The Whys and Hows of Marketing Cost and Complexity

Anastasia Rashevskaya

The content team leader who embodies creativity and strategy. She always keeps a sharp lookout for fresh ideas and knows how to lead a team of writers to success.

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Imagine that you have a blog with valuable content tailored to your audience’s interests but nobody reads it. Why does this happen? Because you don’t have solid SEO services to get your content noticed by the right audience. Without knowing your audience, you can’t create meaningful and insightful content to serve your customers’ needs. You will only attract customers and generate revenue with complex marketing that delivers measurable results. 

But still, why does marketing comprise so many activities? Let’s find out the key factors affecting marketing cost and complexity so that you can get the right results for your business.


Core Digital Marketing Challenges 

From reaching the right audience to creating helpful content, businesses face numerous issues trying to stay competitive and profitable. Here are some of the most common challenges that can be solved with marketing: 


1. Rising Customer Expectations

Customer expectations are rising at a rapid pace, and if you don’t meet their requirements, your clients will be happy to switch to your competitor. 

From a consistent user journey and personalized services to innovative technologies and insightful content, customers expect the very best experience from every brand they choose. For instance, users expect the interface to be intuitive so that they don’t need to browse the entire website to find delivery information or check the order status. 

Amazon makes the customer experience personalized by calling customers by their names when they open the home page. The company also shows customers products that are likely to interest them based on their purchase history. As a result, people tend to open an email from Amazon and make a purchase instead of moving a message to the spam folder. 

The research shows that 66% of consumers value personalization and want companies to understand their specific needs and issues. 

Have a look at some tactics marketers use to provide customers with greater personalization:

  • Personalized emails
  • Meaningful thank you pages
  • Context-based support
  • Custom video messages
  • Recommendations based on user’s preferences

Digital marketers have to monitor changing customer expectations regularly to spot and address customer concerns.


happy customer service

2. Creating Growth on a Budget

Although SMEs can be limited in their resources, marketers still have to deliver meaningful results to prove their value.

Investing in marketing is vital to reap results as the more you invest, the faster you will see the outcome. But if you are limited in resources, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about marketing. 

Limited in their scope, digital marketers have to build a strong strategy, use innovative tools to ensure effective marketing campaigns and branding, attract relevant leads, and generate top-quality traffic. If you are restricted in your resources, marketers will focus on the most essential points to bring you the best results in the long run.

Marketing is a long game, so specialists have to prove the ROI of their efforts and deliver measurable results to get higher budgets and help businesses thrive. 

Proving ROI involves setting relevant business objectives, synchronizing marketing and sales activities, investing in cutting-edge tools, and choosing the right KPIs to estimate progress towards your goals. 


3. Reaching The Right Audience

When you waste your marketing efforts on a random audience, you spend your budget in vain.

Digital marketers learn everything about your customers, identify their preferences and pain points, and target prospects with the right messages to build trust and keep your brand at the top of their minds.

audience strategy

Here are some effective methods marketers can use to study their target audience:


  •  Social Media Marketing 

If your audience is active on social media, you can target thousands of people with a single post. Using analytics built into social media platforms, marketers will analyze your customers’ needs and the content they prefer to interact with. 

You can also use social media listening to understand what users are saying about your business online. Apart from valuable data, this method will define the “online mood” of your audience and highlight what customers feel about your brand. You will be able to implement helpful features users are talking about and find promising opportunities for collaboration. 

To analyze social networks and monitor such data as mentions, keywords, specific topics, and hashtags, marketers use tools like Netbase, Smart Inbox, Hootsuite, and Mentionlytics.

This data will help you create meaningful content and come up with a suitable tone of voice that resonates with your audience’s interests.


  • Surveying

Information from real buyers can provide you with valuable insights that you can use to boost customer experience and bring your business to the next level. Marketers can use email surveys to analyze customer feedback and implement changes for more powerful marketing campaigns.

Have a look at some questions to ask your customers:

  • How does this product or service help you solve your issues and meet your goals?
  • Which product features are the most vital to you?
  • How much do you rate our customer service on a scale from 1 to 10?
  • How likely are you to get back to our store?

Surveying is a great method to obtain information but it’s crucial to ask the right questions to get relevant results. To come up with a successful survey, marketers have to choose a perfect tool, define the perfect time to send a survey, and conduct A/B testing to ensure customers get the most relevant questions.

There are companies that approach customer research professionally. But this process needs to be handled correctly to obtain actionable insights that will help businesses improve their products or services.


  •  Secondary Research

There is a huge amount of data describing your customers out there, so it’s a great method to gather some valuable information from studies.

Your competitors’ white papers, news reports, industry publications, analyst reports, and published market studies—a seasoned specialist will find the relevant information that already exists, analyze it, and provide you with the details about your prospects, insights into rivals, and your industry’s trends to keep an eye on.

You can also find relevant information using the following resources:

Though secondary research is a great tool to learn more about your customers, lots of sources on the Internet are inaccurate so it’s important to assign this task to an experienced marketer.


4. Creating Community-Building Content

Content marketing drives three times the number of leads as outbound methods and costs 62% less, making it a splendid choice for SME businesses. What’s more, high-quality content educates your audience, boosts brand awareness, attracts relevant leads, and makes your customers stick around longer. 

Community-building content is crucial to make your audience a true community, form an emotional bond, and engage users to interact with each other. Content creators identify your customers’ mutual interests, encourage users to share their thoughts, and initiate meaningful discussions among community members. 

A strong community will enhance your retention rate, provide you with more valuable feedback, and ensure you get top-quality referrals from your loyal customers. 

An effective content strategy is one more must-have for your marketing efforts that requires lots of work. Your content specialist will have to study your audience to decide what your blog will be about and why people should read it. It’s also crucial to choose a suitable tone of voice and create a list of content clusters you cover in your blog. 

Your content strategy will include numerous types of content (from expert to entertaining) to communicate with different audiences. An effective blog also offers different formats of content, from long reads and interviews to case studies and presentations.

If your customers are tired of irrelevant ads and sales pitches from your rivals, insightful and meaningful content is a perfect way to provide value and become a breath of fresh air for your prospects. 


5. Understanding Marketing Results

Analyzing the acquired results is a crucial part of any marketing strategy as it helps specialists improve the upcoming marketing campaigns and make businesses generate more revenue. 

Customer acquisition cost, conversion rate, ROI, number of sign-ups, customer lifetime value—specialists analyze a great number of marketing metrics to figure out whether your goals were met. 

  • How many resources were spent and how to optimize them?
  • Were customers satisfied?
  • Did a certain product or service attract more sign-ups? 
  • Are there any gaps in UX?
  • How can we optimize the website or product to reach a wider audience?
  • What techniques can we adopt to make the upcoming campaigns more successful? 

Digital marketers have to answer a huge number of questions and analyze numerous marketing metrics to provide clients with meaningful results, offer ideas on how to keep customers engaged and loyal, and come up with new activities to enhance brand awareness and keep the sales pipeline filled with relevant leads.


how to evaluate a marketing campaign

What Makes Digital Marketing So Expensive: Budget Breakdown

If you want your marketing strategy to work successfully, you have to utilize multiple channels and ensure they work in unison to build a well-rounded inbound system. 

Before allocating your marketing budget, you might want to decide how much you are ready to spend overall. From expensive marketing software to complex advertising, marketing requires lots of resources, so it’s vital to define your budget to prevent overspending. 

We have expanded on the most common marketing services to include in your budget and help you understand why marketing is expensive. These services will give you the best return on investment and get your business noticed by the right audience.

digital marketing services pricing

1. Search Engine Optimization

Budget allocation: 14%

With innovative SEO techniques, you can improve your website visibility on search engines and drive high-quality traffic.  

SEO will help you reach those customers who don’t know anything about your brand but are still looking for products or services related to your niche. 

Having a  website on top of Google search results makes it easier to attract new customers and build trust with your audience.

On-page and off-page SEO, technical audit, link building, semantic core, keyword research, a sitemap—to perform these tasks, specialists require not only vast expertise but also a great number of costly tools. 

Depending on the project’s scope and industry, the average cost of SEO services (SEO specialist + link builder) in 2021 can start from $3000 per month. What’s more, high-quality SEO takes time, so you are paying for someone to learn everything about your business and work on it for a prolonged period of time to boost your rankings. 


2. Content Marketing

Budget allocation: 27%

Your content is one of the main tools to create a connection between your brand and customers. Depending on a strategy and resource management, the budget for content creation can vary greatly. While some agencies hire freelancers to create content, others rely on in-house content creators. 

Agencies can also use numerous publishing tools, making content marketing relatively expensive, or opt for more cost-effective solutions. Depending on your niche and goals, the cost of content marketing can start from $2000.

Apart from creating gripping and valuable content for your brand, specialists also research and develop content ideas that resonate with your audience, come up with a content plan to keep customers engaged regularly, and work with design teams to enrich articles with appealing graphics. 

Your company might require different content specialists, from creative copywriters to content designers. The approximate cost of content marketing services will depend on the amount of content you require per month, the team composition, experience, and the level of specialists.


3. Paid Advertising

Budget allocation: 25%

Besides organic growth strategies, you can also target specific audiences with the help of paid advertising for better conversion opportunities and higher awareness. 

PPC is a great addition to your SEO efforts and the fastest way to get leads. SEO takes more time to notice the first results, while paid advertising can drive traffic or prospects to your website much faster. 

PPC is a rather cost-efficient way to promote your brand as you only pay when someone clicks your ad so you won’t waste your money trying to attract random users. You set a monthly budget for your ads and a maximum bid that you are ready to pay per click. 

Usually, PPC services include competitor and industry analysis, keyword research, strategic bid and budget management, campaign development, and performance reporting. 

Depending on the number of keywords you need to target, your monthly budget, and a maximum bid, the cost of PPC services can vary from $1000 to $10000 per month. 


4. Design

Budget allocation: 6%

Appealing graphics will reflect your brand identity and make the user experience more engaging. To create eye-catching and innovative visual content, designers require more tools than just Photoshop. 

Besides drawing attention to your marketing materials and making them appealing, design can also boost the quality of your brand messaging, raise your campaigns’ visibility, and drive conversion. Experienced designers will come up with suitable graphics, color schemes, and fonts that support your brand’s message and delight your audience. 

Proofing tools to manage all tasks, review and approval services, photo editors to go above the regular effects, and prototyping tools to create any design from scratch—these resources are expensive, making design a costly but necessary addition to your marketing strategy. 

The cost of design services can start from $1500 per month, but it depends on the kind of graphics you require, the functionality you need, and what type of CMS you want. 


5. Social Media Marketing

Budget allocation: 12%

Social media marketing can help you establish an emotional bond with your customers, build a positive brand reputation, and build fruitful collaboration with other brands and influencers. 

Social media marketing can be expensive if you promote your business on multiple platforms, but we recommend you choose the platform where your audience is active and focus your efforts there. 

SMM specialists use numerous tools to analyze your audience, develop a powerful strategy, track your brand mentions, come up with a content plan and posts, and monitor social media to gather significant data about your customers. 

As a result, you can understand your audience, optimize your promo campaigns, and create content that resonates with your customer’s preferences. 

Instead of publishing one post per month with a trivial call to action, seasoned specialists will learn everything about your target audience to create meaningful content and drive sales. Depending on the number of channels and the type of content you require, the approximate cost of SMM can vary from $300 to $5000 per month. 


5. PR

Budget allocation: 16%

Public relations are not just about press releases and white papers. Digital PR agencies boost businesses’ online visibility by cooperating with influencers, gaining media mentions, and posting promotional content on multiple platforms. 

To get the coverage you require, PR specialists will come up with informative press releases equipped with links to your website, establish relationships with journalists and bloggers, and organize interviews.

PR specialists require numerous costly tools to monitor your online reputation, find relevant media contacts, track competitors, gather media mentions, and keep an eye on ongoing PR campaigns. Typical monthly expenses on PR services can start from $2000. 


Cut Your Budget Costs and Focus on Your Business With Digitalce! 

Even if it looks costly and time-consuming, most businesses will strongly benefit from an investment in marketing. With a well-rounded marketing strategy, it won’t cost you a fortune to get a higher ROI, attract high-quality leads, and get your brand noticed. 


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