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What Does a Digital Marketing Strategy Cost?

6 minutes

A question we are often asked is “what does a digital marketing strategy cost?” Just the other day we had a customer who wanted to know what it would cost get enough traffic to have 20 orders per day and to get on the first page of Google results. Short answer: a lot, but totally worth it.

The long answer: it’s complicated.

I can explain.

Every proposal for increasing website traffic is essentially the same, in that it’s some combination of PPC (pay-per-click) advertising (Google and Facebook is what we often recommend) and a multi-month organic SEO campaign, reducing the PPC spend over time as organic rankings increase. What’s also constant is that the rate of achieved results is a function of how much is spent. This doesn’t mean that spending $100,000 at once will give you immediate results; there are limits to this general rule. But allocating a budget of $10K/month will yield faster results than a budget of $1K/month.

I could not answer this customer’s question about how much money will it take to get to their goal of 20 orders per day or to be on page one of Google search results. No one can (and if they say they can, they are lying).

Here is the long answer:

Defining a Budget

My recommendation to customers who want to engage us in a website traffic increase campaign is to start with a monthly budget of the maximum comfortable amount that they would be able to sustain for at least 6 months. Results will generally be seen after 2-3 months at the earliest. We monitor results and after 6 months, we’ll use the accumulated analyses to inform a decision about how to alter the plan.

Each month we’ll split the budget between PPC advertising, social media marketing and an organic SEO campaign. Remember, PPC works from day one, but stops when you stop paying, while organic SEO is an investment—it takes a while to work, but lasts long after you stop paying. We’ll want to steadily drop the PPC spend (ideally to zero) as our SEO investment starts paying dividends (by having our site rank higher in Google search results).

Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Paid campaigns need constant attention to ensure that KPI’s such as cost per acquisition, return on ad spend and conversion rates improve over time. Our maintenance tasks cover A/B testing ad copy, managing bids, pausing unprofitable campaigns, tweaking landing pages, updating creative and overhauling campaigns to ensure they never go stale.

We’ll utilize Google Ads and also Bing. While Google owns the market, Bing Ads have shown to often provide better ROI. While the traffic numbers are smaller, the quality tends to be much higher.

On social media sites, users are constantly looking for something more interesting than their regular feed and our past social media marketing campaigns have proven to convert very well. Facebook allows for retargeting website visitors, and advanced audience targeting options is the biggest benefit of Facebook campaigns.

Social Media Marketing

In addition to PPC ads, Facebook and Twitter can be a goldmine for generating leads by promoting your products without any hard-selling. Posting in various FB groups can very often generate better quality leads than any paid ads. Plus, an active social media presence aids an organic SEO effort, as Google looks favourably at social content in determining ranking.

One of the great benefits of social media is a brand can listen to everything happening on social, and then act on the information. “Social listening” provides a strategic advantage because not only are we listening for brand mentions (including competitors), we are listening for opportunities to insert ourselves into ongoing conversations. We’ll join relevant Facebook groups, initiate conversations within and respond to ongoing conversations where we might add value and ultimately bring attention to your brand. We use a variety of engagement techniques that range from low to high impact. Liking someone’s posts is low impact while making a comment would be considered high impact.

An active Facebook profile also aids a Facebook PPC campaign, by providing high-converting ad content in the form of “boosted posts”—paid ads that are more genuine and don’t seem like ads.

Organic SEO Campaign

A typical SEO campaign is comprised of 1) new site content development and 2) backlinks.

Google and other search engines value content above all. It’s impossible to rank for target keywords if there is no content to match. Once we have created your new high-converting website with on-page optimization of existing content, the next step is to find content gaps and build a strategy to tackle target keywords that did not have a place on existing pages. This involves adding new content to existing pages or revising existing content, and adding a steady stream of new blog posts (we would also need to set up a blog on your site).

The second most valuable component of an SEO strategy is links from other websites that are highly regarded in Google’s eyes. Their relative “authority” is carried forward to your site when there’s a proper link between the two. For this, we find sites related to your target market that have a high “domain authority” and pay them to publish content that includes a link back to your site.

The cost of an SEO campaign depends only on how much you want to spend, and within reason the more you spend, the faster the results. A content optimization analysis and implementation is required (we only need to do this once), and SEO-optimized blog articles cost approximately $180 to $300 each (although AI-powered blog article writing has the potential to dramatically reduce that cost…unfortunately AI-written content is still generally awful to read as a human).

Backlinks generally cost about $150 to $1,400 each depending on the value of the link (the degree of domain authority your site is linked from). A $750/month spend is really the bare minimum to see results of any significance, but $10,000 would really move the needle.

Optional, but recommended: Video content strategy

Video is one of the most overlooked but valuable SEO strategies. YouTube is the second largest search engine on Earth. We can create videos and handle YouTube channel optimization as well as the technical implementation of video on the site. Video creation starts at $2,500 and can include on-location live video shoots.

Conversion Optimization

No digital marketing strategy should be undertaken without ensuring that visitors actually become customers. And if it’s an e-commerce site that we’re talking about, all the traffic in the world won’t matter if customers don’t find your offer compelling or can’t find it or have too many questions before buying.

Fortunately, most of this is taken care of as part of the Website-as-a-Service plan. When we design and build a website, it’s fast, mobile-friendly, easy to use and with a UI focused on user efficiency. Sometimes websites would also benefit from additional content that would serve to instil trust in visitors, position you as a market leader and answer any questions that might prevent someone from not buying (and then finding your competitors). We put videos, reviews, educational resources, and great imagery in this category. Cost for this content vary but we’d be happy to provide a quote.

In Conclusion

As you see, the cost to implement a digital marketing strategy depends very much on your budget. If you are interested in increasing the traffic to your website or optimizing your website for conversions, we’d be happy to discuss this with you. Once we know more about your goals, we can provide more pricing details and put together a few combinations of the items discussed above that fit your budget. Book a free face-to-face meeting to get started.

A black and white photo of a man wearing glasses and a polka dot shirt.

Eric Embacher

I channelled my love for mobile and cloud computing into one of Canada’s early SaaS successes by co-founding Symbility Solutions in 2002 in Toronto (later acquired by CoreLogic) and designing a tablet-based, cloud-connected software for the insurance industry, years before cloud-based software and iPads were a thing. Thirteen years later I started Infinite Monkeys to focus on my passion in my favourite place (Victoria).