Before getting into the meat of this post... if you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out our inbound marketing pricing page.
If you’re considering hiring an inbound marketing agency to help boost your business’s bottom line and find new customers, you probably have a lot of questions. Chances are, you’re wondering:
- What can I expect to pay?
- What makes up the cost of inbound marketing?
- How much should I budget for your marketing efforts?
There are a lot of variables that contribute to what you’ll end up investing.
Inbound Marketing Agency Pricing
When you work with an inbound marketing agency, you can expect them to offer a full suite of services, outlined below.
(Wondering "What is an inbound marketing agency? Learn about that here.)
Generally speaking, inbound marketing service pricing runs $4-15K per month, and most agencies can handle all of the components of an inbound marketing strategy. The more you're able to invest, however, the more your agency can do for you and the faster you will see results.
Although there are many variables that determine what you end up actually investing, most inbound marketing agency pricing packages are flexible as long as your goals and timeline follow suit. An experienced inbound agency will fully understand what your goals and timeline are, and propose a plan to achieve them along with the investment needed.
Here are the biggest components of inbound marketing and their prices as standalone services:
Inbound Marketing Plan & StrategyDepending on the length of time this covers (1 year vs. 5 years), the cost of building a marketing strategy will vary. A short-term, trial-sized strategy may cost around $5K, while an in-depth, long-term plan can run upward of $20K. These prices include the months of research and on-site visits needed to formulate an effective, personalized strategy.
Written Content ProductionA full-time content writer can cost your company $28-50K in salary. Outsourced content production typically runs around $5K per month, though this can vary greatly depending on the scope, writer's experience, and whether they're a freelancer or agency employee. Typically, content writers produce copy for:
- Pillar pages
- Premium offers (ebooks, white-papers, Case Studies, etc…)
- Landing pages
- Calls to action (CTAs)
- Thank-you pages
- Emails (marketing and sales)
Multimedia Content ProductionA full-time multimedia specialist (graphic design, video, UX design, web dev) can cost your company $30-80K in salary. Outsourced multimedia production typically runs around $3K per month, though this can vary greatly depending on the scope, experience, and whether they're a freelancer or agency employee. Typically, multimedia specialists produce:
- Videos (demos, interviews, educational, event, etc…)
- Website designs and layouts
- Premium offers designs and layouts
- Calls to action (CTAs) designs
- Blog graphics
- Website graphics
- Email graphics
SEOHigh-quality SEO will cost no less than $750 per month. Cheap SEO will cost you more in the long run than any up-front digital marketing costs ... and can cause lasting damage to your business.
PPCPPC management pricing will take your monthly advertising budget into consideration. You can expect to pay at least $1K per month for expert management. You should expect to invest at least $500 per month in ad budget.
Social Media MarketingA professional social media manager will offer their services for $2-4K per month on average. This is extremely scope dependent, and should take into account the amount of
- social channels,
- visual development,
- moderation, and
- paid promotion
Working with an inbound marketing agency or insourcing your social media can bring that down to $500.00-4K per month.
PlatformsContent Management System (CMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), marketing automation, and email marketing software can all make your life incredibly easy. Some services are free; some are not, and prices vary.
Different platforms will offer different levels of insight, control, and convenience. If you need training or management assistance with your marketing platforms, you can find resources online or pay a consultant to come to your facilities and teach you how to use them.
It’s important to note that many agencies have a platform that they use and support. This means selecting an agency may mean selecting the platform that they require.
Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, & Sales EnablementOngoing conversion (visitor to lead) optimization, nurturing of leads through the funnel, and supporting a strong relation between marketing and sales that turns more leads into customers will. This is one of the most significant investments for an inbound marketing team. A full-time specialist in conversion rate optimization (CRO), lead nurturing strategy, and sales enablement will run you $50-100K annually.
If you outsource these activities to an agency, you can expect to pay $2-4K per month.
How Much Should You Budget for Inbound Marketing?
Depending on the size of your business, how fast you want to see results, and how aggressively you want to grow, the amount you invest in inbound marketing will vary.
We've highlighted ranges above to help you get an idea of what inbound would cost you to correctly execute in-house versus hiring an agency.
The biggest factors to consider when deciding what to invest in inbound marketing are:
- your current data benchmarks,
- How visitors, leads, and customers do you already receive monthly from your website?
- the aggressiveness of your goals
- Looking to double sales or grow by 10%?
- the time frame you need to see significant results
- 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? 2 years?
- your ability to take on portions of an inbound strategy in-house
- Just remember, you need to be able to do it well
(Editor's note: This post was originally published March 2016, updated in 2019, and was recently updated again.)