Looking for a digital marketing pricing guide for 2023?
Marketing Budget Misconceptions:
We hope you find this digital marketing pricing guide helpful. When it comes to digital marketing there are A LOT of misconceptions when it comes to pricing and budget. Many start-ups and small businesses struggle with what they should budget for marketing and how that money should be spent. Business owners want security in what they are investing in. Most also know they have to take risks and be diverse in their approach. In order to reach your ideal niche you need the right strategies. Chances are you might not understand how to do all or most of digital marketing on your own. Every industry is different, however, this will be the guide for MOST small businesses to help them with their marketing budgets, strategies, and overall digital marketing benefit analysis.
When you’re starting a business or your sales are starting to get stagnant a proper digital marketing strategy start (or change) is essential. You never want to implement anything until you have a sound strategy. Whether it’s social media, search engine optimization, ad campaigns, or something else your efforts will be for nothing without a great plan of action. Before you start looking for agencies and vetting them write out a list of goals you want to achieve for your business. Be sure to include the time frames you want to achieve those goals. Make these milestones and timelines reasonable and stick to them.
Social Media: A Cost-Effective Start:
A cost-efficient way to start out your digital marketing journey is social media. Social media allows you to get in front of potentially thousands of people relatively quickly versus other methods. The reason is social platforms are very saturated. People go on social media to kill time, be entertained, and often solve problems. You can use these highly trafficked sites to your advantage by posting weekly or daily if you can. Nowadays most social media platforms give you a variety of types of content to draw attention from its users. You can post photos, videos, reels, and stories, and on some social sites, you also have groups that are specifically tailored to almost any topic. You can post daily for free. The catch is unless your content is interesting and compelling it is hard to get people to respond to it when you factor in the millions of posts each hour that are posted. That is why many people also use ad campaigns on social media.
Ads on social media are “sponsored posts” that employ targeting (keywords) that allow you to reach people on the platform based on their location, interests, and various other factors. Social media ads allow you to reach people on social media that are taking an active interest in the kinds of products and services you are offering. While organic (non-paid ads) should be done as often as possible, a mix of that with paid ads is recommended. Ad spend can vary based on your niche and goals. Ads on social media tend to be less expensive than search ads, especially on Google.
If you’re going for a mostly social media approach to marketing then your typical budget would be in the ballpark of $1.5k to $2.5k per month. You could fit both organic and paid ads in this range but your ad spends would be limited. If you cannot make posts yourself then a good portion of that budget will go to an agency doing the work for you. Social media marketing agency fees can vary, especially if you want them to film the content for you, not just edit and distribute it online. Their experience and skill level also means the kind of posts they create for you will be significantly higher than what you could make on your own unless you went through a lot of training over the course of years. If you decide to learn how to do your own social media posting and management you might be able to reduce your budget to under $1.5k a month. If you do this, keep in mind there will be a learning curve and progress may be harder to track. If you decide to go this route we recommend hiring a consultant to help you with the process. This will still cost money but is typically more affordable than hiring a team. A consultant will teach you how to make content and manage your social media profiles but it’s up to you to do the work.
Many people don’t know that social media also requires regular optimization and management. Each social site has an array of sections in the settings and the profile. All of these settings, including the “additional settings” that most of us forget provide valuable information to the platform that it’s on. These descriptions, keywords, and settings provide social sites the info it needs to help rank you among your competitors. Also, social sites require responses to comments and messages. After all, a DM could be an interested prospect ready to talk to you and possibly buy your services. The longer you wait to respond to a comment or an inbox message the more likely you will lose their attention. This is another reason why working with an agency can be a valuable time saver. Your marketing agency can answer some if not all of these messages for you. If you want a marketing agency to regularly answer messages and keep your profiles optimized this might put you in the $2.5k to $4k range, especially if you’re also doing ad spending. Some companies will include ad spend in their monthly plans and others will charge it separately.
Never Underestimate The Power of Search Engines!:
Social media is a very effective way to reach potential customers but do not neglect search engines. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo offer the ability to run ads and do search engine optimization. Search engine optimization (or SEO) involves making a website more visible and easier to find on search engines. There is both on-page and off-page SEO. On-page SEO involves website changes, blogging, and overall making the website experience more pleasant to prospects while making it comply better with search engine algorithms. Off-page SEO involves backlinks and connections from other sites back to yours. When other sites link to yours it especially tells Google your website is relevant. Think of it as a big popularity contest. Social media allows you to get in front of people regularly but it’s not always the place people go to make direct purchase decisions. It can be more of a reminder for them, whereas search engines are commonly used to ask questions and make purchase decisions. That is why it can be very important to use both social media and search engines to your advantage. Incorporating both social media and search into your marketing plan can set you in the $4k to $6k range depending on your ad spend. Ad spend can be tricky to determine on your own, especially on Google with its ever-changing rules and ever-growing competitive nature. Your marketing agency should be able to help you determine your ideal ad spend.
A $4k to $6k average marketing budget should be able to get you a variety of content, including video on multiple platforms. Ideally 2-4 platforms. You want to be as diverse as you can on social media to make the most impact. Regarding search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the most popular. We highly recommend having a presence at least on Google. Google ads are called PPC or “Pay Per Click.” These are ads that show up at the top of search results and encourage people to click on them to go to your site or landing page. Every time someone clicks on these ads it costs money regardless if prospects directly contact you or not. PPC ads when paired with search engine optimization help accelerate online ranking but there is no easy button to any of this. Google’s “crawlers” go through each site online which equals BILLIONS of different websites and landing pages. This can take weeks or months depending on how overloaded Google’s servers are at any given time. Paying a quality highly skilled agency will help you move the needle faster than someone who is less experienced to handle these potential setbacks.
Combining Social Media & Search:
When your marketing budget is in the $6k to $8k range you might be on 4+ social sites and you probably have a robust search marketing plan to go along with it. While this kind of budget range is not uncommon for more established companies, startups, and small businesses under 2-3 years typically should start out in the $1k to $3k a month range and ramp up as they draw in more consistent business. It’s important to slowly but surely up your marketing spending and your reach online. You never want to fall stagnant by staying in front of the same people for too long. You should always be trying to keep your current followers informed and entertained while drawing in a new audience, especially since typically a small fraction of your followers see your content on a regular basis. Social media algorithms usually show their users only around 5-10% of the profiles they follow.
There are companies that spend more than $8k a month in marketing. Companies at this threshold may also start to incorporate other types of marketing like radio or TV. TV ads usually start at $6k to $8k, so we only recommend them for large established companies. Remember when it comes to your advertising you get out of it what you put in. The more you invest the more likely it will lead to an outcome of success.
Marketing Is An Investment, Not An Expense:
Too often small businesses invest the bare minimum into their marketing and expect big results. Social platforms and search engines are saturated and your competition is growing. Make sure you assess risk and reward when it comes to your marketing plan and budget. Your marketing agency should be able to help you determine the best course of action for success. Also, keep in mind digital marketing is a 100% write-off. This means that all of your marketing expenses can count as a tax write-off for your business. You lose nothing!
COSMarketing Agency has worked with many small companies. We are interested in long-term measurable success for all our clients. It’s gratifying to people to take a small business from struggle to success! If you liked our digital marketing pricing guide, give us a call for a friendly FREE marketing assessment, contact us via call or text at 407-334-9378. In this meeting, we will go over your current online presence and give you a plan of action to help your company start seeing the kind of results you deserve. We look forward to serving you!