How Much Should You Budget for Online Advertising Costs?
Advertising & Display

How Much Should You Budget for Online Advertising Costs?

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The best thing about advertising in today’s era is the availability of various platforms. From Google ads to Instagram, Facebook ads, Twitter, etc., brand owners can use different platforms or a combination of great online advertising platforms to seek ad campaign success online. 

But running a successful ad campaign isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Adequate amounts of marketing efforts and knowledge are imperative, especially since there is no universal formula for an ad campaign’s success. 

While there are a few factors that influence whether an ad campaign will lead to favorable results, the online advertising cost has the greatest impact of all. Hence, the cost is one of the first considerations of everyone interested in starting to advertise online. 

How Much Does Online Advertising Cost?

One of the biggest reasons why online ad agencies use “it depends” when asked about advertising costs is that there is no straightforward answer. 

Online advertising costs vary significantly due to a variety of factors, including the services you use, the size of your ad campaigns, the channels you wish to advertise on, and so on.

However, an expert online advertising agency would be able to offer a general vision by comparing and analyzing what services you want from them. Hence, consider giving the experts an idea of what your expectations are, your needs, etc., to obtain the same. 

On average, SMBs (small-to-medium-sized businesses) tend to spend $1000 to $7500 per project or $2500 to $12,000 per month for an online ad

Types of Online Advertising and Their Costs

The best thing about online advertising is that your business gains an opportunity to control spending.

Similarly, you have the choice of experimenting with different online advertising channels and choosing one with the highest possible returns.  Listed below are a few options to choose from –

Pay-per-click (PPC or Google Advertising)

Besides the organic search engine results for specific keywords, a search engine like Google, Bing, etc., enables you to develop and run paid ads that appear above organic results. These paid Google ads cost for every click they receive, hence the name – Pay-Per-Click (PPC). 

PPC Google ads also work on the bidding system. This means the more you pay, the better your ad’s visibility compared to your competitors for the click. 

The average cost per click (CPC) of PPC online ads is $1 – $2 per click. SMBs end up paying $9,000 and $10,000 monthly for PPC services

Types of PPC search ads –


This type of PPC ad campaign depends upon texts, hence the name. Even though text ads are display ads under Google AdWords, the ranking depends upon the text with these PPC search ads.

As a small business owner, you might want to invest in writing highly relevant ads in the initial days as they aren’t as costly as display ads. 

shoe store ads from google ads
Google Ads

Google’s Display Network Ads

Google’s display network ads are banners, images, etc., that appear on websites. These types of PPC ads have links that point back to the dedicated landing pages built for the Google Ads platform.

They offer details about the services or products displayed on the banner ads. 

Pollfish display advertising
Pollfish display ad on CNN


Video ads typically appear before or during a video you are playing online. For instance, Youtube ads. These types of PPC ads are best for brand awareness campaigns.

video ad on youtube, online advertising cost
Google video ad on Youtube

Social media advertising

Almost every social media platform, including Facebook ads, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., has an online advertising model that functions similarly to Google Ads. 

The average advertising costs per click of each social media advertising platform is –

  • Twitter ad costs $0.38
  • Facebook ads cost $0.97
  • Instagram advertising costs $3.56, and so on. 

To obtain professional services, the social media advertising costs can be anywhere between $850 to $2750 for a month.

To advertise across multiple social media platforms, you may be required to pay from $450 to $6000 per month. The monthly ad spends can range from $200 to $50,000.

instagram ad, online advertising cost
Instagram ad

Email marketing

Even though email marketing is one of the oldest internet marketing forms, it still manages to deliver the best returns on investment

The cost of email marketing will depend upon what email platform you choose and who is creating the emails for you. In case you decide to write the emails on your own, you still will require using a platform. And based on how many subscribers you have, the cost can vary between $9 and $1000 per month.

But, if you choose to hire managed email marketing services, the cost can be from $300 to 1500 every month. 

Content marketing

Content marketing is a process of developing and promoting original content. The aim behind this type of advertising online is to inform readers and reach out to potential customers

While it is possible to create content in-house, working with a content marketing agency can save time, money, and produce better outcomes, thanks to the expertise experts bring to the table. 

As an SMB, content marketing services can cost you $2000 to $10,000 every month.  

Mobile marketing

As the name might suggest, mobile marketing is a process of promoting services and products using mobile devices, including mobile phones and tablets. 

Mobile marketing employs modern mobile technology, such as location services, to customize marketing campaigns. The target audience is grouped based on their behaviors instead of demographics in mobile marketing. 

On average, you can spend $5000+ on mobile marketing services. 


Search engine optimization is a process of improving both the quality and quantity of ad lead to a website. When done right, SEO can help in ranking your website higher on search engines for relevant terms. 

By optimizing your website, you improve its chances of attracting more interested visitors and potential customers, thereby boosting the ROI. 

Unless you have adequate knowledge of SEO, it is best to hire experienced experts to create and deploy successful online advertising campaigns. The cost of hiring an SEO agency is between $750 and $2,000 per month.

Factors That Can Affect Online Advertising Costs

When you know what impacts online advertising costs, you are in a better position to make sound choices as well as obtain the maximum value from the investment in it. 

Here are some factors that influence online advertising costs –

Available funds

The amount of money you have available directly impacts your advertising budget. 

Small businesses set aside a marketing budget of 2% to 5%, which may not seem very generous but is quite reasonable when broken down. 

So, if your annual sales are $300,000, you may spend $6,000 to $15,000 on advertising strategies. 

Cost of buying space or time 

Did you know the cost of buying time or space on the right media can impact your advertising costs? Hence, it is imperative to review the circulation figures as well as readership information provided by media owners to locate the station or publication that reaches the vast range of your target audience at the lowest cost possible. 

If you have already chosen an ad agency, request its representatives to rationalize their media suggestions, so you obtain the best value from your investment. 

Media savings

Media discounts can be used to avail huge discounts. For instance, placing Google ads at different times or in varying positions can help save money. You can compare peak time rates with others. Similarly, newspapers charge more for ads on front pages or premium positions. 

You can also book a series of Google ads instead of booking each ad individually to save a few bucks. This way, you become eligible to obtain a series of discounts. 

Alternative media

By choosing alternative lower-cost media, you can make your ad budget last a little longer. For instance, use social media or emails to communicate with your target audience

Such alternative media are not only effective but also help in saving a lot. 


Even your advertising tasks add up to the overall online advertising costs. For instance, if your competitors are spending heavily on online ads, you may want to increase your budget to protect your business and counter their influence in the market. 

Similarly, if you wish to introduce new products or are entering new sectors in the market, you may require spending more to ensure a successful launch. 

Benefits of Working With an Online Advertising Agency

The online ad is both complex and multi-faceted. Unless you are an expert, you are bound to face numerous challenges. 

By choosing to work with an expert in the field, you can experience various advantages, including –

More in-house expertise 

Online advertising agencies partner with or hire multiple individuals who have in-depth knowledge of various marketing techniques and mediums, including Facebook ads, google display network ads, etc.

This leads to the agency having significantly higher expertise than a single media representative or a business owner. Expert advertisers run campaigns internationally to help you expand your business reach.

It is quite rare to find media account managers or executives who fully comprehend the complexities of multiple advertising methodologies. Similarly, a business owner may never know as much as the professionals at an agency might know about creating a successful advertising campaign.

Helps with choosing reliable marketing techniques

Most online advertising agencies are not bound to specific marketing mediums or media stations. This gives them added liberty to make the best selection for their clients as per the client’s unique situation. 

Ad agencies have one goal, which is to help your business and revenue grow. When they help you choose reliable marketing techniques, they prevent you from unnecessary spending. They help you use the available resources mindfully and never exceed the budget. 

Offers advanced insights and measurable results

Online advertising agencies can examine your ongoing marketing strategy, detect and analyze defects within it and find ways to improve the online advertising strategy

Perhaps your Facebook ads were placed well, but they need more social media relevance. Or maybe your social media following list is increasing, but the search ads aren’t doing that great. 

As an untrained individual, figuring out such problems with Facebook ads or ongoing ad strategy can take time and effort. But an expert won’t have any issue detecting the problems with Facebook ads.

In fact, the experts can help set measurable goals through KPIs or key performance indicators, thereby making it easy to measure a marketing strategy’s success and failure, eventually offering added transparency and clarity. 

Help negotiate lower media rates

Online advertising agencies have the benefit of choosing from all the stations that market to their desired demographic. This means they can choose stations that provide them with the best deals. This often leads to increased competition among the stations, resulting in lowered advertising rates. 

While there are some exceptions, in most cases, this is the true scenario. This is one of the reasons why agencies pay fewer direct retail clients. 

In the online advertising world, things change a lot and that too quickly. Therefore, if you wish to stay abreast with the changing advertising trends, then having an expert at your disposal is imperative. Not only will the experts help you keep up with the trend, but they will help you adapt to them in no time, too. 

Online advertising agencies are driven by the idea of delivering their clients a competitive edge over others. Hence, their team of experts ensures to hone their skills regularly and get familiar with the latest trends in the market. 

Experts will ensure your advertising strategy is exactly how the world is looking for right now!

Offers fresh perspective and trusted counseling

Sometimes business owners need a fresh perspective on their advertising strategies from experts who aren’t working for them directly. In such cases, ad agencies prove a boon. 

Their experts not only give you fresh ideas but might also give an honest opinion. The experts at the agencies are paid for their passion and dedication toward the clients, meaning the advice they offer is never influenced by the desire to obtain a sale. But with the desire to deliver you nothing but the best services possible. 


While budgeting online advertising costs may seem like a complicated process, your in-depth understanding of the specifics of your business niche can make predicting the cost a lot easier. 

Also, irrespective of which online marketing you choose and what budget you zero on, ensure always to think strategically and keep the potential customers on priority. 


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