Hiring a marketing agency to handle your digital growth is a smart decision (of course, we may be a little biased). In all honesty, an inbound marketing agency isn’t right for everyone; however, a company interested in continued, scalable growth in the neighborhood of 15 to 25% a year should consider assistance from an outside marketing agency. So, how much does an agency cost? It depends on a few factors.But before diving into these factors, let’s talk about...
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is all about bringing potential customers to you through the inbound methodology. The inbound methodology is the idea that if you attract, engage, and delight your target audience, you will in turn increase your bottom line. Sounds pretty sweet right?
But, how can your company go about attracting, engaging, and delighting to grow revenue? Is it simple?
The way to succeed with inbound marketing is to create relevant and helpful content for your ideal customers (or buyer personas) that will help them understand the services you offer and how your company is the solution to their problems. Even though it sounds pretty straight forward, you want to make sure that you have the data and research to back up the reasoning behind every piece of content you publish to your site.
Now that you know what inbound marketing is, you may be thinking, “This all sounds great! But, how much does it cost?” Well, let us answer that question for you.
The Real Cost of Hiring a Marketing Agency
At LAIRE, our marketing plans range anywhere from $5,500-$15,000 per month. It all depends on your budget and your unique business needs. Keep in mind that hiring an agency isn’t about the recurring cost, it’s about the investment. Dedicating more resources to your marketing efforts will increase your site’s traffic and bring in more qualified leads to close into customers.
Need help setting a marketing budget? According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses with revenue less than $5 million should assign around 9-10% percent of their revenue to marketing. So if you want to grow $1,000,000 this year in new revenue, expect to spend $90,000 to $100,000 to help you get there.
What Your Inbound Marketing Agency Should Do For You
Some inbound agencies will make a lot of promises to get your business. But you should beware of false promises.
When hiring a new agency, you should expect website optimization, strategic planning, content creation, and marketing software expertise. Content amplification such as paid ads on Google and social media channels should also be included to bridge the gap between organic search catching up to your new content being found, too.
Here is a quick, scannable list of the things you could receive as part of your marketing package:
Let’s dive a little deeper into more about these services...
Marketing Automation Software
You should use marketing automation software if you want to implement the inbound methodology effectively. Inbound is possible without a software program, but it’ll be much easier with it.
We use HubSpot at LAIRE Digital. It fits our needs and gives us the best chance to produce results for ourselves and our clients. We love HubSpot’s comprehensive tools and reporting capabilities. This one program allows you to manage your website, create landing pages, emails, and post to social media channels.
Hubspot also offers a Sales Hub and Service Hub that are worth considering.
Overall, you can expect to pay as low as $200/month and up to $2,400/month for this software, depending on what you need.
It takes time to plan and strategize a company’s marketing efforts. The cost is time, which can be hard to find. You need to find someone who can do it, and that could mean a new hire. Your options are that you can bring on a new employee or hire an agency.
By hiring an agency, you will have a pool of marketing experts to help with your marketing efforts, where hiring a single person can be limiting to the marketing goals you want to accomplish if that person only has a specific area of expertise.
Speaking of time, content creation isn’t a quick process either. This is an area where you execute on your overall marketing strategy -- content should be posted with a plan and purpose. Be sure to keep search engine optimization best practices in mind.
Your strategy will determine what, when, and how your content will be posted. That’s your chance to think about who is going to do the work. You can handle this in-house, hire a freelancer, or get an agency to do it for you. You’re looking at a couple hundred dollars a month, to several thousand dollars a month, depending on your plan.
Content creation will drive more traffic to your website, but you need to have ways to convert those website visitors into leads. The site needs to be SEO, mobile, and user-friendly as well as it needs to have conversion points. Most of all, it needs to work. We’ve seen too many websites with dead links or poor images that bring down the user experience.
You can find low-cost website design templates online. If you need help from a web designer to update or redesign your site, costs could be a few thousands, depending on the work needed. The price tag will reach $10,000 and up for more complex website designs.
Think of social media as a promotional tool to send people to your website and content. While there is no cost to post on social media channels, there is a cost to hire someone to carry out the work. Social media management is a full-time job unless you bring on an agency to do it for you.
Paid social ads are also part of this equation. Facebook ads can be tricky but effective. The investment here depends on your commitment to an ad strategy and how quickly you’re looking to receive results.
Looking to hire an Inbound Marketing Agency?
All in all, your business comes first. Think of this as the investment you need to make in order to grow. Weigh the expense of hiring an agency against what it costs to hire one employee in-house to do marketing tasks. By hiring an agency, you will bring in a team of experts working towards your goals. An agency expects to be held accountable for the results and will be ready to get to work. Just as you would expect!
Take our 20-minute marketing assessment to understand the state of your digital presence, and get our feedback on how you can improve it to grow revenue.
*This blog was originally published on March 13, 2018, and updated on January 7, 2021 for accuracy.