How much does it cost to hire a digital marketer

How much does it cost to hire a digital marketer?

Published on February 5th, 2023


Who is a digital marketer?

A digital marketer is a professional who is responsible for driving brand awareness, traffic and lead generation through various digital channels such as search engines, social media platforms, email, websites and so on.

To achieve their objectives, digital marketers implement a range of digital marketing strategies, which include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing. They also evaluate and monitor the performance of their digital marketing campaigns and modify them as needed to enhance the outcomes.

The importance of digital marketers

According to Global World Index analysis, social media platforms have a daily user base of approximately 3.2 billion people, equivalent to 42% of the population. On average, an individual spends 2 hours and 22 minutes on the internet as per the same analysis. Moreover, social media is the sales channel for 98% of sales representatives to reach their sales quota, and 51% of consumers use their mobile devices to discover brands and products in the market.

Digital marketing has completely changed marketing. It is the new normal and considered as one of the most successful and prominent means to generate brand awareness, reach out to potential customers, and maintain a connection with the existing ones.

Deciding a budget to hire a marketer

Here are some steps to help you decide a budget:

  • Determine your marketing goals: Identify what you want to achieve with your marketing efforts, such as increasing brand awareness, generating leads, or improving customer retention. Having clear goals will help you determine the level of marketing expertise and support you need.

  • Evaluate your existing marketing resources: If you already have an internal marketing team, you may need to allocate a smaller budget for additional hires or outsourced services. However, if you have no internal marketing resources, you may need to invest more in building a team or outsourcing your marketing needs.

  • Research industry benchmarks: Look at industry benchmarks and average costs for different types of marketing services and roles to get an idea of what to expect. For example, you can use salary data and market research reports to determine the average cost of hiring a marketer or outsourcing specific marketing services.

  • Consider the scope and complexity of your marketing needs: The more complex and broad your marketing needs are, the more budget you may need to allocate for your marketing efforts. A comprehensive marketing strategy that covers multiple channels, platforms, and audience segments will require more resources than a simple campaign.

  • Determine your budget constraints: Consider your overall business budget and any other competing priorities when deciding your marketing budget. You may need to allocate funds over time or start with a smaller budget and gradually increase it as your marketing efforts yield results.

Different costs to consider when hiring a marketer

There are several types of costs to consider when hiring a marketer, including:

  • Recruitment costs: This includes any expenses related to the process of hiring a marketer, such as job postings, recruiter fees, and candidate travel expenses.

  • Salary and benefits: This includes the cost of the marketer's base salary, as well as any additional benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and bonuses.

  • Training and development: This includes the cost of any training or professional development programs that the marketer may need to attend to improve their skills.

  • Technology and software: This includes the cost of any technology or software that the marketer will need to perform their job, such as a computer, phone, or marketing automation tools.

  • Overhead costs: This includes any additional costs associated with hiring a marketer, such as office space, utilities, and administrative support.

  • Outsourcing fees: If the company decides to outsource their marketing needs, they will need to factor in the cost of outsourcing fees, which may include project-based or retainer-based fees.

Factors that affect the cost of hiring a digital marketer

  • Expertise: Compared to those with less experience, experienced digital marketers with a track record may be able to command greater salary or hourly rates.

  • Location: The cost of living varies greatly from one area to another, which may have an impact on the wages and rates offered by digital marketers. Digital marketers, for instance, may charge more in major cities like New York or San Francisco than they might in smaller cities or rural locations.

  • Specialization: Search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and other techniques are all included in the specialization of digital marketing. Marketers that are experts in a particular field could bill more money for their services.

  • Firm size: The cost of a digital marketing campaign can be impacted by the size and complexity of the company. Larger companies with more extensive marketing needs may require more resources and a higher budget.

  • Scope of project: If the scope of the project is complex, it will require more time and resources, which will also impact the cost. The budget can vary from a single ad campaign to a long-term marketing strategy.

  • Type of industry: The type of industry can also impact the cost of hiring a digital marketer. For example, highly regulated industries such as healthcare or finance may require specialized expertise, which can command a higher price tag.

Miscellaneous costs to consider when hiring a marketer

In addition to the direct costs of hiring a marketer, there are several miscellaneous costs that companies may need to consider, including:

  • Onboarding costs: These costs can include training, equipment, and other expenses associated with getting the new marketer up to speed.

  • Overhead costs: This includes costs associated with providing the marketer with a workspace, computer, software, and other resources they may need to perform their job.

  • Benefits and insurance: Companies are typically responsible for providing benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans to their in-house marketers, which can add to the overall cost of hiring.

  • Taxes and legal compliance: Employers are responsible for paying payroll taxes and ensuring that they are in compliance with federal and state employment laws, which can add additional costs.

  • Turnover costs: If a company hires an in-house marketer who doesn't work out, they may need to bear the costs associated with terminating that employee and finding a replacement.

  • Project management costs: If a company outsources their marketing, they may need to assign an employee to manage the relationship with the marketing agency, which can add additional costs.

How much does it cost to hire a digital marketer?

Average cost of hiring digital marketer

While the US Bureau of labor statistics (BLS) cites the national salary average across all jobs as $58,260, you may come across digital marketing roles in the US that offer higher salaries. According to Glassdoor, a Digital Marketer can expect to earn a total pay of around $68,021 annually, which includes an average base salary of $52,414 per year, according to our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model.

These figures reflect the median, or midpoint, of salary ranges collected from our users. The estimated additional pay, which may encompass cash bonuses, commission, tips, and profit sharing, is $15,607 per year. The "Most Likely Range" refers to values that lie between the 25th and 75th percentile of all available pay data for this job.

Hourly rates vs. project rates

According to, as of January 2023, the average hourly salary for a Digital Marketing Manager in the United States is $59, with a typical range of $51 to $67. This range can vary significantly depending on various factors, such as level of education, certifications, additional skills, and years of experience in the field.

Types of digital marketing services and their cost

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

Glassdoor suggests that the average salary for an SEO Specialist is $51,072 per year. This figure is based on 1,741 salary submissions from SEO Specialist employees who wished to remain anonymous on Glassdoor. You can filter your search by location to get a more accurate estimate of SEO Specialist salaries in your specific area.

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

In the USA, the average salary for a PPC Specialist is approximately $58,500 per year, or about $28.13 per hour. Starting positions for this job can pay around $50,000 per year, while the most experienced workers can earn up to $80,000 per year.

  • Social media marketing

The national average salary for a Social Media Marketing professional in the United States is $48,350. This salary estimate is based on 126 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Social Media Marketing employees.

Content marketing

As of the latest data available, the typical range for the average salary of a Content Marketing Manager in the United States is between $67,069 and $81,954, with an average salary of $75,164.

Email marketing

The average salary for an email marketing specialist in the USA is $62,464 per year, or $30.03 per hour. While entry-level positions start at $51,559 per year, the most experienced workers can earn up to $82,000 per year.

Hiring a marketer in house vs outsource

Hiring a marketer in-house or outsourcing marketing services can have different cost implications for a business. Here are some factors to consider when comparing the costs of each option:

Cost of in-house marketer:

Salary: An in-house marketer's salary can range from $45,000 to over $100,000 depending on their experience and location.

Benefits: Employers are also responsible for providing benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, paid time off, and other perks which can add to the overall cost.

Overhead expenses: The cost of office space, equipment, and other expenses needed to support the marketing team can also be a significant expense.


  • Better understanding of the company culture, goals, and brand.
  • Accessible and available at all times, making communication easier.
  • May have more expertise on the industry or specific product/service the company offers.
  • Can provide ongoing support and work on long-term projects.
  • Can train and work closely with other team members.


  • Higher costs due to salaries, benefits, and training.
  • Limited experience and expertise in different marketing areas.
  • Less diversity in ideas and strategies.
  • May lack the same level of creativity as an agency or outside perspective.
  • Additional management and training responsibilities for the company.

Cost of outsourcing marketing services:

Agency fees: The cost of working with a marketing agency can vary widely depending on the agency's reputation, size, and services offered. Some agencies may charge a flat rate or hourly rate, while others may offer custom packages or retainers.

Scope of work: The cost of outsourcing marketing services can also depend on the scope of work required. Some companies may only need help with specific tasks, such as social media management or PPC advertising, while others may require a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Hidden costs: There may be additional costs associated with outsourcing, such as travel expenses or additional fees for rush projects or revisions.


  • Access to a team with diverse skills and experience.
  • Greater flexibility in scaling services up or down based on needs.
  • Lower costs compared to hiring an in-house marketer.
  • No need for ongoing training, benefits, or other management responsibilities.
  • Fresh, outside perspective and creative ideas.


  • Less understanding of the company culture and brand.
  • Less availability and accessibility due to working remotely.
  • Communication barriers and difficulties.
  • Short-term work, no long-term support.
  • May require more supervision and communication to ensure work is aligned with company goals.

So, we hope this blog helps you draw a game plan for hiring a digital marketer. If you need to thoroughly assess your ROI, try HireQuotient’s ROI calculator. For all your other HR solutions, get in touch with our team today.



Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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