Is SMMA Saturated in 2024? | 6 Strategies To Succeed in an Oversaturated Market

March 23, 2024

No, SMMA isn't saturated in 2024 because of the growing need for businesses to tap into the power of social media marketing. According to Sprout Social's 2023 State of Social Media, there is an expected increase in the social media budget among 80% of business leaders in the next 3 years. That 80% of business leaders are looking to increase their spending on social media shows that they recognize its importance in their marketing strategies. Thus, a demand is opening up more opportunities for social media marketing agency owners.

However, even if SMMA isn't oversaturated, many challenges for newcomers. You need a sound marketing strategy to succeed and learn how to turn potential clients into paying ones, stand out against more established SMMA, and keep up with changing social trends. To overcome these challenges, SMMA owners must constantly work to discover trends in the right niche, develop quality content, acquire clients, and keep track of new trends. For Tai Lopez, creator of SMMA 3.0, the most important thing for SMMA owners is to know more than the person hiring them.

This article will uncover the challenges of SMMA over-saturation in 2024, plus the 6 strategies you need to succeed in an oversaturated market. We'll also discuss if SMMA is profitable in 2024 and if SMMA is worth it. At the end of the article, you'll learn about an alternative business model called local lead generation that has way less saturation than SMMA. 

Is SMMA Saturated in 2024?

No, SMMA isn't saturated in 2024 because while there is a low barrier to entry, allowing more people to build SMMA, it's a challenging business model, with about 95%-99% of people failing the business. It means that not everyone who puts up an SMMA becomes successful, opening up opportunities for beginners to offer their services to companies. According to Jason Wojo, founder and CEO of Wojo Media, "close to 95% of agency owners will fail usually within the first 12 months."

Meanwhile, Iman Gadzhi of IAG Media, an online advertising agency, there will be more SMMA agency owners joining the industry. But the problem is the lack of quality SMMA service. Montell Gordon, founder of the 6 Figure Name system, says SMMA is far from getting oversaturated because services are constantly needed. Gordon believes that there will be needs as long as there are humans. And needs lead to creating products and services that SMMA could help market.

So, while the SMMA landscape appears crowded, businesses need social media marketing and there's always room for those who strive for excellence in this industry.

5 Factors That Contribute To Increasing Saturation in SMMA

  • Too many online gurus and SMMA courses. More people are teaching SMMA courses today than 5 years ago. Many individuals are now offering SMMA courses, claiming to teach the "secrets of success" in social media marketing. These courses often promise to turn beginners into successful SMMA professionals. Among the more popular SMMA courses and gurus include Charlie Morgan, creator of Imperium Agency; Montell Gordon, founder of Agency Transmutation; Iman Gadzhi of Agency Incubator; and Tai Lopez, creator of SMMA 2.0 and SMMA 3.0. Udemy also offers the Social Media Marketing Agency: Digital Marketing + Business by Pouya Eti and Bryan Guerra's How to Start a Successful Social Media Marketing Agency 2.0.
  • Lower barrier to entry. SMMA has a lower barrier to entry compared to other business models that would require upfront costs. Setting up and managing social media paid ad campaigns is less complex and technical if you are already into digital marketing. This low barrier to entry results in more individuals being drawn to SMMA as their gateway to the digital marketing industry.
  • Tech-savvy business owners. Many businesses have also realized the importance of their online presence. Sprout Social's 2023 State of Social Media shows that 94% of business leaders see that social data and insights are important to building brand reputation and loyalty. This belief can lead business owners to handle their social media accounts and campaigns in-house, reducing the need for SMMA services. 
  • More businesses using social media crowd the marketplace. Statista's January 2023 data shows that 91.9% of marketers in US companies were seen to maximize social media marketing for business. This is higher compared to 2013's 86.2%, leading to a more competitive environment in the previous years. Thus, with a more crowded marketplace, even if your social media marketing agency secures a client, making a brand stand out or go viral can be challenging.
  • Increasing content quality. Besides the increased competition, content quality has improved over the years. Keyword stuffing is out, and optimized content through research is in. Hubspot's article on "The Evolution of Content Marketing: How It's Changed and Where It's Going in the Next Decade" mentioned Google's Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) study in 2011, a research that highlighted the need for Search Engine Optimization. Video content is expected to continue to lead in content marketing, while marketers should craft purposeful and customer-first content to be successful. These new standards in content require SMMA owners to up their game if they want to attract clients or keep the old ones.

4 Impacts of Saturation for SMMA Owners

  • Price pressure and reduced profit margins. Among the most immediate consequences of market saturation for SMMA owners is the need to lower prices. With more agencies flooding the market, clients have more options, forcing some SMMA owners, especially beginners, to offer lower prices. According to Expert Market, the standard price for social media management is $750 per month, while hiring freelancers may cost $35 to $350 an hour. However, new SMMA owners offer cheaper rates, such as this Redditor, who has three-tiered packages at $350 to $850 monthly.
  • Difficulty in acquiring new clients. With so many SMMA owners, businesses get many similar pitches. If you’re a beginner, you might find it harder to acquire new clients because there are more well-established agencies. You need to be creative in your client acquisition strategies to stand out. 
  • Challenges in retaining clients. In the long run, tough competition presents a real challenge in client retention. With so many agencies to choose from, your clients are at risk of being offered similar services. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report shows that when your customers trust your brand, 62% are “likely to stay loyal.” So, to keep clients, SMMA owners should constantly build and improve client relationships and satisfaction.
  • Need for constant innovation. Constant innovation in the competitive market is a requirement for SMMA owners. Joel Kaplan, CEO of, shares that to land high-paying clients in a saturated market, improving your ability to close deals is as important as delivering better services. To succeed in the SMMA business, you must proactively identify and analyze emerging trends in social media marketing. 

6 Strategies To Succeed in an Oversaturated SMMA Market

1. Set clear goals.

Whether increasing brand awareness or boosting conversions, you need specific and measurable goals to provide high-quality services as an SMMA business owner. Oversaturation requires you to adopt strategies to set you apart from the competition. Thus, setting clear goals that align with your client's objectives must be prioritized in any campaign. The University of Massachusetts shared an article on measuring organizational performance that quoted leadership consultant Michelle Abraham. She believes "goals can give you and your work a sense of purpose and a reason for doing what you are doing." Goals help you make accountability and budget guidance for campaigns. These goals are more attainable with selected social media KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

2. Focus on a niche.

Finding the right niche is one of the most effective strategies to overcome market oversaturation. A niche, according to Hubspot, "is a focused set of people or businesses who want to purchase a specific offering." Choosing the right niche allows you to narrow your focus and take a more tailored approach when providing your service to a client, giving you a certain level of expertise. Many newcomers in the field do not recognize the importance of specialization. Their major error is sending generic messages to businesses across various industries. Even in seemingly saturated industries, businesses value genuine experts. In addition, Hinge Marketing's High Growth Study 2021 shows that firms that recorded at least 20% growth yearly are more likely to choose niche marketing than their competitors. Covering too many niches can be counterproductive, as it dilutes your expertise and makes content creation for your target audience more challenging.

3. Offer additional services and promotions.

Your SMMA gains a competitive edge in an oversaturated market by providing value-added social media marketing services. This strategy helps distinguish your SMMA from agencies offering similar services. A 2012 study by Marife Mendez at the Nova Southeastern University H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship shows that monetary promotion "served as reinforcement to build brand loyalty." As an SMMA owner, you can offer additional services, such as writing blog posts or research and analysis, which can help foster loyalty. It also contributes to marketing by word of mouth, leading to more referrals.

4. Maximize short video content.

Video length must always be considered in your social media strategy as a game-changer in beating oversaturation and fostering SMMA business growth. Short-form videos help create brand awareness and customer engagement. The latest trends dictate that 93% of companies have acquired new customers through social media videos and that 58% of viewers will watch the video in less than 60 seconds. Sprout Social data below shows that short-form videos are the most engaging among social content. It adds, "Consumers consider short-form videos 2.5 times more engaging than long-form videos."

5. Be consistent with your outputs.

Consistent, high-quality output cements a client's loyalty to your SMMA despite. Despite market saturation, once you’ve built a solid reputation of customer satisfaction, attracting potential clients becomes easier. When the client's consumers patronize their brand because of your effective social media engagement, they will also be more willing to invest in a broader variety of social media strategies. The brands are regarded as having excellent social media strategies, not only putting out valuable content for their audience but also using user-generated content to promote their product. Great content must also be accompanied by great timing and frequency. The median weekly brand posts on Instagram is 4.6, but data from Statista reveals that this varies per industry, as shown below. Based on the figures, the sports team has the highest average weekly posts, with 15.6, while the lowest is alcohol, with 2.9 posts.

6. Monitor your online campaigns.

To successfully overcome market oversaturation, SMMA requires close monitoring of your online campaigns. Maintaining trends and understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) will inform future social media strategies and keep you relevant in the market. Data is crucial in optimizing your campaign, allocating a budget for ad spend, and choosing which social media platforms are more effective for specific brands. Social media platforms, such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, already offer businesses a way to monitor their engagement statistics and ad spending. However, external tools are also available to digital marketers for social media monitoring. It includes Google Trends, AdsReport, Hootsuite, and Nexalogy, which collect and streamline information and dive deep into social listening.

What are the Challenges of SMMA Oversaturation in 2024?

Increased competition, price pressure, and client retention are the challenges of SMMA oversaturation in 2024. Starting an SMMA can be hard because it requires constant learning about the business model. At the initial stage, you must determine what works and what does not. Dorrian Casey from Navarre, Florida, founder of Staq Agency, a digital marketing agency, said the learning phase would be the hardest part of starting an SMMA.

While SMMA is not yet oversaturated in 2024, the number of social media managers most likely to own or start SMMAs is growing. According to Zippia’s data, the number of employed marketing/social media managers in the United States is over 61,443, while there are over 52,542 currently employed social media specialists.

This significant number of potential competitors increases the competition for newcomers intending to start an SMMA. As more agencies enter the market, you might find it difficult to secure high-value contracts. Some agency owners even offered free trials to prospective clients, who would refer them to other businesses. Matt Shields, an agency owner of 6 SMMAs, shared that in his first SMMA, they offered free trials and services before scaling the business. Also, client retention can be challenging since there are many agencies to choose from. So, dissatisfied clients can easily switch and look for another agency when an agency performs poorly. 

What are the Best SMMA Niches To Overcome Market Saturation in 2024?

Health and wellness, eco-friendly and sustainable brands, and e-learning are the best SMMA niches to overcome market saturation in 2023. To give you an idea of the best niches, you can check the data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the fastest growing and declining industries in the US. This infographic from Visual Capitalist shows that health care will require 850,000 more workers by 2031, making it one of the top niches in many business models. Here are some of the best SMMA niches in 2024

  • Health and wellness. In 2021, Research and Markets reported that the value of the global wellness market reached $3.31 billion in 2020. This market is still thriving. McKinsey & Company's 2022 survey among 2,000 consumers in the United States shows that 50% consider wellness a top priority. To pick a more specific SMMA niche under health and wellness, consider cosmetic dentistry, hair transplant clinics, fitness classes, or mindfulness studios.
  • Eco-friendly and sustainable brands. Industries that promote eco-friendly solutions stand out as more people cultivate the value of becoming socially aware and environmentally friendly. Business News Daily recently reported that, in the past five years, there's been a 71% increase in global online searches for sustainable goods. You can pick a sub-niche, like eco-friendly home and cleaning products, sustainable gardening and landscaping, or waste reduction services.
  • E-learning. Online education is a profitable niche. Global Market Insights data shows that the e-learning market's value was $399.3 billion in 2022. This market's compound annual growth rate is projected to reach 14% from 2023 to 2032. Top niches in the e-learning market include fitness, parenting, cooking, and personal finance. 

Jordan Platten, founder and managing director of the digital marketing agency Affluent, said you can be successful in any niche in any industry. However, you must select a niche you are interested in and know the ideal client criteria for SMMAs. Jordan added that mastering a service for a specific niche can help you make irresistible offers to clients as you present yourself as an expert in that business. 

Is a Social Media Marketing Agency Profitable in 2024?

Yes, a social media marketing agency is profitable in 2024 because of its low overhead cost and the growing demand for social media experts. Agency Analytics shows that SMMA fees range from $1,500 to $25,000 monthly. Some Redditors who have owned SMMAs for 2 to 4 years have already shared that profits would run from $15 to $80K monthly.

Statista’s latest data shows that social media is a leading market channel. Published on October 6, 2023, the report said its 2022 survey among B2C and B2B marketers in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom revealed that social media was used by 44% of respondents for digital marketing. Meanwhile, websites and blogs got 36%, and email marketing got 35%. 

Social media marketing agency owners can also use paid ads, Google ads, or Facebook ads to help their clients reach the target audience at scale. Similar to traditional ads, online ads can boost your revenue. According to TechJury, paid ads could bring 200% ROI. Note that as agency owners, your clients pay for the ad spend. Montell Gordon also shared that you should separate your service price and ad spending and that your prospective clients understand that setup. 

Is SMMA Worth It in 2024?

Yes, SMMA can be worth it in 2024 if you can consistently work because more businesses use social media to increase brand awareness and achieve revenue targets. A Forbes article on the Top Social Media Statistics and Trends in 2023 shows that the value of the social media advertising market would reach $207 billion this year, showing the extent of opportunities for both companies and SMMA owners. Also, research by Winterberry Group shows that there is potential income for SMMA owners since advertisers will spend an estimated $509.2 billion in 2023, with over 60% of the total spend (or $307.3 billion) to occur via online channels. 

Again, these income potentials won’t matter if you don’t work hard as an SMMA owner. Success in digital marketing, specifically social media marketing, requires you to, among others, define your goals, pick the right social media platform, and know your audience. 


Is a Social Media Marketing Agency a Legit Business?

Yes, a social media marketing agency is a legit business because, nowadays, brands are built with the help of social media. Data from Statista reveals that, as of October 2023, there are 4.95 billion social media users worldwide. A report from Forbes adds that 90% of these users follow at least one brand on social media, meaning there is a massive opportunity for direct customer engagement. With global ad spending reaching approximately $270 billion in 2023, the financial investment in social media marketing is undeniable. These numbers cement that running an SMMA is legitimate and smart in this business environment.

Is SMMA Dead?

No, SMMA isn't dead and social media marketing is now more profitable than ever for marketers, especially with the rise of more social media platforms and the innovation of existing ones in recent years. Facebook, one of the older social platforms, had an ad revenue of $135.94 billion in 2022, and a year later, it rose by 13.1% to $153.76 billion. TikTok, a newer social platform, boasts $2.5 billion in consumer spending globally because of its roll-out of multiple shopping features. These numbers prove that social media marketing is very much alive and is a thriving business.

What is the Future of SMMA?

Personalization using AI tools is the future of SMMA. According to Allied Market Research, the application of artificial intelligence in social media is increasing. The value of AI in the social media industry is expected to grow from $992.7 million in 2021 to $12 billion in 2031. 

The SMMA is in demand because it allows businesses to reach their target audience and promote their brand or services. Marketers use social media to advertise their products and services effectively and obtain necessary real-time information, addressing the target market's challenges. 

According to Statista, most companies regard social media as one of the most effective channels to maximize digital marketing. This is shown in various trends, including the rising number of social network users and the amount businesses spend on social media. Statista’s data shows that in 2022, there are 4.59 billion social media users worldwide. This number is also expected to grow to 6 billion in 2027. 

Likewise, Allied Market Research is seeing the potential contribution of the availability of machine learning programs. It provides companies with data-driven analysis that helps in effective content personalization. 

How To Start an SMMA?

To start an SMMA, you need to prospect for your first clients. Jordan Platten recommends starting locally when finding digital marketing clients. Local businesses are the best options when starting because, Jordan says, both of you have a common ground being in the same area, making trust much easier to earn. It could be any local brand that could benefit from advertising, such as city gyms or street diners. Dorrian Casey employs the same strategy in finding clients by cold calling local businesses. Getting a couple of local brands to trust you leads to more referrals and more clients.

Local Lead Generation Has Way Less Market Saturation in 2024 Than SMMA

Local lead generation has way less market saturation in 2024 than SMMA because of its high barrier to entry, and you get to build a high skill set that not everyone can do, narrowing down your competition. Meanwhile, SMMA has a low barrier to entry, and anyone could jump in and offer the same set of services you have with better rates. 

Local lead generation is a business that'll sustain you long-term because you own the assets. SMMA agencies may offer services to businesses like ranking THEIR websites on Google or running AdWords. Once companies figure out how to use paid ads, they could fire you anytime, and you'll find yourself back to square one. With local lead generation, it is YOU who own the websites, and you just rent them out to companies. You have full control over the business because that's your digital assets they're using.

You get the ultimate leverage in local lead generation compared to the SMMA business model. Clients in local lead generation stay longer. For example, I've tried running ads for clients and helping them rank their sites, but I realized that there's a high chance companies won't stick around in the long term. AdWord clients usually stay with you for 4-6 months. Whereas, if you own the digital property, clients cannot fire you because the leads and the website they're renting that's already ranked on Google can be sent to their competitors. If you want to build a higher skill set and discover a long-term strategy you could use to dominate a competitive market, learn about the local lead gen biz model

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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