Marketers are in a state of confusion regarding Internet marketing pricing. And that is totally understandable as it seems everyone who is out of work is now a glorified social media expert.
Some search marketing companies will say they can “guarantee results” for $399 a month, while others charge thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per month for organic SEO. Generally, you get what you pay for. While you may be tempted to save money, be aware that search marketing and effective website building is a long process when done right. It takes more time and effort to do it right, but the results are radically different and pay for themselves in increased sales.
Expect the cost of real Internet marketing, at a local level, to start at $2,000–$3,000 per month for a very basic level of quality local service. Once you get up into $5,000 and $10,000+ a month and are doing integrated marketing using SEO, social media, PR, content marketing, advanced link building, paid search, and conversion optimization, things kick into high gear. That is when you are marketing on all cylinders and the tactics play off of and enhance each other. It is as if there is some magical threshold that gets crossed and the amount of leads and sales negates the spending, making everyone—including customers—happier. For top providers and larger competitive campaigns, companies can expect to pay thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per month, but if they do it right they will end up with the equivalent of a V12 Bentley that leaves competitors in the dust. Even outsourcing to India can mean spending thousands per month for Internet marketing, so you need to be aware that it has become a highly evolved and very detailed process.
For your money, you should receive a certain amount of hours each month dedicated to SEO, paid search, analytics, content adjustments, content development, content sharing, conversion enhancements, social media, link building, and PR. If you don’t have enough hours devoted to each, you won’t beat the competition. And as you already know, time is money. The real question is, where is yours spent best?
The people who generate lots of great content (by paying or doing it themselves) will usually get the best results, especially if they find a quality partner to work with. While you can get initial results in a matter of two to three months with local organic search and in a matter of days with paid search, be aware that the tougher SEO terms that drive the most traffic can take six months to a year to even gain traction. That’s yet another reason why my position is that you should be competing for the most competitive keywords on a long-term basis, but that your short-term organic traffic will come from long tail keywords.
So if you focus on doing things correctly and with the right mindset, eventually leads will pour in, maybe even buyout offers. Expect overnight success and you will be disappointed.
When it comes to social media, you’re right if you think it’s somewhat easy to set up a Facebook page or a blog. But without lots of great content on those venues and a smart strategy that truly connects them all, they will go nowhere fast.
So you will either need to pay someone to write content or be prepared to write consistently yourself. In a nutshell, the more blog entries, Facebook posts, and tweets you write, the more leads you get.
How much have you paid in the past for an Internet marketing campaign?