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Average marketing cost for a small business

Average marketing cost for a small business: What should be your marketing budget?

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The average marketing cost of a small business should be around 10% of your sales revenue. If the business is fairly new, you should use 10% of the projected income of your business.

So, based on an estimated annual income of 100K, you should allocate 10% of the revenue towards marketing, which amounts to 10k per year.

But how much of that 10% be split between the channels?

How much do you shell out for each marketing channel?

In the upcoming sections, I’ll be writing about the average marketing cost for a small business for each marketing channel. So, let’s dive straight in!

How much should be the Social media marketing budget for a small business?

If you are outsourcing the task of sharing content on social media platforms to an agency then it will cost you around $1500 to $2500.

If you’re thinking the pricing is a bit of a stretch, well social media marketing does require a lot of researching and curating to share posts that actually carry value.

While it’s possible to handle it on your own, it might be more beneficial to prioritize enhancing the quality of your products or services instead of spending hours writing posts.

Leave it to the experts!

Agencies that have knowledge about your industry and what you offer can offer valuable posts to your target market at a reasonable cost.

But Before you hire an agency, you should know a few things about them:

  • Do they specialize in your industry?
  • How much experience do they have in social media marketing?
  • What kind of services does the agency provide?
  • What is the agency’s social media marketing strategy?
  • Do they have a good track record with past clients?
  • What kind of results can they produce for you and your business?

If you’re interested in learning more about an agency before making a decision, feel free to check out this blog. I’ve really delved into this topic.

Read more: Questions to ask a marketing agency

If hiring an agency is too expensive for you, you would be better off hiring a social media expert from Fiverr or Upwork who can do the same job.

It is often argued that agencies possess a greater level of expertise compared to individual marketing experts. However, in my opinion, the only advantage agencies have over experts is their ability to handle each component of social media marketing. They have a team of dedicated resources for graphic designing, copywriting, research, and more.

So, keep it in mind and make your decision.

How much do small businesses spend on search engine optimization services?

The minimum cost of search engine optimization is $700 per month. It might go up to $ 5,000 depending on the industry and investment in content creation and a solid link profile.

When you spend $700 a month on an agency or expert, you are almost certainly setting yourself up for failure.

Mainly because most vendors who price around $700 perform the bare minimum (using Yoast SEO to get them green bubbles and purchasing cheap links from Fiverr) or they are from Southeast Asia and charge extremely low rates due to the dollar value.

Anyway, if you still wish to go for this option, I would suggest you ask as many questions as possible :

What is their SEO strategy?

If their strategy involves ONLY ranking keywords, that is a huge red flag. Their goal should be to direct your target market with an intent to a page.

The intent can be to either get an answer to a search query (Informational keywords) or to make a purchase (commercial keywords).

How will they measure success?

If they share reports with dashboards that show how many clicks or impressions your search results receive, they are not providing you with the full picture. They need to show what keywords/search queries your website ranks for and the top performing pages.

That way, you may learn whether YOUR target market is truly visiting your site or not. Remember it is not the quantity of the traffic, it is the quality of the traffic coming to your site.

Those two questions are really important. Additionally, feel free to ask the same questions you would when selecting an SMM agency. It will help you in finding the ideal partner for your company.

How much do small businesses spend on online advertising (PPC)

Small business owners usually spend 15% of their ad spend on agencies or a PPC expert.

That means if you spend $2000 a month on ads, you can expect to pay around $400 for ad management.

The ad management activities usually involve giving you timely reports of ad performance, bid management, looking for red flags in analytical reports, excluding negative traffic to save costs, looking at the quality of lead submissions, and most importantly testing!

Note: There are many other responsibilities involved, above are the most common ones I have seen PPC specialists focus on.

Similar to SMM (Social Media Marketing) and SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) services, you can hire an agency or an expert for this. But you can, in comparison, expect quicker results through a Pay-per-click advertising or marketing approach.

For SMM and SEO, it will take you 8-12 months to see some positive results. But through PPC it should take you around 3-4 months with a a good marketing plan involving campaign sequences.

Should I work with an agency or a PPC expert?

In order to find a PPC specialist for your business, you need to know what you need. You need to know how much time and money you want to spend on the campaign, who will be in charge of the campaign, and what your goals are.

If you are running a small business, then it’s likely that your company only needs a few hours of work a week from the PPC specialist. If this is the case, then it is probably best for you to hire someone on an hourly basis with no long-term commitments.

If you have a larger company and want more time from the specialist, then it may be worth working with an agency on an ongoing basis. This way they can dedicate all their time to running your campaign and get more done in less time.

What is the average marketing budget for content marketing?

The money you spend on marketing content varies.

What kind of marketing collateral are you planning to use? Is it a blog, whitepaper or a case study? Which content marketing channels do you want to allocate your marketing budget to? Do you want to market on Press Release sites, or do you want to use e-mail newsletters?

In the upcoming sections, I’ll cover the costs involved in creating the most important marketing collaterals.

SEO Optimized Informational Blogs:  $200-$1000 per blog post

You need someone who not only has the industry expertise to write for you but also understands how to optimize the content for search engines.

It’s a tough catch. I haven’t found anyone who can pull that off.

But if in case you couldn’t find anyone. You can hire a writer to create content and ask him to optimize content using a tool such as Page Pro Optimizer.

But keep in mind that there is a lot to SEO. I recommend that you read this blog to have a fair idea before outsourcing.

Related: How to drive organic traffic to a business website in 2024

Digital Publication Websites: $3000 to $50000 per month

You can work with digital publication companies such as Industry Dive to market your content.

You can either share an abstract of your pillar content on one of these sites and redirect traffic to your main site, or you can use their email marketing list to share your content in the form of newsletters.

The idea is simple.

You utilize popular digital platforms that have established themselves as industry leaders and have a large audience that aligns with your target market. This allows you to effectively promote your content.

High-value Content ( Case studies or whitepapers): $2000 to $20000

Creating case studies or whitepapers is not about writing 5000 words to create this fake notion that it is valuable. Instead, it is all about sharing original, unique content.

You can get this kind of content by running surveys, questionnaires, and other forms of primary research.

and primary research costs a lot!

I know that Industry Dive helps you with running a survey or a report to get fresh insights. But I’d suggest you look into more options on the web.

Video Marketing Cost: $4000 to $26250

The average cost of informational videos is around $4000, and for commercial videos, it’s around 26250

The cost of a video for marketing purposes depends on two major factors

  1. The duration of the video
  2. The video style

Professional agencies charge around $1000 per minute for a video. These videos charge a lot because of the pre-production cost they incur. If it is an explainer video by a person from your company, they usually use high-tech equipment to make sure your video comes out really well. However, it might cost comparatively less if it is a motion graphic or infographic video.

For a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr, it costs you around $30-$150 per hour. But remember, these freelancers on FIverr can’t help you with shooting an explainer video. But they would be a good go-to option to create an infographic video.

Potential costs of a Podcast ($50 to $100 per month)

Podcasts are another medium through which businesses are sharing insights of their products and the industry.

Starting a podcast for a small business doesn’t have to break the bank. The cost should be somewhere around $50-100 per month.

To start a podcast, all you need is a headset with a microphone, Audacity ( an audio editing software), a Podcast hosting platform, and other necessary things such as music and cover pic.

For an affordable headset with a good-quality mic, visit this page.

After you’ve finished recording your audio, it’s important to have a tool for editing. There’s this cool open-source software called Audacity that can help you out. The interface is designed to be user-friendly, allowing you to easily remove any unwanted noise and adjust the sound levels to your liking.

Once you are ready with your audio, you can upload it on a podcast hosting platform such as Buzzsprout. The platform creates an RSS feed for you that you can use to distribute on various podcast directories.

Also, you don’t need to work with an agency to do this. If you find audio editing a little too technical, you can always work with a freelancer on Upwork.

Well, all you need to do is cover the cost of the microphone and the hosting platform. In my opinion, this is definitely worth the investment in marketing content across various platforms to increase brand visibility.

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