Media agencies offer a wide variety of services, from blogging to video production. As such, their average fees are often changing, as evolving consumer trends impact client needs. Fortunately, new tech innovations have also helped teams collaborate more easily, allowing them to provide a greater quantity of content to their clients in a shorter period of time. Media management apps like Wiredrive, for example, make sharing, storing, and reviewing media assets a much simpler process, boosting the workflow of agencies.
Regardless of individual needs and project details, when a client looks to hire a media agency, they must first decide what pricing model best suits their budget. Some groups use monthly retainer contracts, others charge hourly rates, and others bill on a project-by-project basis.
Outlined below are the average fees agencies charge for each pricing model:
Monthly Retainer Contracts
This infographic (from an Entrepreneur survey) is a great place to start when summarizing monthly retainer fees of media agencies. As it demonstrates, larger agencies in the United States (51 or more employees) most frequently charge between $15,001-$20,000 when taking the monthly retainer contract approach. None of the large agencies surveyed reported charging less than $250 for a monthly retainer, and a small proportion, approximately 7%, charged greater than $20000. Agencies with fewer than 50 employees reported substantially lower fees, with about 32% of them claiming that they typically charge $1,001-$3,000 for a monthly retainer.
Whether or not this payment model appeals to you depends entirely on your needs: If you’re focusing on completing one isolated project at this time, you might benefit more from working with an agency that charges an hourly rate, or one that bills only for individual projects. If, on the other hand, your media needs will remain ongoing, a monthly retainer will likely offer you the maximum convenience and value. From there, it is important to understand what your needs are and whether the capabilities of a smaller media agency are sufficient or if you need to spend more for a larger company.
According to the Entrepreneur survey, large US-based media agencies typically charge between $351-$500 per hour for their services, with only 3% of participants charging less than $50/hour. Nearly half of all smaller agencies surveyed indicated that their hourly rate is $101-$150.
Luckily for clients, hourly rates are beginning to provide even greater value. Thanks to new media management apps like Wiredrive, agencies can collaborate on their projects much more efficiently. As such, they can deliver quality work in a much shorter period of time, billing clients for fewer hours. When hiring an agency that bills on an hourly basis, clients may want to consider asking them which media management tools they use; this is important information now, as it can makes a substantial difference in how quickly a project is completed.
Based on the results of the survey, it appears that about a quarter of large media agencies in the US charge $30,001-$50,000 for individual projects. Smaller agencies charged considerably less, with 22% of survey participants reporting that they charge $7,001-$10,000 for projects.
With this particular pricing model, the nature of the project plays a major role in determining the cost. While basic SEO and social media work will not require an agency to use expensive equipment and resources, if a project involves creating videos and other major pieces of content, the fee will likely increase. Additionally, what you require will determine if you choose to work with a larger or smaller agency based on what they offer in terms of resources for the specific project.
Thankfully, as more teams embrace collaboration apps and media management tools, their ability to promptly respond to client demands improves. As a result, although fees may increase somewhat in the future, return on investment is likely to increase dramatically.
By Joe Oliveto
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