In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about digital marketing salaries. We’ve used a number of sources to find out how much do digital marketers make in 2021.
If you’re thinking of starting a career as an online marketing professional, or you’re just curious about how much money you can make in the digital marketing industry, you’ll find a lot of value in this post.
To make our research more meaningful we have used the typical career path of a digital marketing professional as our guide.
➜ Junior Digital Marketer
➜ Digital Marketing Specialist
➜ Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Salary 2021
The salary of digital marketing professionals is between $40K and $97K per year.
The salary per job title is:
- Junior Digital Marketing Professionals (no-experience) – $40K per year
- Digital Marketing Specialist (5 to 9 years of experience) – $55K per year
- Digital Marketing Manager (10+ years of experience) – $97K per year
- Digital Marketing Freelancers – hourly rate is between $50 – $200 per hour
Not all digital marketing positions are equal. Marketers who have a wide range of skills and work in ‘manager positions’ get paid more than specialists.
Digital Marketing Salaries the Last 5 Years (Study)
We analyzed the annual salaries of six popular digital marketing jobs in the US, for that last 5 years. The study was based on data provided by the Creative Group Marketing Annual Salary Survey.
What factors affect digital marketing salaries?
The factors affecting how much money you can make working as an online marketing professional are:
Years of experience
It’s no surprise that experience plays an important role in the money you can make. But it should be noted that the years working in the industry alone, will not guarantee a higher salary.
Unlike other marketing jobs, a digital marketer needs to know how to work with a number of digital channels and if you have spent all your time becoming an expert in only one area, that’s not going to increase your salary.
For example, if you’re good at SEO and over the years you’ve become an SEO expert, the maximum salary you can get is $68K compared to the average of $90K that a digital marketer makes.
A successful digital marketer needs to possess a number of skills. The more digital skills you have, the higher will be your salary.
According to studies, the skills that can positively influence the salary are social media marketing, SEM, and email marketing.
In other words, companies compensate professionals who can do the full cycle of marketing (from traffic acquisition to conversion) and are not limited to a particular skills-set.
This is a factor that most professionals ignore but when done right, it can make a huge difference in the salary you can make working in a company or as a freelancer.
Reputation in this context has to do with your personal brand as a professional. Digital marketers that are known and respected in the industry can charge more for their services or request a higher salary when working for a digital marketing agency.
The best ways to promote your personal brand are:
Maintain your own website or blog – Even if you work for a company, you can still maintain an active digital marketing blog and update it with guides, case studies, and share your experiences.
Connections with industry influencers – Connecting with the industry leaders on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn is a way to boost your reputation and personal brand. When you’re perceived as an ‘expert’ by other experts, it’s easier to ‘sell your self’ during an interview and it’s a great asset for your CV.
Get published on high authority industry websites – A digital marketer needs to be ‘active’ and take every opportunity to promote his work and one of the best ways to do this is to publish your work on high authority websites.
These websites are very selective as to whom they accept as a contributor and they only accept contributions by experts. Getting your articles published is a sign of trust and authority and besides making yourself known, it’s something that gives you the ‘right’ to ask for a higher salary.
Although digital marketing is work you can do from home and serve clients anywhere in the World, your country of residence is a factor that influences your salary or hourly rate (if you’re a freelancer).
Marketers in the US get paid more than their colleagues in other countries. To give you an idea, the average salary of a digital marketer with 5 years of experience in the US is around $70K while in India is $10K and Berlin around $50K per year.
There are also salary differences within a country. People living in crowded cities earn more than marketers living and operating in smaller cities or rural areas. A digital marketer working in San Fransisco will get on average 33% more than someone working in Denver.
As you’ll see below, the salary increases as you climb up the corporate ladder and depending on your job responsibilities.
For example, a digital marketing specialist that leads a team gets paid more than a specialist who works solo.
Also, digital marketers that have the qualifications and experience to combine traditional marketing with online marketing, can participate in decision-making boards and reach a higher salary.
Ability to deliver results
One of the differences between traditional marketing and online marketing is that everything is measurable. This means that it’s easy to figure out if a digital marketing campaign is profitable and the ROI.
Marketers who can run profitable campaigns and provide real monetary value to a company will also receive higher compensations than marketers who just perform typical tasks.
Junior Digital Marketing Professional Salary
The average salary of a junior digital marketing professional with no experience is around $40K per year. It’s the lowest paying position in the digital marketing career ladder.
An entry-level digital marketer has received formal education and is a holder of a marketing degree, Master’s degree (optional), and/or digital marketing certification.
If you’re not a holder of a digital marketing degree, the best way to get an entry-level digital marketing job is to build the necessary skills by following a digital marketing course. A good course will teach you the basic and advanced concepts of online marketing and help you secure a job in the digital marketing industry.
Resources to Become a Digital Marketing Professional
- Best Digital Marketing Courses – These are the best online courses to follow to learn digital marketing without having to go through a college or university.
- How to Learn Digital Marketing – A step-by-step plan on how to approach digital marketing learning from the comfort of your own home.
- Digital Marketing Training Resources – A list of free resources (websites, blogs, and academies) that cover digital marketing related topics.
As a junior digital marketer, you’ll be expected to perform the following tasks:
- Work as the assistant of a digital marketing specialist
- Optimize PPC campaigns
- Optimize webpages for SEO
- Perform keyword research and identify topics/keywords to target in a campaign
- Implement email marketing tasks
- Article writing
- SEO web design changes
- Running outreach campaigns for link building
- Working on social media accounts
- Prepare reports requested by the Digital marketing manager
- Write ad copy for PPC and social media campaigns
- Coordinate the work of external agencies or freelancers
Digital Marketing Specialist Salary
The average salary of a digital marketing specialist is around $55K per year. A digital marketing specialist is someone with 5 to 9 years of experience in digital marketing related jobs.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the digital marketing specialist salary:
- 1 to 4 years of experience – $44K per year
- 5 to 9 years of experience – $55K per year
- 10 to 19 years of experience – $63K per year
Depending on the company structure, a digital marketing specialist works under the supervision of a digital marketing manager and leads a team of junior digital marketers.
To become a digital marketing specialist and reach the higher end of the pay scale you need to know how to design and execute a digital marketing strategy utilizing one or more digital marketing channels.
The typical day-to-day tasks of a digital marketing specialist are:
- Running advertising campaigns on Facebook, Google, and other PPC platforms.
- Collaborate with other members of the team (SEOs, Content marketing professionals, etc)
- Prepare project status reports (for clients and/or management)
- Design and implement SEO campaigns
- Meet with clients to analyze their needs and propose how to use digital marketing to meet their business objectives.
- Coordinate the work of junior digital marketing specialists
Digital Marketing Manager Salary
The average salary of a digital marketing manager is around $90 per year. It’s one of the highest paying digital marketing jobs.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the digital marketing salary per years of experience:
- 1 to 4 years of experience – $59K per year
- 5 to 9 years of experience – $71K per year
- 10 to 19 years of experience – $97K per year
A digital marketing manager is an experienced digital marketer with more than 10 years in the industry. His/her role is to coordinate all the activities of the digital marketing department and manage the digital marketing team.
What does a digital marketing manager do?
A digital marketing manager typically performs the following tasks:
- Design digital marketing strategies
- Supervise the execution of digital marketing campaigns
- Manage the members of the digital marketing team
- Work with the Marketing Manager to ensure that all digital activities are part of the overall marketing plan
- Meet with clients/management
- Prepare progress reports on all digital marketing activities
- Identify new channels and promotion opportunities
Digital Marketing Freelancer Salary
How much digital marketing freelancers can earn per month depends on the hourly rate and the number of chargeable hours per month. The typical rate is between $50 and $200 per hour.
A freelance digital marketer is a professional that has the necessary skills and knowledge to offer online marketing services to clients. Freelancers usually work from home and support their clients remotely using Skype, email, and other collaboration tools.
Unlike digital marketers that are part of a bigger team, a freelancer needs to have a broad range of skills to satisfy all client requirements.
Is a digital marketing manager one of the highest-paid marketing jobs?
Compared to the salaries of other digital marketing professionals, the salary of a digital marketing manager is higher, and in some cases, it can even pass the $100K per year.
But when it comes to marketing jobs in general, it’s not the highest-paid job. The highest-paid jobs in marketing are:
- Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – Average annual salary in the US is $187K
- Vice President of Marketing – Average annual salary in the US is $155K
To become a CMO or Vice president of marketing you definitely need to have a marketing-related degree, years of experience in managerial positions, and the ability to design effective online marketing strategies.
Becoming a digital marketing manager is a good starting point to eventually get to the top of the ladder.
Salary of other digital marketing professionals
The salary of other marketing professionals working in the digital marketing industry is:
- SEO Specialist – $64K per year
- Content Marketing Specialist – $84K per year
- Social Media Manager – $65K per year
- PPC Specialist – $60K per year
- Graphic Designer – $52K per year
- Affiliate Marketing Manager – $71K per year
Pursuing a digital marketing career is a great choice. There is a rise in demand for all kinds of digital marketing related jobs and this is expected to continue for years to come. The world economy is moving online and companies will have a greater need for digital marketing professionals.
As you have seen, not all digital marketing positions are equal. Marketers who have a wide range of skills get paid more than ‘one-area’ specialists.
When you start as a junior digital marketer, your average salary will be around $40K per year and as you climb up the ladder, you can reach the maximum which is around $90K per year.
If you want to get to a 6-figure salary then you need to exit the digital marketing space and pursue a managerial position. This will give you the opportunity to eventually become a Chief Marketing Officer or Marketing Manager.
As a digital marketing professional, you also have other choices that can potentially earn you a higher salary. You can become a freelancer or start a digital marketing agency and run your own online business.
Don’t forget that the most important factor that can influence your salary or income (when running your own business), is the ability to deliver results.
Digital marketing is about making money and if you can do that for your employer or client, then everything else (qualifications, experience, etc) is secondary.