How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost? How to Budget for Success

May 19, 2023

3 minutes

Millions of people log onto social media accounts every day, and given the sheer volume of users that are active at any given time, business leaders want to reap the benefits associated with segmenting audiences of that size.

If you’re thinking about advertising your company’s products or services on various social media platforms, keep reading to learn how much social media marketing costs and how to develop a successful and accurate budget for your company’s marketing campaigns.

1. Budgeting Factors for Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can be small in scale or quite expansive depending on the goals and available budgets of the companies involved. It’s difficult to throw a ballpark cost estimate out without any details provided for context. Several factors come into play for marketers who are in charge of determining how much a social media campaign is going to cost their company.

Advertising a company’s products or services through social media can be very flexible when it comes to the steps that marketers need to take. This is part of what makes social media marketing such an important part of any company’s growth strategy. Marketing one’s company via social media can include or exclude a myriad of strategic techniques, so companies of practically any size can take advantage of marketing tactics they can afford.

Let’s explore two of the main social media marketing approaches, Organic Marketing and Paid Marketing, as well as the budget-influencing factors to consider when embracing each approach.

Read More: Best Practices for Integrating Social Media and Content Marketing

Organic Marketing

Organic marketing is an approach that focuses on the customer’s entire journey from learning about the company to becoming a customer. This type of marketing aims to guide customers throughout each potential stop they make along the sales funnel.

Many smaller businesses embrace organic social media marketing because it’s affordable, yet effective. Marketers can make use of the different components available through organic marketing without having to sink the company’s marketing budget into these endeavors.

These cost-effective marketing venues are worth exploring for marketers who are looking for affordable ways to improve brand awareness, customer engagement, and lead generation.

Organic Social Media Marketing should include:

  • Content Strategy: A strategy will save you time and money as well as provide metrics and benchmarks to help you determine if your strategy is working.
  • Customization to Your Audience: When you are creating or curating any kind of content, you need to keep your specific audience in mind. Knowing what they’re interested in and where they spend their time online can help to differentiate content between platforms.
  • Content Development: For many small businesses, content creation is a huge barrier. A professional team of copywriters and designers can take the creative burden of content development off your plate.
  • Content Publishing: Publishing content can be a significant time commitment but a creative team can be a great solution to automate the processes.

Read more: 5 Must-Haves for a Successful Content Marketing Campaign

Paid Marketing

Paid marketing is usually what comes to mind when business owners think about advertising their products and services. With this type of marketing, businesses pay for ad placement on different social media platforms. It’s an effective way to generate leads and improve brand awareness, even for smaller companies with limited marketing budgets.

These are common paid marketing tactics:

  • Social Media Ads: Launching social media ads on various social platforms, which can be accomplished through both paid and organic techniques
  • Retargeting: Creating ads that aim to bring previously engaged visitors back to the company’s product or service page
  • Display Ads: Posting static ads or animated ads via social media to promote products or services to internet users
  • Instream Ads: Developing quick, simple ads that can be broadcast to internet users before, during, or after a video streaming session

Read More: Tips for Creating Effective Marketing Campaigns That Will Engage Your Audience and Produce Results

Additional Cost Metrics

When evaluating your social media marketing costs, you’ll likely come across these metrics as well. Be aware of what they mean, your company’s past experiences with these metrics, and how to accurately factor them into your current plans.

  • Cost-per-action (CPA)
  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM)
  • Cost-per-view (CPV)

Read More: 3 Ways Great Content and Digital Marketing Work Together to Grow Your Business

2. Social Media Marketing Cost Estimates

Social media marketing costs can depend on the specific campaign in the works and budgets can fluctuate for a single business from one campaign to the next.

Generally, though, smaller-scale social media marketing campaigns can range from costing a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars from the date of the launch to the day the campaign closes.

Small-Scale Social Media Marketing

For marketers who mostly utilize organic social media marketing efforts, the budgeting constraints tend to be much looser than they are for business owners who use mostly paid advertising.

Companies with very limited social media marketing budgets can potentially keep monthly costs as low as a few hundred dollars per month if their marketing is conducted in house.

Though this method is quite affordable in terms of monetary investments, it’s more time and research-intensive. Marketers who want to stretch their marketing budgets will typically find that, if they can overcome the tedium of handling every aspect of social media marketing alone, their investments go a long way.

Read More: 30 Important Digital Marketing Terms Every Small Business Owner Should Know

Medium-Sized Business Marketing

Marketers who have neither the budget nor time to invest in large-scale marketing endeavors may find that outsourcing their marketing works best. Working with a marketing agency, or a small team of marketing professionals, can help business owners ensure that their advertising campaigns are developed by people with digital marketing expertise. Paying professionals to manage marketing campaigns will cost more money, but it saves time for in-house marketers and business owners who have very little to spare.

Shopping around for affordable marketing packages is worth the time and effort. Although costs vary depending on the breadth and depth of services needed, business owners can expect quality outsourced, mid-range marketing contracts to cost as low as a couple thousand dollars monthly.

Larger Budget Marketing

Larger companies or organizations tend to have the marketing budget available to pay professional marketing teams to manage all of their campaigns. On the low end of an expansive marketing plan, business owners can expect to invest at least several thousand dollars monthly between digital advertising investments and agency fees.

However, marketing costs can climb significantly higher depending on the depth and scope of the campaign.

Read More: Looking for Fresh Ways to Grow? Check Out These Digital Marketing Tips!

3. Tips for Budgeting Successfully

To accurately determine your social media marketing costs, you’ll need to create a thorough marketing plan. While you may already have some form of marketing outline, it’s essential to make sure you fill in as many relevant, accurate details as possible. By following these tips, you’ll be able to develop a reliable budget for your marketing campaigns.

  • Research Your Channel Options: Determine which channels your target audience uses most often, and decide whether investing in ads on each platform is worth the cost.
    Consider Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.
  • Choose Your Tools: What kind of tools are you going to need for content creation? How much will these tools cost to use? Consider tools for customer service, analytics, editing, design, video creation, monitoring, account management, project organization, etc.
  • Know Your Goals: Decide what you want each piece of content in your campaign to accomplish. Keep the SMART framework in mind when outlining your campaign goals. Each component of your campaign should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
  • Review Past Marketing Costs: Pull reports that outline your past marketing campaign costs. Research cost-saving opportunities, investments that generated positive ROI, marketing tactics that aren’t performing well, and any other details you can use to help your team enhance your future marketing efforts.
  • Revamp Your Social Media Strategy: Your strategy should provide you with a roadmap to follow in order to reach your marketing goals. Either develop a brand-new strategy or revise your current one so that each step of your process is thoroughly outlined to guide your team forward.
  • Plan the Elements of Your Strategy: Think about the sort of social media content you plan to include in your marketing efforts. Will you try PPC ads, sharing posts, encouraging conversation in the comments, creating polls, running contests, announcing promotions, creating referral programs, posting videos, etc? Outline each element of your strategy so that you can expand upon it in planning.
  • Price Your Marketing Elements: Once you have a list of elements you want to use in your strategy, you can start researching the costs associated with developing each of these elements. This will help keep your budget on track, as you’ll be able to adjust the depth and focus of each element if you need to reduce costs for one segment in order to afford another.

Remember, when planning a social media marketing campaign, the costs associated with each element should be used to help marketing teams determine how much of the budget can be invested into each segment of the campaign.

For example, you may find that your budget can effectively cover three social media platforms. Campaigns for each platform include the cost of tools you’ll use, the cost of training your marketing team, and the coverage of PPC ads, blog post shares, and occasional polls. Your team may find that eliminating video creation from the budget frees up more funds to invest in other marketing endeavors. This is part of what makes in-depth planning and budgeting so crucial.

Need help with the heavy lifting?

Successful, well-developed social media marketing campaigns take time to produce. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the challenges you’re facing, you’re not at all alone. Plenty of business owners find that they don’t have time to research the finer details of social media marketing when they’re trying to grow a business. That’s why help is available. To create effective marketing campaigns that’ll increase your brand awareness, convert new leads, and keep your audience engaged, reach out to us right away. We’d love to help.

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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