If you run a cupcake business that you would like to expand, you should consider leveraging the power of the Internet to gain exposure. However, nothing is free, and cost should be an important consideration if you plan to start advertising your cupcakes online. Unfortunately, asking how much online advertising costs usually leads to many confusing answers.
The closest you will come to a good answer is “it depends,” which can be quite frustrating. Online advertising covers a huge range of options that include display ads, sponsored content, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and more. Different channels involve different price ranges and models.
The amount marketers spend on Internet marketing has been on the rise in recent years, and it is poised to overtake TV ad spending in a couple of years. Some businesses prefer to spend close to nothing or actually nothing on their marketing efforts while others spend millions on elaborate online marketing campaign across different channels. However, most fall somewhere between the two extremes.
If this is your first attempt at gaining online exposure for your cupcakes, the ballpark estimates provided here will help you determine the channels that are best suited for your business. The following is a discussion of some of the options available for you to increase exposure for your cupcake business online and how much you can expect to pay.
The Online Advertising Options Available For Your Cupcakes
The best thing about online marketing is that you have complete control over the amount you would like to spend. You get to choose what your budget is, and you can always experiment to find out which channels provide the best returns for your budget. Here are the options you can choose from:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization refers to the process of improving your website so that it ranks higher in the search engine results for relevant search terms. The better you optimize your cupcake website, the more the potential customers and interested visitors you will attract.
A successful SEO strategy requires the services of an experienced agency unless you have prior experience. The cost that SEO agencies typically charge are usually monthly and range between $500 and $5,000 per month.
The exact cost depends on the SEO agency you work with, its pricing model, and the service you require. It is also worth noting that most SEO agencies now require annual contracts with the ones that don’t usually charging higher monthly rates.
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Bing, Google, and other search engines will allow you to create and run ads that will appear above or beside the regular search results for particular search terms. The ads operate on a PPC system, which means that you only pay when somebody clicks on your ad.
PPC ads operate on a bidding model, which means that for your ad to display, you should be ready to pay more for clicks than your competitors. The cost per click can range between a few cents and a few hundred dollars. However, you can expect to pay an average of between $1 and $2 per click.
PPC ads don’t just display in the search engine results. You have the option of running them on the expansive Google Display Network, which means that they will appear on websites relevant to your target market.
- Email Marketing
Email marketing might be one of the oldest forms of Internet marketing it still has one of the highest ROIs of all online marketing channels. However, the amount you invest in email marketing will depend on your preferred platform and who is responsible for creating the content for the emails.
If you decide to compose and send out the emails yourself, you still will require an email platform so that you can reach all your customers. The cost can range between $10 and $2,500 monthly, but this will depend on the number of subscribers you have.
Fortunately, many Internet marketing agencies now have email marketing plans that include both content creation and use of a platform. You can realistically expect to pay between $200 and $300 monthly plus setup fees for such marketing plans.
- Content Marketing
If your cupcake business has a regularly updated blog, you are currently doing content marketing to a certain extent. Content marketing refers to creating and promoting original content with the aim of reaching new potential customers and informing readers.
You cupcake business can benefit greatly from this with regards to online exposure and brand awareness. The best thing is that the only costs you are likely to incur are in content creation. You can create it yourself free, or you can hire a copywriter, which costs between $100 and $300 per page.
- Social Media Marketing
You can create free accounts on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and engage with your customers. While this might be effective on its own, the paid advertising options available on different platforms can help you make the most of your social media strategy.
Social media platforms operate PPC models similar to the search engines, and you can expect to pay an average cost per click that can be as low as $.05 when running campaigns on Facebook or as high as $4 when running campaigns on LinkedIn.
- Sponsored Content
Besides the five promotional options discussed above, you can decide to sponsor content on websites that are relevant to the audience you are targeting. Sponsored content refers to paid content that offers readers valuable information while promoting your product or business.
For instance, you can buy a sponsored article on BuzzFeed for $20,000. However, this website receives millions of visitors daily. However, for the purpose of practicality, you can find a cheaper option to promote your cupcakes.
You can even create original content, publish it on your website, and then promote its channels such as email and social media. If you are creating interesting content that a major site finds relevant to its readers, it could republish it on its website thereby increasing the exposure of your business.
How Do You Choose The Right Channels For Promoting Your Cupcakes?
The reality is that it is not easy to put a price tag on Internet marketing because there are many pricing models and channels to choose from. However, the good thing about this is that you are free to set your budget then experiment with different options within it.
You will have to test if you want to determine the channels and strategies that are best suited for your cupcake business. However, once you do this, Internet marketing is a cost effective way to increase exposure for your business and reach more customers.
Irrespective of the channel you choose and regardless of what your budget might be, you should always think strategically and always ensure that you focus on potential customers. Focus your marketing on the places they love to visit online, and you are guaranteed to find better results in the end.
The Bottom Line
If you would like to increase the online exposure of your cupcake business, it is important to choose the right channels and set the right budget. The six channels discussed here are some of the most popular ones and are quite useful.
It can be challenging to implement the tips and strategies presented here, and you should consider finding an experienced agency to help you out. A good company will have years of experience creating multi-channel campaigns for its clients and can do the same for you.