26 May 2020 / By TBDMedia

How do you determine your marketing budget? What is worth spending your money on? What can you expect to see in return for your investment (ROI)? We get asked this every day. The numbers are tricky and will determine success so it’s worth getting into. I have to go on record with our number one statement that social and digital is now how MANY, if not MOST people, see your brand. This isn’t a freelancer/intern’s job. This is in the trenches, important work.

To be transparent – we ask for about 30% of a client’s marketing budget for social channels (up from 20% in earlier years). This number is average and can typically provide you fulfillment, direction, and a smart strategy for ad spend. TBD Media includes tools, reporting, customer service, and training, making us extremely affordable in this space. What should you be getting in exchange?

When you consider the list of what to budget for, it is long. There is a lot you may overlook.

BUT you don’t need the shiniest and most expensive option every time.

You need scheduling tools.

BUT a good agency will provide this to you.

You need reporting tools to measure the efficacy of what you’re putting out there.

BUT there are many options and you should be sure you understand what data you follow and interpret.

You are paying for more than that tweet copy and image (hopefully).

BUT not everyone can execute tactics, strategies, campaigns, and best practices.

You need an advertising budget.

BUT the lowest CPC is typically a junk like. Prove value in every penny you spend. Set good goals.

Your creative must exude quality.

BUT all design work should be on-brand. An expert can meld your personality to your goals.

Additional points to consider:

Prices are only rising, most social teams will agree that you can’t get what you used to for free/cheap. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it – your conversion cost is still fantastically affordable compared to traditional marketing. Industry averages right now for mid-size businesses are $4000, to $7000 but you can work with less.

Have a slush fund – run a campaign, giveaway something unrelated to a fan, team up, and support a favorite charity. Ask for creative pitches and ideas, try something new.

Online is permanent. Beyond 1 to 1 sales and new customer acquisition, keep in mind the spend always works toward brand recognition, customer engagement, and customer retention. You’re building layers that last.

There’s flexibility. Content and deliverables and ads and gosh there’s a lot to plan, but you can turn the volume up and down in different areas, seasons, it’s not a year-long fixed commitment. That can be a big win for you if you do it right.

Spending on digital marketing is expected to increase 12.2% over the next year, with some of the largest growth being seen in social, mobile and data analytics. (link:

 If you aren’t prepared to begin now, it’ll cost you more later. If you start small, wins can GROW your budget. Pivots and agility are crucial. Find someone that will work with your budget and continually suggest improvements and adjustments to forge ahead.