Digital Advertising Costs You Need To Know For Budgeting

Digital Advertising Costs You Need To Know For Budgeting

Digital Advertising Cost of Investment in Singapore

Whenever the subject of digital advertising comes up, the most common question that we always ask is, how much does it cost? There isn’t a definite answer to this question given the fact that digital advertising costs typically depend on the size of your business, your target audience, and how much money you have at your disposal to spend on advertising.

Arguably, the most incredible thing about digital advertising costs is the fact that you can work even with the smallest budget. Therefore, digital marketing is an excellent option for small businesses, which have been priced out of traditional advertising methods such as running TV and newspaper ads.

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For small businesses, a dollar saved in operating costs is a dollar earned. However, an extra dollar invested in advertising could be crucial to the growth of your business. Investing in digital advertising is one of the best decisions that you can ever make. Digital advertisement can help you reach thousands of targeted customers in a matter of hours.

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Many businesses remain apprehensive as far as the incorporation of digital advertising in their marketing campaigns is concerned. In traditional advertising, costs are often fixed. This isn’t the case in digital advertising whereby you decide on the price that you wish to pay for your advertising. Before starting a digital marketing campaign, you need to set aside a budget. Here are some digital advertising costs that you need to know about for budgeting purposes.

Google Ads Cost

Google has become synonymous with digital marketing. Its AdWords and Pay-Per-Click campaigns can help your business make the most of the opportunities that abound online. PPC ads are priced on a cost per click basis. This implies that you will be charged every time someone clicks on your ads.

The cost per click of ads is typically calculated on the fly each time your ad pops up. This process is known as ad auction. The process helps Google to decide which ads should be displayed when Internet users perform a keyword search. Ad auctions similarly help Google to determine the order of ranking the ads, and the amount that online advertisers should pay per click.

The competitive landscape in part determines your cost per click and ad position. Similarly, your maximum bid (the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click), and the Quality Score of how good your ads are, also determines how much you will pay.

A higher Quality Score raises your rank thus lowering your cost per click. To run a Google AdWords campaign, you need a budget of SGD 500 to SGD 5,000. The cost per click in these advertising campaigns is between SGD 2 and SGD 15.

Facebook Advertising Costs

Facebook is one platform where every advertiser wants to be. Studies indicate that advertisers spent SGD 33.75 billion on Facebook ads in 2017 alone. The perception that Facebook ads can give your business means that you should factor in when coming up with your digital advertising budget.

Facebook advertising costs

Numerous options are available as far as Facebook advertising is concerned. The following are some of the Facebook campaigns that you should incorporate into your budget.

Like Campaigns

Your page and posts will get likes from Facebook users. Nonetheless, it is hard to tell whether those who like your page and posts are really interested in buying whatever you are selling. Facebook Like campaigns will help you pinpoint users who like your page and are also interested in your business.

When budgeting for this campaign, keep your budget low, starting with around SGD 50 for three or four-day runs. You spend a total of SGD 50 per campaign with the expected cost per like being SGD 1. A Like campaign will boost engagement on your Facebook page as well as ensuring that whatever new likes that you get translate to business opportunities.

Boosted Posts

For your Facebook campaigns to be successful, your posts must reach as many people as possible. Relying on organic reach alone may not give your posts the visibility that they need. Boosted posts come in handy since they enable your posts to be seen by almost everyone who is within your reach.

You should limit your boosting to your fan base. Targeted people that are outside your current fan base can be reached through traditional Facebook advertisements. When you incorporate boosted Facebook posts in your digital advertising, expect to spend an average of SGD 10 to SGD 30 per boosted post.

Traditional Facebook Advertising

When it comes to traditional Facebook advertisements, it is good practice to start small before you gradually increase your advertising budget. Throwing a large amount of money towards Facebook advertising can end up costing you even more for every lead.

Facebook advertising allows you to test different target groups and ads gradually with less money before increasing the expenditure on those that seem to work. If you decide to incorporate traditional Facebook advertisements in your digital campaigns, you should allocate at least SGD 10 to SGD 20 per day towards it. You can allocate even more money if your budget allows. In traditional Facebook advertising, the expected average cost per lead is SGD 3 to SGD 5.

Instagram Advertising Costs

Instagram has morphed into one of the most essential digital advertising platforms by virtue of being among the most popular social media networks. If you are trying to reach new followers and users, Instagram offers you a way of doing so. Since Instagram is Facebook-owned, its ads cost almost as much as Facebook ads.

You should follow the same strategy and budget that you used on your Facebook ads to advertise on Instagram. Expect to spend an average of SGD 10- SGD 20 per day on Instagram ads. For optimal reach, slowly increase your budget by $5 or $10 days depending on your budget and the timeframe of your campaign.

Pinterest Advertising Costs

Pinterest is arguably one of the most underrated and under-utilized advertising platforms. Nonetheless, it can be perfect for small businesses. Most people think that Pinterest advertising is too expensive and therefore, unsuitable for small businesses.

If you choose to undertake Pinterest advertising as part of your digital marketing strategy, you should first test how useful it is to you. In this regard, start with a small budget before increasing it accordingly.

For a start, plan on spending an average of SGD 20 to SGD 30 per day. A Pinterest advertising campaign is likely to cost you between SGD 100 and SGD 500. The expected cost per click in Pinterest advertising is between SGD 0.2 and SGD 1.

SEO Advertising Costs

SEO entails improving the ranking of pages on your website in search engine results. The more your site gets optimized, the more you will attract interested visitors and prospective clients. Unless you have previously managed an SEO campaign, it is recommended that you hire a digital marketing agency to manage your SEO campaigns. SEO can cost anything between SGD 500 and SGD 5,000 per month. This will depend on the number of web pages that you wish to optimize.

Digital Advertising Costs You Need To Know For Budgeting 1

Budgeting for Your Digital Advertising Campaigns

When coming up with a digital advertising budget, you should think of the entire project as an investment. Your digital advertisement spend should have a definite impact on your company’s profit margins and revenue growth.

You should keep in mind the fact that in a digital advertising campaign, everything is linked to performance. For instance, in pay-per-click ads, you will only be paying for results. This means that in case nobody engages with your ads, you won’t incur any costs.

When formulating your digital advertising budget, you should always start small. This way, it will be easy to garner benchmark data about the effectiveness of your campaigns. Similarly, you minimize potential risks if you start with a small advertising budget.

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You should budget for at least ten clicks per day for a minimum of one week. Even though you can plan for a lower number of clicks, ten clicks per day will enable you to get the initial data that you need to foretell and make the most of your future digital advertising campaigns.

Most networks take several ways to approve ads and consequently rank clicks and impressions. Therefore, the one-week minimum ensures that your digital campaign is up and running before it gets ranked.

Even though you can reduce your budget after the initial trials with paid advertising, it is advisable that you wait until you have achieved the statistical significance, (which comes with 70 clicks during the trial week) before making changes to your keywords. This way, you will have an idea about the most suitable keywords that you should use. It will also be easy to refine your digital advertising campaigns.

Budgeting for Clicks

To determine the cost of clicks campaigns, you should multiply the average cost of each click by your campaign duration and daily click target. If you are using Facebook advertising, the average cost per click is SGD 1.72. Therefore a one-week campaign will cost $1.72 × 10 daily clicks × 7 days = $120 per week.

When managing your Google Ad campaigns, the average cost per click is SGD 2.32. If you are looking to incorporate these campaigns into your digital marketing strategy, you need a minimum weekly budget of SGD 2.32 × 10 daily clicks × 7 days = SGD 160 per week.

Generally, these numbers are just averages since some businesses are likely to have higher costs, especially those that are in competitive industries and niche target markets. To give your campaign the best shot of success, you should always have a large initial budget. This will prevent a collapse of your campaigns in instances where you experience shortfalls.

How Do You Optimize Your Campaigns for Profitability?

After you have let your campaign run for at least seven days, you will get some interesting data points that can help you evaluate whether digital advertising is sensible for your business. Likewise, it helps you set your budget in a manner that enables you to optimize niches in the market.

If your perceived gain from digital advertising outweighs the costs involved and supports customer growth, it will make sense for you to invest more in your digital advertising efforts. The U.S. Small Business Association recommends that you allocate 7% to 8% of your total business revenues towards digital advertising.

If you fail to see the desired results from a digital advertising campaign or fail to get to that point where your campaign doesn’t support an increasing customer base, it makes sense to dial down your campaigns to a sustainable level. For instance, you can dial down to 5 clicks per day compared to the usual 10.

Unless it is apparent that your digital ads are not working, it will be appropriate to leave on some baseline advertising spend so that you can maintain brand awareness as well as continuously test your product offering and messaging.

When it comes to budgeting for digital advertising, you should always learn from doing. Always lean toward your instincts and do what you feel is right for your business because ultimately, each campaign will perform differently. You should leverage the power of digital advertising, which lies in its flexibility.

In digital advertising, it is easy to dial down your expenditure or even substitute keywords that are not providing the desired results. The flexibility of your budget means that you can set your budget according to the needs of your business rather than figures that are set by ad platforms.

How to Lower Digital Advertising Cost and Still Get High ROI

Already, we have extensively discussed the various digital advertising costs you should budget for when venturing into the online Singapore business industry. How you plan and execute the campaigns will determine the return of investment that you will get.

Now, let us shift gears and look at expert tips on how to lower digital advertising costs and still getting high ROI. Managing your marketing budget is crucial as it will cushion you from financial turmoil and ensure that you always have enough capital to support your operations.

  • Strive to Know Everything About Your Customer

What does the ideal customer want from your brand? Which service are they looking for? How can your product solve the customer’s current problem? These are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself when creating a marketing campaign.

Mistakes can have significant negative ramifications on your marketing budget. Having a clear understanding of the ideal customer will help you avoid them by making tactical and well-informed decisions. Leverage marketing automation software to capture and store all customer data in a secure database. Make sure that you update it regularly, as the market is dynamic.

If you have been doing surveys every three months, it’s time to change that and do it once or twice every month. The surveys will help you to stay abreast of any changes in the market and make the necessary changes to your marketing campaigns if the need arises.

  • Use PR for Brand Awareness

Public relation is still a viable way of communicating with the target customers. Unknown to most people is there is a difference between advertising and marketing and PR. Public relation strategies are meant to get other people to do the marketing for you. In contrast, advertising or marketing tells the customers how great your products or services are compared to the competitors.

The awareness will catapult your brand to the next level by exposing your brand to thousands of potential customers. Here are some PR hacks that you can use to achieve this objective;

  • Identify public speaking opportunities such as conferences and request to give a talk
  • Use guerrilla marketing tactics such as street marketing and event ambushing
  • Develop a cordial relationship with journalists and reporters
  • Use paid and free PR wire services to launch products

There is no shortage of things that you can share to get the required traction. For instance, you can hire a content writer to write a whitepaper or press releases. Launch a new product and convince the local reporters to feature it in the weekly blog.

All these simple strategies will complement and enhance your marketing communication strategies.

  • Content Repurposing

To get results from digital advertising, you need to have a robust content marketing strategy. You will need to allocate some funds to creating content, but the total cost is lower than PPC and other marketing strategies.

Commit yourself to create top-notch content that is relevant to not only your brand and what it offers but also to the customers. Research to know the interests of the current and potential customers. Find out which type of content resonates with them best and what search engines consider authority and rank highly.

Video content receives the highest engagement level than other types of content. Create succinct videos about your products and distribute them on social media platforms. User-generated videos and behind-the-scenes footage are loved by many and help you connect with prospects at a deeper level.

However, you will not always have enough time to create new content but cannot afford not to communicate the intended message. In such instances, consider repurposing the existing content to save time and still get results.

For instance, you can transform a blog that has not been getting much traffic into an infographic. Be sure to add visuals and the right colours in the infographic to grasp the audience’s attention. Go the extra mile also to share it on your social media pages. It should be properly optimised to be viewed on mobile devices.

  • Cut Spending on Banner Ads

Banner ads will help increase organic traffic and sales significantly. They are expensive to design and distribute and will take up a large portion of your budget more often than not. Reduce the cost by investing more in search engine marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing. The three strategies are more affordable and will organically channel qualified leads to your website.

A website ranked at the top of the search engine results page gets 32.5% CTR (Click through rate) compared to other lowly ranked websites. Applying the best SEO practices and producing high-quality content will get your website to the top of SERPs.

The content published on the website should match the needs and interests of the audience. Again, research to know what the customers are looking for when using specific keyword phrases on Google and other search engines. Don’t just use text; spice it up with infographics and videos.

  • Leverage PDFs

Print advertising used to be effective in helping brands generate revenue. Not anymore, as most people rely on the internet as the primary source of information. Save the money you would have spent on brochure printing services by actively creating PDF versions of the brochures.

Distribute the PDF versions on your website via email and social media networks. You can also organise all the PDFs in a SlideShare to make them accessible to more customers. The goal is to reduce the advertising costs and still get results; PDFs will pass the intended message and save money on print advertising and expensive online ads.

  • Carry Our Data Analysis

Every decision that you make related to your digital marketing campaigns should be based on market data. There is a plethora of software that you can use to collect and analyse market data on the fly. Find one that matches your brand and the goals that you want to achieve. Train the marketing team to use the tool to guarantee accuracy in decision-making and new campaigns.

The data will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your digital advertising campaigns. It will also help identify gaps in the market that you can leverage to scale up your brand to the next level. For example, the analysis will reveal customer behaviour trends and enable you to ride the wave before your competitors get wind about them.

More importantly, the data will inform innovation; that is, you will create innovative marketing strategies based on the customers’ demand for your products and services.

  • Have a Strategic Approach

One of the primary reasons why businesses fail to get results even after spending thousands of dollars in digital advertising is because the campaigns are not strategic. Set yourself from this group and join the winners by taking a strategic approach when developing digital advertising campaigns.

Use analytical tools to identify the weak points or loopholes in the campaign and either fill or eliminate them. Focus your energy, time, and resources on the campaigns that drive the highest number of sales. Look at the campaigns that have potential but are not performing, and improve them.

  • Carry Out Market Segmentation

Market segmentation refers to analysing the available market data and creating groups or data clusters of the customers. Each segment should comprise customers who have the same interests and have other similarities such as age, location, social class, and education level.

The market segments should inform your decision to use a particular marketing strategy and to ditch the other. For example, if you have been using social media marketing and getting no results, maybe it’s because the customers are not active social media users.

Create a marketing campaign for each segment instead of one expensive marketing campaign for all the customers. That way, you will be able to carry out better market research and develop products or services that meet their needs amicably.

Word of mouth is still a powerful marketing mode; segmenting the market will increase the chances of customers in the same group discussing your products. Other prospects are likely to join in the conversation and visit your website to learn more about your brand.

  • Work on Client Retention

In a recent poll, 70% of businesses polled reported that the cost of retaining an existing customer is lower than the cost of acquiring a new customer. Only 30% of agencies and 40% of companies have the same budget for customer retention and acquisition.

Be different to stand out and get a higher cutting edge in the market. Do everything possible to impress the current customers to encourage them to buy from you regularly. Offer them incentives such as special discounts and offers during the holidays.

Such incentives will lure them into placing more orders and promote your brand through positive reviews on social media and word of mouth. You could also request some of them to create a short clip explain their experience using the product.

Post such videos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat to spark a conversation. Note that online consumers trust reviews from real customers more than content from companies about a product.

If you are on a tight budget or want to reduce the amount of money you spend on digital advertising, start focussing more on providing the best customer service and engaging with the customers better to enhance the retention rate.

  • Embrace Market Automation

Market automation uses new generation software to automate marketing tasks that you previously used to do manually. The software reduces the human resource capital and saves time and money you would have spent on the activities.

Like the market research tools, make sure that you select a market automation tool that matches your brand and vision. The ideal software should be affordable, user-friendly, and compatible with the existing systems in the company.

Email Marketing Hacks for Brands that Are on a Tight Budget

Email marketing provides the highest return on investment (ROI) than any other digital marketing strategy. One dollar spent on email marketing offers an ROI of SGD 56 on average. With the number of email users expected to reach 4.3 billion by 2023, it’s not difficult to see why businesses allocate a large portion of their marketing budget to email marketing.

The main reason many businesses are yet to embrace this form of marketing is that they believe it’s expensive. Unknown to them is that there are several hacks that they can use to benefit from it without breaking the bank.

Here are inexpensive email marketing hacks that you can use when on a tight budget and still get good results.

1. Reduce the Dead Weight

A plausible reason why you have been spending thousands of dollars on email marketing and getting no results is that your email list has countless addresses of customers who are not interested or are no longer interested in your brand.

You would rather have 500 engaged customers on the list than 3,0000 addresses of people who will never purchase your product. When doing this form of digital advertising, engagement is more critical than the arbitrary number of email subscribers. The numbers don’t guarantee anything, and not every recipient will open the email.

Reduce the cost by cleaning up your list; we love referring to this process as reducing the dead weight. Your list should comprise prospects who are genuinely interested in learning more about your brand and the products you sell.

It’s impossible to tell whether people who are currently not engaged will change their minds and convert. Based on this fact, instead of just deleting the email addresses, put them in a separate inactive subscribers list. You can decide to surprise them with an offer every couple of months but don’t allocate any funds to them.

2. Use an Email Automation Software

As your business grows, you will realise that you will be spending more money on email marketing than before due to the influx of new customers and more frequent remarketing campaigns.

One sure way of reducing the cost is by stopping doing the tasks manually and investing in email automation software. Automation will save you hundreds of hours that you would have spent sending out the emails manually and save money for other equally important digital marketing activities.

Email marketing automation will come in handy in remarketing and new customers’ welcome sequencing and onboarding processes. It will help you create cordial relationships with the customers, thereby increasing the chances of visiting your website and converting.

Another significant benefit of using automation software is that you will be able to personalise your emails. Online customers like doing business with brands that offer personalised experiences. You can also use the software to insert personal information such as the customer’s name in the emails instead of a generic “Hello” or “Hi.”

3. Complement the Campaigns with Social Media Marketing

There are more than 3.96 billion social media users in the world today. A viral video or ad will give your brand a significant boost. Social media integrate perfectly with email if you make the right steps. Use the current community on your social media pages to get more email subscribers.

Not all the followers will be open to joining the email list. Draw them in with discounts and freebies that are related to your product or services. The freebie should be something valuable and worth their time. Be sure to post that you sent an email in the pages to get the highest email open rate possible.

The success of email marketing is dependent on your creativity and how you engage with customers. You can increase the number of people who receive and open the email by sharing parts of the emails you sent out on the social media pages.

For instance, screenshots of information that you shared will show the followers who are yet to open the email what they missed out on. Followers who are yet to subscribe will be able to join the email list to get the information and maybe discounts that are offered to only the subscribers.

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Some companies even share the subscription button on their Instagram and Facebook pages, do the same. Ensure that you include social media buttons in your emails to grow your community on the various networks.

4. Power of Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most potent ways of passing marketing messages to customers without being too invasive. This form of communication with customers not only spurs engagement but also makes the message more memorable.

Customers are interested in knowing how you developed a particular product, your brand’s history, success stories from customers, and other information pieces that other brands are hesitant to share.

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Using storytelling, you will get a higher return on investment as the message will encourage the customers to visit the website and place an order. Even if they don’t purchase the product immediately, rest assured that your message is home, and they will most likely come back and buy when they are ready.

With attention spans getting smaller by the day, you have to make sure that you pass the intended message fast. The average email open rate ranges from 15 to 20 seconds. You have probably been getting a low ROI because your email copy is not engaging enough.

It’s time to reverse this trend by using storytelling to get the attention of the customers. Use visuals to make the content spicy and easy to comprehend. Make sure of real anecdotes and expound on them to evoke positive emotions.

5. Embrace Mobile Optimisation

58% of people read their emails early in the morning, even before taking breakfast. You don’t want to ruin their day by sending out a poorly-formatted email that is not accessible on mobile. Otherwise, your emails will either not be read or will be marked as spam.

Avoid such issues by making sure that all your emails are optimised for mobile.

A majority of people use their tablets and smartphones to read the email. If you have visuals such as an infographic, make sure that it’s optimised to adapt to different screen sizes. The contents of the visuals should also be easily readable.

More importantly, a significant number of people still read their emails on a computer. Make sure that your email copy is also optimised for this group of customers.

The goal is to send out emails to customers who are interested in your brand and get results. If you succeed in lowering the amount of money you spend on email marketing but get little or no results, you won’t fully achieve that goal.


Your digital advertising should result in more business opportunities. Therefore, you should strike the right balance between advertising expenditure and results. This is why you should come with a budget that suits your business needs and aspirations to ensure that your digital advertising campaigns result in increasing returns for your business.

Strive to be different from the competitors by creating marketing campaigns that are unique and better connected to the customers. The first few days of running the digital campaign will undoubtedly be tricky and challenging. Nonetheless, you will see a clear picture of how far your budget can go and the number of new customers that you can attract with your digital ad campaign.  

We, MediaOne, can assist you with digital advertising costs estimation and budget as well as create a robust campaign that will catapult your business to the next level. Get in touch with us for more details about our Singapore digital marketing services. 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.

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