How Much Does Digital Marketing Cost In The UK?

How Much Does Digital Marketing Cost In The UK?


Digital marketing costs can be a bit of a minefield, and they can vary widely which doesn’t help when planning a yearly budget. There are no set rules, but we have put together a guide which might help you in estimating how much digital marketing can cost you. 


What Is Digital Marketing? 

Digital marketing covers a broad spectrum but essentially it refers to all marketing which is conducted through online channels. Commonly used forms of digital marketing include social media, email newsletters, SEO and PPC. The best results are usually seen when traditional forms of marketing (ie offline such as DMs, posters and doordrops) and digital marketing are utilised together.  


Types Of Payment 

Hourly Rates – these are handy if the task is something that perhaps you would normally do in-house and are aware of how long this takes but aren’t able to allocate resource to it. If you are unsure of how much resource it will need and the project stumbles into some unforeseen issues, this can hike up the cost considerably, so be sure you plan as much as possible beforehand before outsourcing to an agency on an hourly rate.  


Retainers – If you need ongoing digital marketing support this might be the best option for your business. It can be arranged in several different formats but the most common are time and output. At the outset of the contract an agreement is made to produce X amount of work (this is a good option if you have roughly the same needs each month) or alternatively it can be X amount of time allocated. The latter option is good if you have differing needs each month.  


Project Fee – If you are launching a product or service, or know that business will drop at certain points of the year and you would like a more consistent revenue stream, then a project fee may be for you. It engages a marketing agency for a set period of time and you pay a fee each month for the duration of the contract. It’s also a handy option for one-off things like setting up a new SEO-optimised website.  


Results based – This can be a tricky option to go for. On one hand, not paying anything up-front can seem like a tempting option, but some agencies can use quick wins to get traffic through to your site without knowing if they are targeting your market. You may end up paying for a rise in visitor numbers who in fact click straight off your website as they have been lured in by incorrect information. Harming your SEO presence and site authority score in the meantime whilst you pay heavily for the privilege.  



Prices vary wildly even within the UK. The north/south cost divide is very real, with agencies in London having to cover higher overheads if they’re office-based. The cost difference between rent in Manchester compared to London is currently 40%, which is usually reflected in the costs. Covid forced us to get used to the age of Zoom and for many companies this is still the preferred method of communication. Suddenly the choices become endless, as long as the time zones work, theoretically you could outsource your digital marketing to experts anywhere in the world, with some countries charging much less than in the western world.  



An award-winning and experienced agency with high-profile clients will charge more on average than a newer agency with mid-level clients. Whilst it can feel safer to go with the former option, there’s hundreds of smaller agencies doing fantastic work, with the reviews and testimonials to back it up. A smaller agency can also sometimes offer a more personalised feel and a more in-depth understanding of each client and their aims. It’s important to interview a range of agencies before making a decision. Check out their current clients; are they running similar campaigns to the style you require? Do they have Google reviews? How well do they understand your goals during the initial discussion? Experience is great but digital marketing is not a one-size-fits-all model and the more an agency is willing to work with you to achieve your goals the more chance you have of succeeding.  



Some agencies, including us here at Webmart, work with an external group of suppliers to assist us with clients’ marketing campaigns. We believe it’s good to work with digital marketers who are experts in their field and that by outsourcing we can guarantee we choose the best supplier with the right experience for your organisation.  


How Much Will Digital Marketing Cost? 

This really depends on the above factors, but on average companies spend 9.3% of their annual revenue on marketing (YouGov). Surveys completed in the US show that SMEs spend the most, with around 14% of revenue going towards marketing. Cybercrew found that 72% of current UK marketing budgets are spent on digital marketing, going up almost 10% between 2020 and 2021.  

The important thing to remember is that every business will have its own target audience that will respond differently to marketing. You may find that an integrated campaign works best or perhaps the majority will be either online or offline. Whatever route you decide to go down we would be happy to go through marketing options with you.  



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