As a business owner, how much should you actually spend on your Internet marketing?
It’s a very common question. If you’re not living and breathing marketing, then the cost of it can be fairly puzzling. One agency quotes you X, the other quotes you Y, and your partner’s 18 year old cousin quotes you $50/month for who knows what (good luck).
I’ve built a marketing agency, worked for agencies, and have hired agencies. The cost can vary widely, but that shouldn’t always be your focus. The real question is, “how much value am I getting out of this marketing?”
For businesses that have never spent money or have underspent on Internet marketing, wrapping your mind around this can be a large task. It’s easy for me to know that if I take $5,000 and spend it on Facebook ads, then I’m going to get $10,000 back. However, hiring the wrong person or agency means that $5,000 turns into $0… Or worse, -$5,000.
Now that I’ve shocked you with that example, here are a few broad numbers to consider for different services and ad budgets. It’s definitely not a rule, but it should hopefully help with sticker shock.
What Should a Small Business Spend on Internet Marketing?
If you’re a local small business with one location, the mission is pretty straight forward. You need to be found within a 5 mile radius. Your footprint is smaller, so SEO (search engine optimization) and Paid Media (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc) budgets can match it.
Most small businesses should expect to spend…
- Local SEO: $150 to $750/month
- Paid Media: $500-$1000/month ($15-$33 per day)
Some small businesses will be able to make a major impact on the low end, and some will face steep competition at the high end. It all depends on your market, how fast you want to grow, and if how much you can scale (ex. you can only make X amount of sandwiches per day). Growing to additional locations or franchising gives you additional opportunities as well.
Regional and National Marketing Spend
I’m going to keep this pretty short.
When you’re trying to achieve regional, national, or international scale, then your budget can range widely. The Internet is almost always the best way to grow your business, so most of this conversation hinges on finding the right marketing team. Ideally, you’re mixing a strong internal team with an agency or two.
Your marketing spend can be anywhere from $10,000/month to $ MILLIONS $ per month.
Most medium to large businesses know this already. So the real question is for small businesses…
Do you want to grow, or do you want to stay small?