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As businesses are realizing how important online advertising is for sales these days, more companies are investing in internet marketing. That’s a smart decision because reaching customers online doesn’t just boost e-commerce. It also increases the number of people shopping at your physical store locations. When evaluating your options for marketing, however, one question invariably comes up: “How much is this going to cost me?”

It’s natural for business owners to consider price when investing in any service, even for things that are essential. Online marketing is essential. How much money should you set aside for internet advertising?

Cheaper Isn’t the Way To Go

First, there’s the issue of bargain-basement advertising agencies that promise you a lot but deliver very little. If there’s one place you get what you pay for, it’s online advertising. Going with the absolute cheapest option or having your employees handle “DIY online marketing” in their spare time will never produce good results. Why not?

For one thing, because it requires in-depth research to reach your customers. You need to understand who you’re marketing to, what they’re looking for and how to help them find your business online. Also, search engines prioritize high-quality content that is helpful, engaging and professional. That’s something you’re not going to get from the rock-bottom marketing plan.

That doesn’t mean you have to choose the most expensive marketing plan, either. The key is to focus on expertise and results. A good marketing agency has satisfied clients and good practices. It can show you exactly how it plans to help your business and what the benefits are.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

A common mistake when getting started with online advertising services is thinking you need to check all the boxes for your marketing strategy: content marketing, social media marketing, print marketing, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, etc. The truth is that many businesses can get by just fine with a couple of those avenues.

Again, understanding your customers is a big help here. If you know most of your target audience uses social media, then it makes sense to invest in social media marketing. If you mainly sell to other businesses, print media such as product catalogs may be worth your time.

Getting Maximum Return-on-Investment

What’s the answer to “How much should I spend on online marketing?” There’s no single right answer. You goal is to maximize your return-on-investment (ROI). Choose the online advertising options that give you the biggest results for the best price.