Identify Your Audience


Marketing is expensive.  Whether you use traditional avenues, social media or relationship marketing- it is and should be- a considered part of your overall business budget.  To get an idea of what costs look like, here is an overview of typical marketing costs.


Typical print ads cost $500 to $20,000, depending on whether the publication is local or national, the size of your ad, whether you use color and if you've negotiated a multiple-ad rate. You can spend as much as $500,000 to buy the inside front cover of some national magazines.


Radio advertising costs can range from $200 to $5,000 per week depending on your location. You will also need to factor in the cost of producing the commercial.


Billboard advertising costs roughly $1,500 to $4,000 in most small- to mid-size US cities, though it can dip as low as $250 in rural areas and can reach $14,000 or even higher in larger markets such as New York City.


Social media is not “free” either. You either have to have staff time dedicated to it (and it takes a lot of time to do it properly) or hire someone else to do it. Plus, most campaigns will not perform adequately without paid advertising through social media. If you see a viral campaign, someone-somewhere, put some big dollars behind it to make that happen.


Some of these numbers may seem high, but they include a range of business sizes.  A general rule of thumb is that it costs between $50 and $150 per hour of agency time for social media marketing, depending on agency size and complexity of the campaign.  


Launching a new Twitter account using a standard ad agency, complete with setup and outsourcing content creation/consumer interaction (all 280 characters at a time), costs an average of $2,000-$4,000 per month – and that’s just for Twitter. With that said, the total price range was $1,000-$7,500 per month.


What if you already have an existing Twitter account, but need some help to take it to the next level with an agency? Restructuring an existing Twitter account with “limited coaching” to achieve client goals is still going to cost you between $1,000-$2,500 per month, with some charging as much as $4,000 per month.


Facebook management pricing can run a bit higher than that of Twitter alone. To set up a new Facebook account and provide limited ongoing training to business partners, online PR agencies charge an average of $2,500-$5,000 per month, with some going as high as $9,000.


However, if you’d like to also do social media marketing on channels like Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and SnapChat, those additional channels can easily cost you $1,000 or more for each one that you add on.


Using a social media freelancer is typically the same cost as an agency, but you may be able to do smaller projects. On average, freelance social media runs about $50 per hour at a minimum.  

 Relationship marketing and networking also have a cost. Owner time is usually a big part of relationship marketing. Which also means that sales growth is limited by owner time. In addition, there is time spent updating contact lists, sending emails, following up on leads, going to networking groups (plus their associated fees), memberships to clubs, and expenses like business lunches and golf games. Administrative assistants can help, but their salaries (on average $41,000) are rarely thought of as "marketing" even though that is a big part of what they do. Time is money and relationship marketing is expensive in terms of time. Many business owners weave their networking time into their social life. Which is both fun and profitable. But it is limiting in terms of growth.  


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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.



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