How to price services for a digital marketing company?

Hello, Although I am listed as an expert in digital marketing and advertising, pricing is an area that troubles me. I thought of asking a question to the experts. I have been running an online marketing and advertising company for almost 2 years now. Having made mistakes and learning from them, we are now able to deliver services I am proud of. I have had troubles scaling up and pricing our services properly. I can't talk to a regular business consultant because pricing for digital marketing companies can be tricky. Any ideas?? Thanks a lot!


You're not the only one that struggles with this. Pricing can be tricky for any industry really, but in digital marketing especially so because many still don't understand the value in it. When you can sell the value, then you can sell the price.

When it comes to setting a price for anything you can look at it one of two ways, you are either selling value or you are selling your time. When you sell value you have to be at a price that the buyer agrees on the cost of the value being received. If you're selling your time, then you need to determine how much you need for that time and hope the buyer agrees that's what it's worth.

With that, you can provide a quote or you can estimate a total cost based on the number of hours you think the job will take.

The downside to a quote is that there is often scope creep, that is the client requesting things that you never really intended to be part of the project, or them expecting a certain result and suggesting you have to do whatever it takes to get that result. This is especially important in web marketing because because there is always something more to do to.

Many people shy away from hourly work because they don't want to be "nickel and dimed" on every little thing and for the project to end up costing much more than they anticipated.

I have found a mixture of the two to work. Provide an estimate based on a certain number of hours per month. Outline what that estimate includes but be flexible if you need to do things that were never included in that estimate. Just make sure the client knows that you stop at whatever hours you agree too each month.

Any solution will have issues. You just need to find the one that works best for you and your clients.

Answered 8 years ago

The first step is to understand the market price range for each one of your services. As you correctly stated its difficult to get this info from competitors but you can get it from their existing customers. My reccomendation is to target customers whom have services with a competitor and instead of calling to sell your services the purpose of the call should be to ensure your service offering and price is competitive. You will find your target customer is more open to listening to you and you also get some good Intel on your competitors prices and service offering.

The other analysis you must do is determine what your value proposition is. What differentiates you from competitor. You must be real honest with yourself in this analysis because the answer might be there is not much that is different from you to the next company. If this is the case then a low cost provider must be a strategy you consider. If you do have valuable, noticeable differences from the competition you have to do everything possible to make that be known to your target market. Tell them why are you different and right for them.

Hope this helps. I will be glad to have a quick call with you to discuss a common sense approach.

Answered 8 years ago

Hello... I totally understand where you are coming from.. I started a digital marketing company several years ago and let me tell you it has been quite a ride :)...

Anyway answering your question is not easy, I would start by defining and refining who you want your clients to be, small businesses, professionals, large corporations, etc...

Now there are many pricing strategies out there and all are good to take into consideration like pricing in the range of your competitors, or in the low range or in the high range.

My personal opinion is to first determine how much you need to price your services so you are NOT losing money, every business is different, you can compare 2 digital marketing agencies and even if they are both starting what they pay to employees could be different, the tools they are using could be different, you get my point right.. so please be sure you don't lose any money.

Once you have that price, go from there to wherever you want, it is all about how your prospect perceives the value, if you are helping him acquire 2000 dlls customers, then you can charge 500, 600, 700, etc... If you are helping him create facebook ads (which could be the same thing you were doing in the previous example, but your value proposition was different) maybe you won't be able to price your service as high.

There are many other considerations, but with the information you gave so far I wouldn't worry about my competition. I will define the perfect client, create your value proposition and price accordingly.

Hope this helps.. .If you need further assistance let me know.

Don't forget to upvote my comment and share :)

Answered 8 years ago

The demand for digital marketing services has never been stronger. At the same time, the competition for selling those services has never been greater. Setting prices can be difficult, especially if you are just starting out. You do not want to set your prices unreasonably high, but at the same time you do not want to leave money on the table. Ultimately, your prices should be based on what services you provide, the market value of those services and most importantly, what clients and prospects are willing to pay.
1. Packaged Pricing: Many digital marketers offer a selection of “packages.” Clients are given the option to pick and choose from available services. Packaged pricing is convenient for both the provider and clients, providing transparency regarding deliverables. Clients can choose a package that best fits their needs and budget. If you are offering packaged pricing, be sure to have the knowledge and experience necessary to perform all the tasks that you are promoting. Most packages are patterned after the tried and true “Good, Better, Best” bundle approach. An added benefit of this form of pricing is that it pre-qualifies prospects. Potential buyers know the cost of services upfront.
2. Public Pricing: Instead of bundling options, one may decide it is better to price services individually. That way, prospects have the option to pick and choose precisely what they want or need. The public pricing model is especially appealing to individuals who do not like to sacrifice privacy by filling out a contact form, just to get pricing info.
3. Price Quote Calculator: This option is effectively a Hybrid of the Package and Public models. Just set a price for each service, then clients can then build their own packages, using the calculator.
Price = (Service choice + Extra services) * Quantity
This method allows prospects to buy exactly what they want at a budget they are comfortable with.
This also lets clients get a customized quote without having to email or call you.
There are several plugins, widgets, and scripts available online that make it relatively easy to implement.
4. Hourly Pricing: Hourly pricing can be tricky. It is often difficult to estimate the time necessary to complete a given task. Start-ups and clients with smaller budgets may steer clear of hourly pricing because they do not want to be surprised and end up with a hefty bill they cannot afford. That said, smaller clients with minimal and predictable needs may prefer an hourly approach. Enterprise-level accounts with larger budgets and complex websites expect to pay by the hour. They understand that unforeseeable issues, requiring added resources, are to be expected. As with any service, there is a wide range of pricing in the digital marketing space. For SEO, you can expect to pay $100 – $150 per hour. The going rate for content creators ranges from $16 to $100 per hour. Projects demanding a higher level of authority or expertise may pay more. Video marketing has seen a huge boom, with many more businesses getting on board. The cost of video production typically runs anywhere from $19 to $100 per hour. Video marketers doing complex work can earn much more, making hundreds of dollars an hour. Smart digital marketers are incredibly careful with hourly contracts. They often overestimate how much time it will take to complete a project. This protects them against losing money if a job takes longer than expected. That said, do not go overboard or you won’t be competitive.

5. Flat Fees/Project-Based Pricing: Some SEO projects, like Google penalty recovery, are one-offs. Other projects, like keyword research, technical audits and content audits are important, but not required every month. Those are the kinds of tasks that are perfect candidates for flat-fee pricing. Also suited for a flat fee approach is paid advertising. If a client hires you for PPC, you can expect to earn anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per month in flat (management) fees. Depending on how the deal is structured, you may also be able to negotiate an extra 15-30% of ad spend. An SEO campaign runs, on average, $2,500 to $5,000 per month in the U,S. Larger websites will spend more. Some pay as much as $25,000 to $50,000 per month. Content creation is frequently priced by the project (flat rate). According to Jason McBride, beginning freelance writers can expect to earn anywhere from $25 for a basic 350-500-word blog post up to $140 for a 500-1,000-word sales page. Content that is not strictly text-based may command more. Graphic design, for example, can add an extra layer of complexity not associated with just researching a topic and writing about it. White paper and technical marketing also require special skills and content creators can often charge more for those. Flat fee prices for video marketing projects are determined by the scope of work. Some clients are prepared to pay upwards of $50,000 for video marketing services. Others have no budget and start their search on Fiverr. Flat fee projects can be great, but problems arise if you underestimate how much time, effort, and resources will be needed. If your project ends up taking 20 more hours than you factored into your agreement, your profit margin will take a severe hit.

Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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