Part 1: Your pennies don't belong on social networks

How much should I spend on advertising? Almost every client we’ve helped run ads wants our recommendation on how much to spend. It’s one of the most difficult questions for us to answer.

There are so many factors that can influence a budget. What budget you actually have vs. what you want. How fast you want to reach your goals. How smart you’ve been with your marketing efforts before you even launch a campaign.

Plus, there aren’t any true benchmarks to beat. Unless you’ve had plenty of experience running campaigns, you’re going in blind. The math can be difficult.

Personally, we don’t think Facebook does anyone a favor by promoting results for as little as $1 per day. It’s a trick to lure advertisers and trains them to ask the wrong questions.

One reason it’s taken so long for brands to devote serious dollars behind social advertising is because there are no fixed prices. Think Snapchat, the outlier (for now). It takes $X if you want to run X ad unit. If you want to advertise on Snapchat bad enough – you’ll pay for it. This is one reason why it’s been easy for advertisers to flippantly throw leftover pennies toward Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

When you really want something and believe in it, what would you pay? You don’t save money for nothing. You save toward a specific goal and make choices for it. If you want a diamond ring, you save for it, maybe even cut back budget elsewhere. What you don’t do is throw a Cubic Zirconia budget toward advertising and expect it not to scratch.

You have to know what you want, be willing to invest toward it and have fair expectations around the outcome. If you aren’t willing to invest, are you really invested in the outcome or the investment it takes to continue success? If you’re only willing to spend pennies, might as well save ‘em.

We have a series of questions we ask clients to help them decide if they’re ready to start advertising and set expectations. We’d love to chat with you about it, too! Email me at Meredith@twelvenorthconsulting.com.

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Part 2 coming soon about how the access to advertise on social networks has deteriorated the finesse of marketing.