects.

For example, in terms of SEO optimisation, small business needs are obviously less than that of big enterprises. 

digital marketing cost- coca cola search index

This is because small business typically will have fewer web pages compared to large enterprises.

2. What is your marketing objective?

‘’A straightforward plan is required to know what you hope to do and how you plan on doing it".

The digital marketing cost for your business depends also on your brand's clearly defined goals.

For example, "You might want to increase market share by 15% within the next six months."

Without a defined goal, it will be difficult for your business to achieve its digital marketing end result.

3. Establishing a marketing budget:

A study conducted by Gartner shows the average percentage of revenue that businesses spend on digital marketing remains steady at 11.2%. 

marketing-budgetI have seen a lot of startups that don’t have a tangible marketing budget. They think that a miracle can happen. Or looking for someone to join their marketing team hoping to get paid when the company starts making a profit.

Marketing is a vital aspect of any business, and if done right, the reward is amazing.

With that in mind, you have to ask yourself how much are you willing to invest to get a result. 

We prepared a free digital marketing budget calculator for you to use and make the process easy.

If you are a small to medium-size business, we recommend you aim at spending about 10 - 20% of your revenue on digital marketing.

4. What is your business timeline?

Before investing in digital marketing, you should create your timeline. This is the procedure which you will follow towards your journey to the market to achieve your goal.

There are factors that can also determine your digital marketing cost: 

  • The demography you are marketing to.
  • The country of your audience.
  • The platform you are marketing with.
  • Tools you are using for marketing.
  • The kind of posts.
  • The Scope of work.
  • The frequency of posting.
  • Campaign type.
  • Type of content.
  • Who will create content?

Now we have seen the factors, you probably want to start implementing them right away. 

We can help you with that. Our full-service digital marketing solution offers flexible and custom digital marketing plans tailored to you alone.

Digital marketing cost in 2021

In this section, let us see how much you are expected to invest in your digital marketing for your business.

All prices here are in dollars because most internet transactions are in dollars. You can convert it to your country currency to get the actual figure.

How much does Social media marketing cost?

While there are about 3 billion active users on social media everyday posting, there is a very big difference between posting your evening shopping and social media marketing.

Social media marketing can be of two types--- the social media management (without ads) and social media campaign management.


Leveraging the ability of social media to build your web presence, cement your brand identity, and push your business forward is a dynamic and complex process.

Social media management (no ad): The average cost for managing your social media by an agency can range from $200 to $15,000 per month. This price range depends on the factors stated above. 

Please note that this price is the fee to perform services on your behalf. It does not include any advertising dollars to run paid ads on social media. 

Social media ad management: While we work hard to implement organic approaches for your social media strategy,  building your followers, trust and engagement, you may decide to go the advertising route to grow faster. 

Herewith a bill of $200 or 15% of your advertising budget, whichever is higher, we will develop and manage your advertising campaign. 

However, the money paid to social networks (media advertising costs) can fall between $200-$100,000 per month, depending on the platform, the target audience, its size, and the frequency of posts/ads.

There is a one-time setup fee of $150 associated with our social media management service. 

It includes setting you up in our analytics software, social media systems, and creating any necessary advertising accounts and social media pages.

We recommend you be spending at least $150 on any paid advertising campaign. However, typically the more you spend, the more results you will get. 

We will consult you through this process once you contact us.

How much do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) cost?

This is perhaps the most straightforward one and can either be in the form of search engine optimization (SEO) or paid search. 

SEO—website optimization, webpage structuring, keyword researching, search intent, content development, content optimization— is completely free.  

If you have the expertise to do it well, then you do it yourself. Otherwise, you should outsource the SEO implementation to a professional SEO expert or agency to do it for you.

According to data from Moz, an agency specializing in SEO, here’s the average cost of SEO services, if you decide to outsource:

  • Hiring a professional freelancer for SEO costs about $80-$130 per hour
  • Hiring a digital marketing agency costs about $750-$1,500 per month
  • One SEO campaign or project costs about $1,000-$7,500.

You should note that organic SEO is a long-term project and requires between 4-6months of continuous work to rank the selected keywords. 

This doesn't mean that work should stop after 6 months, organic optimization requires consistent work to reach the first page of the search engine and stay there.

Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire an agency, do your homework. You should have a concrete plan, timeline, and means to measure effectiveness.

How much are Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising Costs

Google is one of the largest PPC advertising platforms. This PPC online advertising platform allows advertisers to display their ads on Google’s search engine network. 

Microsoft Advertising, Yahoo,, are also part of it. Even some social media platforms have PPC models. These ads appear on the search engine results page (SERP).

Remember that people go to search engines when they have a question. Advertising on the search engines gives you the ability to reach people at the right moment they have a question or need.

Within the search engine advertising platform, you can place bids to secure better visibility and position for your ads.

Below are examples of ads ranking for virtual assistants.



On average, small to medium-sized businesses spend around $3,500 to $10,000 monthly on Google Ads. Don't be scared, this can be customised to fit the budget that you can afford.

As with other advertisements, the bill for managing a PPC campaign is about $200 or 20% of the amount spent on ads whichever is greater. And a setup fee of $150.

How much do email marketing costs

When done effectively, email marketing can give your business a ROI of about 4,300%. Dell realized an increase in about 109% of their revenue with this strategy.

email-Marketing-StatisticsImage from Oberlo

This online marketing strategy can cost you between $300-$10,000 monthly if you outsource it to an agency. This cost includes extras to enhance the email marketing campaign, such as a customized email template design. 

If you want to do it yourself, email marketing software is the main engine behind email marketing and every business needs reliable software to run email marketing campaigns.

There are several email marketing software solutions to choose from. The average cost can range from $9 and above.

However, it’s just up to you to develop your email marketing strategy, maintain your email list, and write your emails.

How much do video marketing costs

Investing in video marketing increases your conversion rate by more than 85%. This subsequently leads to an increase in leads/customers and, in turn, increases your sales revenue.

Tubular Insights showed that 64% of buyers purchased products or services after watching branded videos and business owners who use video marketing grow profits 49% faster than those who don’t.

Hiring professional videography services can be expensive, but Doing it yourself is also an option. If you decided to go for video marketing, then you should consider between $1,200-$50,000 of your marketing budget.

How much does website development cost?

Website development costs anywhere between $500 and $5000. If you need a feature-rich, custom-built website, it can go as high as $100,000 or more.

The real cost of website development depends on your needs and goals:

Will the website be developed from scratch or using a template?

Will it be an E-commerce or informational website?

Will SEO be implemented on the website?

How many pages will the website have?

What are the features the website should have?

To build your website, you’ll also need to have a budget for the domain name and web hosting and an SSL. 

A domain name usually costs around $14.99 per year and in some cases where the domain has been bought by someone else who is willing to resell, the price can go as high as $50,000. 

Web hosting is around $10 per month and can go high as your website grows both in visitors and in size. 

SSL cost around $11 and above too, depending on the type of SSL you choose.

Altogether, both domain name, hosting and SSL are renewable at the end of each service term annually.

Though the cost of building a website is a one-off cost, you will need to employ a dedicated Brand/Marketing Manager or Writer, as your website needs good content to communicate your brand equity and generate leads for you. 

There is also a need for you to employ the services of a website Administrator to manage the website continuously.

This person will be in charge of updating plugins, updating content, publishing posts, etc.

This person or agency will need to put on a monthly retainer for this as the cost of building a website does not include continuous website management.


The average cost for full strategic digital marketing monthly retainer ranges from $200 - $30,000 depending on the scope of work and the number of personnel required to implement it.

While digital marketing is more effective and affordable than the traditional forms of marketing, it's also very important for business owners to invest 10–20% of their revenue on digital marketing. 

Digital marketing is dynamic, it's an ongoing strategy and your budget may change as your business grows. but, if done correctly, your revenue can increase by more than 109%.

Though the individual digital platforms are great to reach your target audience, to get tangible value out of digital marketing, you need to focus on integrated digital marketing.

For example, if you want to incorporate Blogging, Social media, Google Ads, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, Search Engine Optimisation, etc. for your business.

Then, you will need an Agency that will dedicate a team with experience in the different areas of digital marketing to manage your brand. Don't make the mistake of hiring one person to perform all digital marketing roles. 

Depending on the agency you choose, you will also need to set aside a budget for marketing software as these are the tools required to implement your digital marketing strategy

While there is much different software for the different aspects of digital marketing, there are also several full-stack marketing software that covers all areas of marketing and one subscription will take care of your email marketing, Landing page, Chatbots, SEO, PPC, etc. An example of this is HubSpot, You can check the cost

So, if you are interested in learning more about how digital marketing can grow your business, you are always welcome to Speak with one of our digital marketing experts today.

A Web Developer and Digital Marketer from Nigerian who is in love with learning, teaching and helping startups and small business owners build confidence.

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