Unveiling The True Cost Of Online Advertising: What You Need To Know In 2024


6 Jun, 2024


As a business owner, marketer, and product head, your primary concern is how to scale up your business and maximize ROI without spending any extra dollars! Enhancing your digital footprints and keeping ahead of your competition might take a toll on your online advertising budget if not planned right. 

A ballpark estimate of advertising cost is critical to planning online advertising channels to launch a new website, create buzz around a new product line, revamp your existing campaign, enhance your lead funnel, or whatever may be the objective!

This blog will provide you with comprehensive insights into digital advertising costs and how to strategically plan your budget with a focus on digital marketing like SEO services, branding, PPC, Social Media, Email, and content marketing. Let's get started!

Custom Website

Discover Online Advertising Costs Today!

  • Optimized Budget Allocation
  • Informed Decision-Making
  • Effective Campaign Planning

How big is the digital marketing industry?

Before we get you the facts on online advertising cost, let's serve you some dose of motivation as in how big online advertising is and why it should be your primary focus:

  • The U.S. digital advertising and marketing market is currently estimated at $460 billion.
  • 72% of overall marketing budgets get put towards digital marketing channels.
  • People spend 50% more with businesses that regularly respond to reviews.

digital marketing Budgets

  • 49% of businesses say that organic search brings the best marketing ROI.
  • Digital ads can increase brand awareness by 80%.
  • A user’s search activity rises 155% after being served a display ad.

We can keep going with these facts as there is no end to the large online advertising industry and the massive opportunities it holds. Explore how much of your pocket can be shrunk when advertising online without knowing the cost and associated factors.

How Much Does It Cost To Advertise Online?

The cost of advertising online varies substantially depending on criteria such as the channels you promote, the online advertising services you use, the size of your campaigns, and other factors to consider.  Small-to-medium-sized (SMB) enterprises often pay $2500 to $12,000 monthly for online marketing or $1000 to $7500 per project.

The cost of advertising online can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the platform, your target audience, ad format, and competition. On popular platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, the average cost per click (CPC) can range from a few cents to several dollars, while the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) can be anywhere from a few dollars to over $50. 

Additionally, niche-specific advertising or premium placements on high-traffic websites can command higher prices. To determine your online advertising budget, it's crucial to conduct thorough research, set clear objectives, and continuously monitor and adjust your campaigns to optimize costs and achieve your desired results.

Let's understand in detail the cost of online advertising based on various formats of advertising online.

Cost of Online Advertising: Based on Types of Ads

What stage of the consumer funnel you are targeting will decide the type of ad for your campaign. Let's say your campaign is at the action stage of the AIDA model (awareness/interest/desire/action) which means you want the target audience to take action in terms like making a purchase, scheduling a demo, requesting a discount, or registering for a free trial. 

Herein you may go aggressive with your advertising plan like running PPC ads, promoting local listings, remarketing campaigns, and email marketing. Understanding the associated cost will help you plan multiple channels without burning extra dollars!

The cost of online advertising varies significantly based on the types of ads you choose to use. Here's a breakdown of common online ad types and their cost factors:

1. Pay-per-click advertising

Google, Bing, and other search engines let you build and run ads for specific keywords that appear alongside or above the usual search results. These ads work on a pay-per-click (PPC services) basis, which means you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.

They also use a bidding system, meaning you must be willing to spend more for clicks for your ad to appear than your competitors. Your online ad fee, known as cost per click (CPC), can range from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on the level of competition in your market.

The average CPC is $1 to $2 per click. PPC management services cost between $9,000 and $10,000 monthly to small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). 

Some more factors that affect the cost are:

Keywords: The choice of keywords you target in your PPC campaign is a significant factor. Highly competitive keywords often have higher costs per click (CPC) because many advertisers are bidding on them.

Competition: The number of advertisers competing for the same keywords and audience can drive up costs. In more competitive industries, you may need to bid higher to secure ad placements.

Ad Position: Advertisers can choose the position of their ads on search engine results pages. Higher positions generally require higher bids, which can increase costs.

Geographic Location: The location you target can impact costs. Advertising in competitive markets or major cities may be more expensive than in smaller or less competitive areas.

Industry: Different industries have different average CPCs. Some industries, like insurance or finance, tend to have higher CPCs due to strong competition. The graph below shows PPC cost for the education sector is quite high compared to others.

Average cost per lead by industry

2. Social Media Advertising

The cost of social media advertising can vary widely depending on several factors, including the platform you use, your target audience, ad format, and your advertising goals. Here's a general overview of the costs associated with social media advertising on some popular platforms as per Statista:

Some PPC metrics you’ll see with social media advertising costs:

  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM)
  • Cost per conversion/cost per action/cost per lead
  • Cost per video view
  • Cost per engagement (likes, comments, etc.)
  • Cost per app install
  • Cost per follower

Average CPC on Social Media Platforms in 2023

3. Search Engine Optimization

SEO is optimizing your website's pages to rank better in search engine results for the appropriate keywords. The better optimized your site is, the more interested visitors and potential clients you attract. Robust SEO practices include various formats of content optimization as in the image below:


Here are some general guidelines to help you understand the cost of SEO:

Monthly Retainer: Many SEO agencies charge clients on a monthly retainer basis. The cost can range from a few hundred dollars per month for small businesses with local SEO needs to thousands of dollars per month for larger businesses or those targeting competitive national or global markets. Most businesses pay a monthly retainer for SEO between $500 to $1,500 per month approx. Hourly, $75 to $200 is the most popular hourly rate. 

Project-Based Pricing: For specific SEO projects, such as website audits, keyword research, or content optimization, agencies may provide project-based pricing. Costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the complexity of the project.

Local SEO vs. National/Global SEO: Local SEO services tend to be less expensive than national or global SEO campaigns, as the competition is often lower for local search terms.

E-commerce SEO: SEO services for e-commerce websites can be more costly due to the complexity of optimizing large product catalogs and competing with other online retailers.

Content Creation: If content creation is included in the SEO package (e.g., blog posts, articles, infographics), this can increase the overall cost.

Link Building: The strategy and scale of link-building efforts can also impact costs. High-quality, white-hat link-building can be more expensive than low-quality or spammy tactics.

Reporting and Analytics: Some agencies may charge extra for in-depth reporting and analytics services to track the performance of your SEO campaign.

It's essential to note that SEO is an ongoing process, and it may take several months to see significant results. Therefore, many SEO services are billed on a monthly basis.

4. Email Marketing

Factors affect Email Marketing Cost

Email marketing, although one of the oldest types of Internet marketing, still offers the best ROIs of all costs of advertising online channels. However, the amount you put into it is determined by the platform you select and who develops the content for your emails.

Even if you write and send the emails yourself, you will almost certainly need to employ an email platform to reach all your consumers. This can cost anything from $9 to $1000 each month, depending on how many subscribers you have.

You can, however, hire an Internet marketing firm to manage your email marketing for you. This service often comprises strategy planning, content creation, email distribution, and tracking. Managed email marketing services cost can range from $300 to $1500 monthly.

5. Content Marketing

If your company's website has a regularly updated blog, you are involved in content marketing to some extent. This technique entails creating and promoting original content to inform readers and attract new prospective consumers.

Content Marketing

You may save money by making your content. However, working with a professional content marketing agency, on the other hand, will save you time and may result in better results due to the agency's expertise. Content marketing services involve strategy development, planning, content creation, distribution, tracking, and promotion. Content marketing services for SMBs often cost between $2,000 and $10,000 approx per month depending on the requirement.

How Much Does Online Advertising Cost Based on The Type of Platform?

The cost of advertising online can vary greatly depending on the platform and the target audience. Factors such as the type of ad, the length of the campaign, and the desired reach all come into play when determining costs. It's essential to thoroughly research and compare prices across different platforms to get the most bang for your buck.

Additionally, it's important to continually track the success of your ads and adjust accordingly to maximize your return on investment. Let’s now look at some of the most popular platforms for online advertising today.

Average Cost per click

How Much Do Facebook Ads Cost Industry-wise?

 Facebook Ads Cost

As the world's largest and most popular social network, Facebook is an absolute juggernaut in online advertising. It's not uncommon for a single online advertising company to run various advertising campaigns across paid social and PPC management services. Facebook Ads are an excellent approach to diversifying your digital strategy and boosting leads and sales.

The cost of advertising on Facebook based on Cost Per Click (CPC) can vary widely depending on several factors, including your target audience, ad quality, competition, and industry. One general estimate for Facebook CPC:

Low CPC: In less competitive industries or for highly targeted campaigns, CPCs can be relatively low, ranging from $0.10 to $0.50 per click.

Medium CPC: For moderately competitive industries and broader targeting options, expect CPCs in the range of $0.50 to $1.50 per click.

High CPC: In highly competitive industries like finance or insurance, or if you're targeting a broad and competitive audience, CPCs can exceed $2 per click and go much higher.

Other factors include:

Cost Per Click (CPC): On average, CPC can range from $0.50 to $2 or more, depending on various factors. Highly competitive industries may see higher CPCs.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): CPM can vary significantly, with average ranges between $5 and $15 or more. Factors like audience targeting and ad placement affect CPM.

Cost Per Action (CPA): If your objective is to drive specific actions (e.g., website conversions, app installs), the cost can vary widely based on the competitiveness of your target audience and the desired action.

Ad Format: Different ad formats (e.g., image ads, video ads, carousel ads) may have different costs associated with them. Video ads tend to be more expensive to produce but can yield good results.

Ad Placement: Where your ads appear on Facebook (e.g., in the News Feed, Stories, or in the right column) can impact costs. News Feed ads are often more expensive due to higher visibility.

Targeting: The specificity of your audience targeting can affect costs. A highly targeted audience may have higher CPCs, but it can result in better conversion rates.

Seasonality: Costs can fluctuate based on seasonal demand and competition. Holiday seasons may see higher costs.

Ad Objective: Your chosen ad objective (e.g., brand awareness, website traffic, lead generation) can impact costs, as some objectives may require more optimization and testing.

How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?

How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?

When Facebook paid $1 billion in cash and stock for Instagram in 2012, it was not only one of the greatest tech purchases in recent history but also a strategic acquisition that would enable Facebook to grow its already huge worldwide media empire.

How Does Instagram Ads’ Pricing Model Work?

As part of Facebook, Instagram's advertising pricing models are quite similar to those of Facebook Ads. This is fantastic news for both new and amateur Facebook advertisers; if you've never advertised on either platform before, it's simple to get started, and if you're already familiar with Facebook Ads, establishing your first Instagram campaign would be a breeze.

Instagrams ads managed by Facebook ads power editor dashboard

As Instagram is largely a visual medium, the cost of advertising on Instagram is typically using the CPM approach. Instagram ads used to be substantially less expensive than Facebook ads. Instagram CPMs used to be significantly lower than Facebook CPMs - almost half the price. 

However, the advertising costs difference between Facebook and Instagram is narrowing, bringing costs on the two networks much closer together. When Instagram started enabling advertisers to begin ads on the site, average CPMs were around $5 to $6.50. They're getting closer to the $10 CPM barrier, around the exact pricing as Facebook.

Instagram Ads: Cost Of Advertising vs Performance

As previously stated, the advertising costs of Instagram Ads are anticipated to rise until they reach parity with the advertising costs of Facebook Ads. However, interaction with sponsored or branded material on Instagram is by far the highest of any online advertising platform ever. Considering this, increased advertising costs, notably CPA, may not always imply lower profits. As a result, Instagram Ads have a high potential ROI, especially for engagement-driven campaigns and businesses whose target customers are frequent Instagram users.

How much do advertising on YouTube Cost?

The cost of advertising on YouTube can vary widely depending on various factors, including the type of ad, targeting options, competition, and ad quality. 

Cost Per View (CPV): YouTube primarily uses a CPV pricing model, where you pay when someone views your video ad. The typical CPV can range from $0.10 to $0.30 per view. This means you pay when someone watches at least 30 seconds of your video (or the entire video if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with your ad in some way, such as clicking on a call-to-action.

TrueView Ads: TrueView ads are the most common type of YouTube ads. They allow viewers to skip the ad after the first 5 seconds. Advertisers are charged only when a viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the video or interacts with the ad. The average CPV for TrueView ads typically falls within the mentioned range.

Bidding Strategy: You can set a maximum CPV bid when creating your YouTube ad campaign. Your actual CPV may be lower if there's less competition, but it can go higher if there's strong competition for your target audience.

Ad Format: The type of ad you choose (e.g., in-stream ads, discovery ads, bumper ads) can affect costs. In-stream ads that play before or during videos tend to have slightly higher CPVs than other formats.

How Do You Choose The Proper Online Advertising Channels?

choose the proper online advertising channels

So, how do you decide which channels are the most favorable to your company, and how much money should you put into each? It all boils down to your target audience and budget. Choosing the proper online advertising channels for your business involves careful consideration of your goals, target audience, budget, and the nature of your products or services. Here are steps to help you make informed decisions:

  • Set Clear Objectives: Determine what you want to achieve with your online advertising (e.g., brand awareness, lead generation, sales, website traffic). Set specific, measurable, and realistic goals.
  • Know Your Audience: Create detailed buyer personas to understand your target audience's demographics, interests, and online behavior. Consider where your audience spends their time online.
  • Evaluate Channel Options: Research and list potential advertising channels (e.g., Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, email marketing, display ads). Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each platform.
  • Budget Allocation: Determine your advertising budget. Different platforms may require different budget levels for your goals. Allocate your budget based on platform relevance and audience reach.
  • Competitor Analysis: Study your competitors' online advertising efforts. Identify which channels they use and their messaging strategies. Look for gaps or opportunities in channels they are not utilizing.
  • Platform Fit: Choose platforms that align with your business and audience. For example, B2B companies may benefit from LinkedIn, while B2C brands may find success on Facebook or Instagram.
  • Ad Format: Consider the type of content and ad formats each platform supports (e.g., text ads, image ads, video ads, sponsored content). Choose formats that best convey your message and engage your audience.

Combining multiple strategies can help you obtain the best return on your Internet advertising costs for most firms. Janbask Digital Design is a digital marketing agency that can assist you in chartering the best strategy for your business.


1. How do small businesses use online marketing?

Google Ads is a significant search engine advertising platform, while social media networks such as Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads provide broad targeting options. Conduct extensive keyword research to uncover relevant keywords for your business and write interesting ad copy that entices consumers to click.

2. What is the most cost-effective way of advertising?

11 cheap or free advertising methods

  1. Build a great website
  2. Online advertising
  3. Search engine optimisation
  4. Content marketing
  5. Use social networks
  6. Share video content online
  7. Online advertising
  8. Encourage customer reviews
  9. Email marketing
  10. Appear in local business listings
  11. Join online directories

3. What is the most important aspect of small business marketing?

    The most important component of your marketing strategy will be selecting which channels are best for your small business and the clients you want to attract. Some channel's advertising costs are more than others. Some will yield results more quickly than others. So it all depends upon your budget and which platforms you choose to target your potential customers. 

    4. How much does advertising cost for small business

    A well-defined marketing plan increases business sales and marketing. This directly impacts revenue generation since the more you reach out to people, the more they reach out to your company or brand.

    5. What are the benefits of developing a marketing strategy?

    When done correctly, a marketing plan helps you avoid surprises and waste of money. Creates a marketing budget: Researching customer segments and the marketing mix directs the budget to where it will most effectively produce sales.

    6. Do small businesses need marketing?

    Growth is nearly impossible without marketing. You won't be able to attract new clients to your business until you have a solid marketing strategy. By constantly marketing your firm, you can push it to greater heights year after year.


    As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you and your team must select the best for your brand or organization. There are numerous online advertising and marketing tactics, but choosing the appropriate mix that works for you is critical. In today's digital environment, online advertising is the most effective approach to reaching your target customer and developing your business.

    Wondering which online advertising agency to consult for your needs? Consider JanBask digital design!

    Our online advertising agency stands out because of our dedication to delivering exceptional results for our clients. We understand the importance of creating personalized campaigns that are tailored to meet each client's specific needs and goals.

    Our team of experts is skilled in utilizing the latest technologies and strategies to ensure that our clients receive the best possible return on investment for online advertising services. We are committed to transparency, communication, and collaboration, which fosters trust and long-term relationships with our clients. Choose us as your online advertising agency, and experience the difference that our expertise and passion can make for your business.

    Interested in our Online Advertising Services?

    • Enhanced Resource Allocation
    • Effective Audience Targeting
    • Transparent Decision-Making
    Web Design & Development

    Leave a Reply

    4 Comment threads
    0 Thread replies
    Most reacted comment
    Hottest comment thread
    1 Comment authors
    Phoenix RobinsonSimon MartinezBryan GarciaBradley Thompso Recent comment authors
    newest oldest most voted
    Notify of


    Bradley Thompso

    Thank you so much for this article; it was extremely helpful with my marketing assignment. Thanks again!


    Bryan Garcia

    Good insight for Facebook advertising beginners in your article; Facebook ads are so powerful nowadays, and after reading this, I have gained so much more insight.


    Simon Martinez

    Now I totally understand how Google and PPC ads work and why the CPC is narrowing in Facebook and Instagram ads.


    Phoenix Robinson

    Can you please help us on how much does advertising cost for small business

    Get a Quote