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How Much Should Digital Marketing Cost?

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How Much Should Digital Marketing Cost?
Featured blog by Paulo Rodriguez, digital marketing manager at Beyond Fifteen Communications, Inc.

How much should digital marketing cost? The answer is simply: it depends. Several factors including the brand’s industry, desired platforms, target market, conversion goal and whether your ad copy and creative are compelling enough to capture your audience’s attention all impact how far your dollar goes. Furthermore, each platform has different minimum daily budgets that can set a baseline for what you can expect to spend, and a deeper dive into your campaign objectives can help identify the platforms which would be ideal for your brand.

Considerations for digital advertising
Digital advertising requires an investment – both in time and money – and therefore, it is important to make sure you have the resources available to be successful. Before you dive in, consider these questions:

  1. Do you have the means to create enough quality content to make appealing ads?
  2. Can you commit to a couple months to allow the ads to reach optimal performance?
  3. Do you have someone who can continually monitor and optimize the ads?

Engaging with an agency that specializes in digital advertising can help you create quality content and ensure you are maximizing your spend. However, not all agencies are the same. One critical question to ask before working with an external partner is whether they mark-up social ad spend? Some agencies mark-up by as much as 15 to 20 percent and justify it by calling it a management fee. The more you spend, the more the agency stands to profit, and this has a significant impact on how far your budget can go.

Once you know the answer to this question, you can then evaluate the best platform to get the most out of your ad spend.

Facebook/Instagram
Awareness campaigns can run on as little as a dollar a day, but you’ll need to spend more to break through the noise on these popular platforms. Engagement campaigns with goals such as follower acquisition, views and post engagement could cost around five dollars a day. App download campaigns where you want the target to follow through on installing an app will likely run more like $40 a day. Finally, conversion campaigns start between $10 to $20 a day. However, before launching a conversion campaign, it is important to ensure your website and backend is set up to manage these leads. We recommend starting when your website already has at least one conversion per day or 30 conversions in a single month. While that’s the minimum standard, the more conversion data your website is tracking before you launch a single dedicated conversion ad, the better your campaign will perform.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the most expensive platform to advertise on starting at a minimum of $10 per day. While it’s known as the best channel for B2B marketing and advertising, choosing this platform is not just about cost alone, you must be able to confirm that your audience is active on LinkedIn before diving in. Most people check their LinkedIn a few times per month, which is why it’s so expensive to advertise on and why it might take some time before some brands see their desired return on ad spend (ROAS). Those who find success have one thing in common, they do their research and know they can reach their audience on LinkedIn before they spend.

Twitter
Twitter does not indicate a minimum daily ad spend, but experience has shown that brands need to spend at least five dollars a day or promoted tweets might not get very far. That’s because Twitter Ads are notoriously fast spenders, but since many digital advertisers choose not to advertise on the platform the cost of reaching huge audiences and getting them to click can sit at pennies on the dollar. While Twitter is an underleveraged and relatively affordable platform, it’s still not for everyone. Similar to LinkedIn, deciding on whether or not Twitter Ads are right for you depends on your business and whether you can reach your target audience on Twitter effectively.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Since SEM is generally a pay-per-click (PPC) model, your campaign’s cost per click can be as low as fractions of a cent on average to hundreds of dollars per click depending on the competition and search volume for any given keyword. A number of other factors come into play in determining the actual cost of search ads including your ad’s quality score, rank, bidding, targeting and again your industry and objective.

Pro tip: Avoid automated bidding unless you know what you’re doing, those of us who do, generally stick to manual cost-per-click bidding to keep costs in control. This is another reason having a dedicated partner that can monitor and optimize daily is extremely beneficial.

While there are no minimum daily ad budgets, a minimum of $20 per day per campaign objective should give your search campaign a fighting chance. If you’re feeling particularly confident after a couple of weeks and your ad spend is in the hands of a trusted PPC advertiser with a proven track record, you might even want to jump up to $100-$200 per day to gather conversion data as quickly as possible.

Price check
There are many strategies and platforms for digital marketing, so it’s difficult to give a starting cost. The best way to figure out how much digital marketing would cost your brand is to work with a trusted partner that can help you identify platforms for your target audience and develop a customized plan based on your marketing goals.  

To learn more about how to optimize your digital spend, check out our blog “Getting More Digital Advertising Bang for Your Buck”!