The question, how much does a digital marketer earn, is very ambiguous given how wide of a spectrum the digital marketing industry is, some field being worlds apart. For instance, a web designer and a copywriter are all working within this industry, but their job description and skill sets might as well be as different as day from night.

However, if we did take some factors constant, such as looking at two professionals within the same field. There are still a lot of variables coming into play including their experiences, geography, and track record among other things, which makes giving a blanket answer impossible.

Be that as it may, we are going to work with the averages from authoritative agencies like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), PayScale, and Glassdoors among others. But before we jump into how much what professionals earn in the digital marketing industry, I would like to draw your attention to a report by Hafiz Muhammad Ali showcasing the market share of each job field within the industry across 26 states in the country.

The Digital Marketing Recruiter - How Much do You Make in Digital Marketing?Admittedly, the data does represent the holistic digital marketing space across the country, but it is a fair representation of the state of affairs. Especially, given most of the economically vibrant states have been captured.

As you can see in the chart above Search Engine Optimization (SEO), takes the lion’s share of jobs within the digital marketing industry. That underscores the fact that the search engines, particularly Google, are the first point of contact for most users looking for information online. According to Statcounter, Google takes 88.25% of all search engine searches, followed by Bing at a great distance with just 6.33% of the searches.The Digital Marketing Recruiter - The Digital Marketing Recruiter - How Much do You Make in Digital Marketing? Google

How Much Do SEO Specialists Earn?

According to Glassdoor, an SEO specialist takes home an average base pay of $46,400 per year. They go further to include related SEO jobs such as:

  • SEO Analysts                                      $56K
  • Search Engine Marketers take home  $39K
  • SEO Consultant                                  $25K
  • SEO Manager                                     $19K
  • Search Engine Optimization               $14K

On the other hand, PayScale put the average pay for SEO specialists at $45,361 annually. They go further to display the job satisfaction level for the professionals, at 3.6 out of 5. Professionals who are more experienced make more than newbies in the industry.

The Digital Marketing Recruiter - How Much Do SEO Specialists Earn?

How Much Does Content Marketing Specialist Make?

These are the digital marketers who oversee a business’s content strategies and implementation in the form of web pages, audio, video, and print among others. A Content Marketing Manager oversees the creation of the content by writers, graphic designers, videographers, and other staff. They also must keep tabs on the latest trends and technologies within the industry.

One critical trait for success it strong writing skills, diligent editing, and excellent communication skills. Analytical skills are also required in order to make informed decisions and evaluate the progress of implementation. That said, let us look at how much they earn.

According to Payscale, the average annual salary for Content Marketing Managers is $66,106. They also seem to have higher job satisfaction than SEO specialists, with a 3.8 out of 5 satisfaction levels. Interestingly, this field has more female professionals (75.7%) than male (24.2%). The following are some of the popular skills and their average annual salaries:

  • Strategic Marketing                $71K
  • Marketing Communications   $68K
  • Content Management            $66K
  • Copywriting                            $64K
  • Social Media Marketing         $60K

The industry also rewards more to Content Marketers with a lot of experience in the business. The following is a distribution of pay to the specialist based on their levels of experience in the industry. Take note, the figures include tips, bonuses, and any overtime payment.

The Digital Marketing Recruiter - How Much Does Content Marketing Specialist Make?

Content Managers in different cities across the United States earn differently, with those in San Francisco earning 32% higher than the national average. Those in Boston 12% higher, Seattle 10%, New York 3%, and Austin 2%. However, those working in Los Angeles earn 4% lower than the national average and those in Chicago 1% lower.

How Much Do Social Media Marketers Earn?

According to Statcounter, the following is the popularity of the various social media platforms from the period between October 2018 to October 2019 in the US.

The Digital Marketing Recruiter - How Much Do Social Media Marketers Earn?

Looking at the stats, it is clear that the majority of Americans are on Facebook (51.7%), followed by Pinterest (23%), and Twitter (15.3%). Take note that these are the national average, which is not necessarily true with all the demographics. For instance, you may find that young women are more inclined towards Instagram, professionals seeking to climb the corporate ladder more into LinkedIn and so forth.

Nonetheless, let us delve into how much Social Media Marketers earn across America. Payscale puts the average annual salary for Social Media Managers at $50,134 for running the social media affairs of a business and communicating with its customers and vendors over the said platforms. Not forgetting, also managing the pages, profiles, and postings among others.

These professionals have a job satisfaction level of 3.8 out of 5. Payscale further breaks down their pay based on their skills as follows:

  • Marketing Communications   $51K
  • Social Media Optimization     $51K
  • Social Media Marketing         $50K
  • Content Management            $49K
  • Copywriting                            $48K

Social Media Specialists who have been in the business for a number of years make more than those just starting out in this career. Unlike the previous fields mentioned above, with social media, those who have been in it the longest – more than 20 years – seem to have a decline in pay compared to those with experience ranging between 7-16 years.

The Digital Marketing Recruiter - How Much Do Social Media Marketers Earn?

The salaries also differ across the cities in America, with those working in San Francisco taking home 50% higher than the national average. Those in New York making 19% more, Seattle 17%, Washington 13%, Atlanta 10%, L.A 9%, and Chicago 3%.

How Much Do PPC Specialists Make?

Some of the roles of a PPC specialist overlap those of an SEO specialist. For instance, both job descriptions entail using the right keywords to direct web traffic from search engines to the business’ website. At the same time, these choice keywords should propel a business’s website to the top of search engine result pages (SERPs).

However, the main goal of a PPC specialist is to get customers to click through to the company’s website. Success is defined by how many click-throughs the website will get, be it from SERPs or even social media postings. As to how much they make, Payscale puts the national average for PPC specialists across America at $50,783 with job satisfaction levels of 3.9 out of a possible 5.

The following is how the other related skills compare to PPC specialist pay:

  • PPC Analysis                     $52K
  • Search Engine Marketing  $51K
  • Google Ad Words              $50K
  • SEO                                   $49K
  • Google Analytics               $49K

As with any type of knowledge-based undertaking, experience is highly rewarded, and the PPC field of digital marketing is no different. PPC specialists with over 15 years’ worth of experience occupy senior positions across digital marketing agencies and take home a higher salary.

The Digital Marketing Recruiter - How Much do PPC Specialists Make?

As far as pay across different cities in America is concerned, Seattle pays PPC specialists well; at 35% above the national average. Followed by Chicago (9%) and Portland (8%). Interestingly, PPC specialist in New York are paid the least at 24% below the national average, followed by Denver (20%), and Dallas (7%).

How Much Do Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Specialists Earn?

Glassdoor’s data shows the average annual salary for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) specialists is $60,665 in the US. They are tasked with optimizing lead generation and conversion strategy for the business. The service has proved to be particularly important with emerging digital and SaaS products.

Their job description includes managing critical conversion points within the marketing funnel, optimize landing pages, create lead-generation forms, and create calls-to-action (CTA) within the website. This is one field that has a few experts, given the scientific nature of the work based on empirical data, and there are a lot of pseudo-experts out there who think they are experts simply because they can do an A/B test.

Yes, there are freelance CRO specialists that get paid as much as $140,000 annually, but to get there you will have to do a number of free work. Just so you can get your hands-on data and start experimenting on what works, and what doesn’t. If you prove yourself consistently on a number of occasions, then you can demand upfront payment and clients will readily pay.

How Much Do Digital Marketing Analytics Experts Get Paid?

Businesses have found it necessary to blend both web analytics and digital analytics to get measurable outcomes that help them make informed decisions. According to, these professionals earn an average of $56,167 per year.

Typically, their salary falls between $48,574 and $63,897. The differentiating factors in their salaries depend on the level of education and certifications, experience, and additional skills acquired within the profession.

How Much Do Mobile Marketing Specialists Earn?

Glassdoor places the average annual salary for Mobile Marketing Managers at $82,011. This is one field of marketing with a daily growing demand due to the fact people are increasingly finding new ways to replace their desktop computers with a hand-held mobile device. Already, Google data shows mobile searches have exceeded search on desktop computers.

Mobile marketing also provides brands immediate access to consumers, who are always with their mobile. People literally take their mobile phones everywhere they go and in most cases, it is the first thing they look at in the morning and last thing at night.

Wrapping Up…

Digital marketing as a career looks promising not just in America but across the world. Statista puts the number of people around the world who regularly use the internet at 4.48 billion. That is about 58% of the world’s population. North America and Europe have a higher internet penetration with 95% of the population using the internet.

One might argue that the market is getting saturated in North America or Europe, but that would be incorrect given the nature of technology. It keeps changing and so rapidly creating new platforms, which completely disrupts how business was done previously.

That presents unique challenges especially to businesses, as it means the market can quickly adopt the new changes in technology. Rendering the not just the prevailing marketing strategies, but also disrupting the entire business environment. What worked now, may not work tomorrow, and the marketing team like their other counterparts across the various departments in the organization will have to adjust accordingly.

As far as pay is concerned, experience is highly rewarded in this industry. Professionals who have been in the trade much longer with demonstrated results do get more jobs with higher pay. Professionals just starting out – often referred to as newbies – must first prove themselves and that often means doing a job for free or at lower pay.

However, as the newbies prove themselves, they begin to command more authority and respect within the industry. The more projects they take on and deliver impressive results, the higher the pay they can request for their next job; that is in the instance a professional decided to go at it as an entrepreneur. If on the other hand they are employed, they can then get promotions, with better pay or bonuses.

It also helps if you are multi-skilled. For instance, your core competency might be in SEO, but if you can also write up a good copy written content, you can extra pay for both jobs, Especially if the two jobs are closely related, like in the example we have just used.

Once you have established a reputation for yourself as a digital marketer. You can then explore opportunities across different states and cities. As we have seen above, a city like San Francisco does offer better pay for the same job when compared to other cities in other states. In general, digital marketing is a promising career.

Article provided by, The Digital Marketing Recruiter – a recruiting firm focused exclusively on filling digital marketing positions throughout the USA

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