How much does digital marketing cost?

A question we come across frequently is, ‘How much does digital marketing cost?’ Our research uncovered a UK average of just over £1,000 per month, but that figure encompasses a variety of different services and packages. Before looking at cost, you need to understand what a digital marketing service is.

What we will cover

How much does digital marketing cost in the UK?

While we don’t want to get into the overused ‘piece of string’ analogy, it is only possible to answer the question, ‘How much does digital marketing cost?’ with a misleading average or a range of agency rates that are so wide, it benefits no one. There’s some data from Statista as of March 2021 if it helps, today we will focus on understanding why is hard to work out.

The reason is this: digital marketing is not a single service. It is a combination of different services which are often sold as a bundle or package. So a good place to start, when looking at price, is to identify the major services that most digital marketing agencies offer.

example list of services to show how much does digital marketing cost

The big four digital marketing services

Every digital marketing agency will have its own suite of services, and some will have more expertise in some areas than others. However, almost every agency will offer the following four services:

Online advertising (Google Ads,  social ads etc…)

One of the most cost-effective ways to boost traffic to your website, especially in the post-launch phase, is through paid online advertising. The most popular model is known as pay-per-click (PPC) whereby you set aside a daily budget and participate in an automated ‘auction’ for ad placement. The cost of a single click can range from a few pence to £5 or more.

In addition to your ad budget, you will usually pay the agency or individual a monthly amount to manage your campaigns. Online advertising can also be a great way to get to know your audience’s online behaviour. What devices do they use? What country do they come from? Which ads do they engage with? What time are they most active?

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

SEO is an umbrella term for a range of strategies aimed at increasing the visibility of your website on search engines (especially Google, the market leader). In contrast to PPC advertising, which only works for as long as you are paying for ad space, SEO is a long-term strategy with ongoing results.

Once your website is established and ranking well, you will benefit from a flow of traffic that is essentially free (we call this ‘organic’ in SEO speak!) However, it often pays to maintain an ongoing SEO service to fine-tune your website and its content and to react to Google algorithm updates and other changes.

Content marketing

In order to connect with your visitors, and keep them coming back for more, you are going to need to provide a regular flow of different forms of content. What that content looks and sounds like is going to depend on your industry and specific business.

Common types of content include:

  • Online videos (explainers, corporate videos, product reveals, tutorials, etc.)
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Blog articles/news items
  • Infographics

Content marketing is the glue that connects your online ads and SEO to your products and services.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a staple of digital marketing – and for good reason. If you can persuade a visitor to part with their email address, you can then increase the effectiveness of your marketing using personalisation and automation.

Email service providers (ESPs) such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Campaign Monitor enable users to collect, store and organise a list of email addresses and schedule emails, newsletters and promotional campaigns. By segmenting your list and creating tailor-made campaigns, you can more easily turn your leads into long-term customers.

What about social media marketing?

Social media marketing is another digital service offered by many agencies and individual specialists. Done well, social media marketing harnesses the power and scale of social media to optimise your audience targeting and engagement.

social media engagement

The big challenge of social media is to avoid the trap of so-called ‘vanity metrics’ (i.e., focusing solely on how many likes and followers you have), and instead ensuring that your social media content is leading to measurable results (e.g., mailing list sign-ups, engagement with your website content, revenue, profit, etc.)

Additional services

Digital marketing agencies often provide additional services that can tie in to one or more of the main services above. These often include content or work to the website to increase conversions like branding & graphic design, copywritingphotography and video production.

Agencies might also offer a variety of workshops or training packages to help businesses understand and master the services they are using – and digital marketing in general.

Digital marketing packages

When most people ask, ‘How much does digital marketing cost?’ they are looking for some kind of ‘all in’ figure. The most economical way to set about digital marketing is almost always to sign up for a monthly package of services.

For an idea of what a digital marketing package looks like, and what it might cost you per month, take a look at our very own Tribe digital marketing packages.

What about website development?

That’s a good question. While we list our website development and digital marketing services separately on our website, one really cannot function without the other. So if by asking, ‘How much does digital marketing cost?’ you were looking to factor in website development, there are a whole bunch of extra factors to look at, including:

  • Do you need a basic ‘brochure’ site, a high-end website or something in between?
  • Will you need e-commerce functionality?
  • Are you self-hosting your website, or do you need a hosting package?
  • Do you have a domain name or will you need to purchase one?
  • Will you need a website maintenance package so you can stay on top of updates and ensure your site is working optimally 24/7?

As you will appreciate, the answers to those questions will have a huge impact on the size of your digital marketing budget.

Choosing a digital marketing agency

To ensure you are getting value for money from your digital marketing agency, we recommend you spend time getting to know the people and understanding how they operate. What services and packages do they offer? How do they work with their clients? What results can they show you?

A digital agency should feel like they are part of the team, they should wrap around and compliment your staff and get to know and understand the nuance of your organisation. Choosing one that is big enough to support you and not too big that it feels like you get cookie-cutter responses can be a challenge so take the time to get to know your potential agency.

If you are not very familiar with digital marketing, we recommend you refer to our digital marketing jargon buster when meeting with an agency and ask lots of questions about how they work and how they would like you to work with them.

Of course, we would love to be on your shortlist. Take a look at our dedicated digital marketing services and, if you feel we could help you, please contact us for a friendly chat.

Do you know anyone who may be interested in this project?

Click to share:

small business marketing support

The Tribe

The Vu Tribe is a monthly subscription to help small businesses generate more sales. It brings together brand development, storytelling, digital strategy, delivery & training. Every aspect of what we deliver is measured and is reported each month.


Businesses recognise the value of co-creating their strategies with outsiders who will forensically tease and test assumptions during a creative non-critical collaborative session.