Social media means something different to everybody. For many of us, it’s a place to connect with friends, stay informed on trends, or get premium entertainment content. But for business owners, it means more. Social media is a powerful marketing tool for promoting brands to over four billion users across various platforms. However, that comes at a cost.
This article will review the costs of running a social media campaign in 2022, alongside various factors to consider when drawing up a social ads budget for your business.
- How much does a social media campaign cost?
- Cost factor 1: The scope of your social media campaign
- Cost factor 2: Organic vs. paid advertising
- Cost factor 3: Execution
- Cost factor 4: Measurement and improvement
How much does a social media campaign cost?
There is no generic answer to how much social media marketing costs. The price varies with each campaign based on several factors, such as the size and scope of the campaign, the duration, the platform you use to run the ads, and more.
Generally speaking, a small-scale social media campaign can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. In contrast, a large-scale ad campaign can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more. A Content Factory research report puts the range between $1,000 and $20,000 a month.
According to WebFx, the average cost of ad spend is about $200 to $250 daily or $4,000 to $7,000 a month on ad management. Typically, they spread this budget across various platforms. Insights from Hootsuite show that, of these platforms, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn are getting the most attention. However, the social media marketing cost is not always monetary. It also takes time and effort to plan, create, and execute a successful campaign.
When measuring the cost of running your business's unique social media campaign, you must consider a number of factors, which we will review.
Cost factor 1: The scope of your social media campaign
The scope of your campaign will determine the number of platforms you need to use, the number of people you need to reach, and the amount of time and effort you need to dedicate to your campaign. A larger, more complex campaign will cost more than a smaller, simpler one.
Before starting any social marketing efforts, you must define the scope of your campaign. You might start by asking the following questions.
What do you aim to achieve with this campaign?
Your goal for each campaign dictates how the rest of the marketing activity will go. Here are some common goals that businesses can aim for with their social media marketing campaigns.
- Brand awareness starts with the ability for people to recognize and remember your brand. Through consistent marketing efforts and quality content, people get to know more about your values as a business.
- Lead generation campaigns target potential customers for a product or service. Lead generation aims to create interest in a product or service so that potential customers will move further down the sales funnel and eventually make a purchase.
- Engagement-focused campaigns will help increase interaction with a brand or company on social media platforms through likes, comments, and shares.
Who is your ideal buyer?
Once you’ve decided on the goal of your campaign, you should build a buyer persona to understand what category of people you'll be targeting and where you can find them.
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. It typically contains demographics like location, age, behavior, interest, etc.
When you create a buyer persona, you can better understand your target audience and what motivates them to make a purchase. Such insights help you create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
These tips will help you build a solid buyer persona.
- Analyze your customer data to learn how potential and active customers consume or respond to your marketing campaigns.
- Organize each unique pattern into groups and drill down to capture more information about their behavior.
- Create forms that help to capture relevant information about your customer's behavior and preferences. You may also interview customers and prospects to learn how they respond to social media promotions.
- Get further insights about clients from your sales and marketing team.
What platforms will you run your ads on?
From the buyer persona, you can determine which social media platform will best yield results. Each platform attracts a different audience, and marketing campaigns should target those audiences differently.
For example, Hubspot’s 2022 State of Inbound Marketing Trends report shows that Facebook provides the highest return on investment and the most response to promotion campaigns. Instagram and YouTube followed closely behind. This makes Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and YouTube ads likely channels for sales and revenue generation campaigns, alongside lead generation and brand awareness.
On the other hand, lots of data—like Social Insider's 2022 study—shows that TikTok's growing engagement rate far outdid other social networks. Insights from TikTok show that 73% of users agree that they connect better with brands that interact and share ideas on the platform. In essence, brands can leverage the highly engaged TikTok audience to run brand awareness campaigns with video content that highlights the company's values.
There are several questions to ask when defining your ad campaign scope. For example, you should know how many people you aim to target during the campaign. A larger and longer ad campaign will require more human capital and resources.
Cost factor 2: Organic vs. paid advertising
Regarding social media campaigns, the advertising cost is one of the key deciding factors for social media budgets. The advertising cost refers to the cost of any paid advertising you plan to do as part of your social media campaign. Like other factors, the advertising cost may vary depending on the promotion method you choose.
Paid social media advertising allows companies to promote their content and reach a larger audience, but it can also be costly. On the other hand, organic social media engagement is free but requires more time and effort to reach the same audience.
Which is the better option depends on the goals of the company and the available budget. Here we'll take a more in-depth look at each of these options.
Organic marketing strategy
Organic marketing is a holistic approach to marketing that considers the entire customer journey, from initial awareness to purchase and beyond. With this strategy, businesses can focus on getting their voice out without paying for ads.
Organic marketing is a great way to build thought leadership and brand awareness. The strategy focuses on building long-term relationships with customers rather than trying to sell them something right away. And it takes a lot more than having a social media presence—it requires a deep understanding of your audience, what they want, and how to sell it to them.
Businesses can sell their identity with higher quality content using a number of tactics, such as content marketing and copywriting, social media, search engine optimization, and PR.
- Content marketing and SEO. Organic content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand-in-hand. Organic content marketing is creating and distributing high-quality content—blogs, videos, graphic design, etc.—relevant to your target audience and aligned with your SEO goals.
- Online PR. Social media PR uses social media networks to generate buzz and awareness for a product or service. You can do this in several ways, such as creating informative blog posts, holding contests or giveaways, or posting engaging content that will get users talking.
- Organic influencer marketing. Organic influencer marketing is a type of influencer marketing that uses unpaid endorsements from people who have a large following to promote a product or service. These endorsements can come through social media posts, blog articles, or even videos.
- Referral Traffic. With this marketing strategy. businesses encourage customers to refer new people in exchange for incentives like discounts or other prizes.
Paid advertising strategy
Paid advertising is a form of marketing where businesses pay for the placement of their ads on platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other websites. It is a popular way to reach new customers and grow a business, allowing marketers to target their ads to specific audiences.
The paid advertising social media marketing strategy allows businesses to bid on keywords they think their target customers will search for. When someone searches for that keyword, the business's ad may appear on the search results page. There are several other paid social media advertising methods, and we list some below.
- Display ads are online ads that are typically designed to promote a brand or product. They can be static or animated and are usually found on websites or platforms like social media.
- Instream ads are ads that are played before, during, or after a video stream. They are typically used to promote a product or service and can be skipped by the viewer after a few seconds.
- Social media advertising uses social media platforms to promote a brand or product. You can do that through paid ads or organic means such as sharing content or engaging with users.
- Retargeting marketing is a type of online advertising that allows businesses to target ads to users who have already shown an interest in their product or service. You can achieve that through cookies or by tracking IP addresses.
The cost of running ads on various social media channels depends on your willingness to spend. Typically, these platforms charge per billable action on your content. In other words, you only pay when you get clicks, views, and leads, depending on your selected structure.
Here are some common pricing models.
- Cost-per-click (CPC), otherwise called pay-per-click (PPC), is a pricing model in which advertisers pay a set amount of money each time their ad gets a click.
- Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) is a model that allows advertisers to pay a set amount for every thousand times someone sees their ads.
- Cost-per-view (CPV) requires advertisers to pay a set amount each time a person views their ad.
- Cost-per-action (CPA) is a pricing model in which advertisers pay a set amount of money each time their ad results in the desired action, such as a sale or lead.
Cost factor 3: Execution
Depending on your preference, you may get an in-house project manager to run your campaigns. You may also consider outsourcing to a freelance digital marketer or social media marketing agency. Whichever one you choose, the cost of hiring a social media marketing company or strategist will depend on their experience and how long you will need their services.
The project manager will be responsible for planning, executing, and monitoring your content creation and social media ads. They work with clients and businesses to create goals and strategies and then implement these plans through various channels like Facebook marketing.
The role of social media campaign managers is important because they help you to reach your target audience across your various social media accounts. They also help monitor and measure social media campaigns' performance and provide insights and recommendations for improvements.
Cost factor 4: Measurement and improvement
When considering your social media campaign budget, one of the cost factors you must consider is the cost of measurement and improvement. Simply posting content on social media is not enough to ensure a successful campaign. You also need to analyze the data and metrics associated with your social media activity to determine what is working and what is not. It also provides insights into areas that will need improvement.
Typically, the quality of analyst you will get depends on the tools at your disposal. Free tools like Google Analytics provide basic services like monitoring the engagement, audience demographics, and return on investment. However, you will need a paid tool like Buffer or Hootsuite Analytics to run a more in-depth analysis.
Get expert help with your social media campaigns
Social media advertising is one of the most powerful tools in a business's marketing arsenal. Businesses can reach a larger audience with their message by targeting a specific audience and using relevant keywords. And, because social media users are often connected to their friends and followers, small businesses can also benefit from word-of-mouth and other organic marketing.
However, having successful campaigns means you must clearly understand your target audience and what type of content will resonate with them. You also need to be aware of the different features of each social media platform and how to use them to their fullest potential. Such points are where social media management becomes challenging.
However, you can hire social media marketing experts and agencies to maximize your ROI. These professionals can help you run the audience and keyword analysis, create compelling ad copies, and set up targeted ads that convert.
As a freelance digital marketer, you can connect with business owners and marketing managers with ready jobs. Visit Upwork to find work in digital and social media marketing.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.
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