How Much Ad Spend Is Enough?

Dec 11, 2023 | FAQs, Online Marketing

If you’ve ever run any kind of digital ad, you know that there’s a lot that goes into the planning stages of it. More often, people turn to digital agencies like ourselves because they don’t have the time to set up and maintain ads to their fullest potential. Meanwhile, with business owners being primarily focused on growing their traffic and leads, the question they more often ask is “How much Ad Spend is enough?“.

The answer to that depends on a few things…

There’s a lot to consider before you begin to plan for an ad, which is why we decided to provide a more long-form answer that arms you with everything you need to know!

What Platform Should I Run Ads On?

This is a great starting question because the answer often varies from one person to the next. Your initial decision can also change once you’ve gotten a better idea of what your budget should be. So figuring out how much ad spend to budget for begins with deciding where you’ll be advertising.

If you have a budget large enough to run ads on all platforms – and you know your target audience can be found on all platforms – then you’ll want to consider everything we talk about in this article.

If you’re not sure, then you want to seriously consider the following breakdown first…

Do you offer services or products which most people turn to search engines to find?

Common examples are:
(1) If you’re an area-based service provider that has local competitors.
(2) If you have an online store that can ship across the country or internationally.
(3) If your base of operations and lead generation & communication is through your website, and you want to improve your online visibility.
(4) If you offer a more personal service, and your target audience is scattered across various social media platforms (or perhaps, includes people that don’t use social media).

If you feel you fall into the above, then Google Ads should be considered.

Having said that, you might know that your target audience is on Facebook and/or Instagram. Perhaps you’ve grown a loyal following on these platforms and your posts already generate leads and sales. If this is the case, then you shouldn’t hesitate to run Meta Ads.

But if your offerings are B2B, and you find that Facebook and Instagram bring you tire-kickers and followers who are only interested in supporting you (as opposed to being interested in spending money with you)… then it may be a good idea to consider LinkedIn Ads. Since LinkedIn is the more professional social media platform, your ads will be in front of the eyes of crucial decision-makers (ie. business owners, CEOs, etc.) that are more likely aligned with your ideal client profile.

Other advertising platforms include TikTok and Pinterest (to name the other biggest platforms at this time). But since the above three are our go-to for small businesses, that’s what we’re talking about here.

Meta Ads

Despite the many settings areas & screens that Meta has for business purposes these days, these ads are fairly easy to set up. The advantage of Meta Ads is that if you have an Instagram account connected to your Facebook business page/profile, the ad will run on both platforms.

If you’re able to set up your ad in the earlier hours of the day, it’s guaranteed that it will be approved and start running by late afternoon. This is a bonus because it does not have a lengthy approval process or learning stage. You can also run it for any length of time without implications.

The exception to the above is if you want to start with an A/B test – which will allow you to set up two different ad sets, and let it run long enough to find out which set is the winner. After that, you’ll have the option to set up your ad campaign using the winning set. While useful, doing this depends on whether or not you can wait for your campaign to start producing the results you’re hoping for.

The only note is that while running your ad for a longer term, you’ll need to keep an eye on your Ad Account Manager. As time goes on, no one will want to see the same ad over and over again. Meta will let you know when your target audience has seen it too many times and will ask that you change the images. You can also switch up the messaging too – but if you utilize the option to optimize it by person, and have provided multiple text options for each area, it’s at your discretion to rewrite them.

Then when it comes to how much ad spend is enough for Meta: It depends on how many people are in your target audience. It’s possible to do well enough with $10 – $20 / day if your audience is less than 200,000, but you’ll want to increase this if you want more attention faster. After all, you’re paying to have more eyes on your brand; so your daily spend amount will dictate that. The bottom line is that a “good” daily ad spend amount could be anywhere from $20 – $100 / day; or more if your audience is larger than 500,000.

LinkedIn Ads

Like Meta Ads, LinkedIn Ads can be approved and will be running within 24 hours. LinkedIn has also made it easy to set your target audience as you can specify a profile based on a person’s job title; which is information that pretty much everyone on the platform has provided. While it’s not required to set it up that way, this is the reason why we recommend it for B2B services and products.

Most of your planning work on these ads takes into consideration that their best practice is to provide at least 5 ad sets. It all falls under one campaign, but it provides the variety needed to be a form of testing in itself. After a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to see which ad sets get the most clicks, and you can quickly turn off the ones that don’t. It’s optional, but if you’re running ads for a longer period, then you may want to do this.

We wish there was more to add about these ads, but LinkedIn has made it easy for people to set these up and see what’s happening as time goes on. With just a couple of clicks, you can see all the data that shows you what’s working and what isn’t. Having said that, it will take some experimentation on your part when it comes to the images and messaging.

Our recommendation is to create 2 different images for the same messaging, then repeat so you have 6 initial ad sets. This way, it’ll be easier to tell if it’s certain images or certain messages that are garnering more attention. Then, at your discretion, you can further experiment by switching certain images and messages on the lower-performing ad sets and see if that makes a difference.

Much like with ads on other platforms, knowing how much ad spend is enough for LinkedIn depends on how large your target audience is. It’s entirely possible that – if only catering to a certain area, with some specific profile details – you’re looking at an audience that’s less than 50,000. Wherein this is the case, it’s doable to look at spending $10 – $20 / day. If you’re planning a wider campaign, then it’s feasible to plan to spend anywhere between $20 – $80 / day.

Google Ads

Google Ads are a great way to give your website a temporary visibility boost, as well as drive more eyes to your products or services. This is best to target any audience who will turn to search engines first to find what they are looking for. What’s great about setting up Google Ads is that it can also show in third-party apps and platforms – including YouTube, Gmail, and mobile games.

The biggest consideration you should have going into this is planning well ahead for a campaign. These ads take the longest to optimize – because they usually take a good 24 hours to be approved, and then they spend the first week in learning mode. It’s only after this that they begin to ramp up, and they tend to hit their peak as you approach the 30-day mark. It’s only after you’ve run an ad for 30 days that a Google Ad Rep will contact you and tell you what needs to be done next. You can most certainly get in contact with them sooner if you have questions, but they won’t have further optimization recommendations until after that point.

So with that being said, these ads are best for any business that always wants to have these running on an ongoing basis. While you’re welcome to try Google Ads for short campaigns, we have started to not recommend it to our clients unless they’re willing to run the same campaign for more than 2 months. Our most successful campaigns are the ones that have run for 4+ months.

The added benefit of any Google Ad is that it can drive traffic to more than one area of your website. While you will have your ad setup & messaging focused on the particular campaign landing page, Google Ads are considered “optimized” when they have at least 4 additional site links added. This means you will showcase [at least] 4 other pages in addition to your core initiative.

When it comes to how much Ad Spend is enough for Google, it will completely depend on your target audience. It’s possible to set a low limit of $20 – $40 / day, but if your target area is wide, your ad might not show for all hours of the day. As your ad runs for a longer period and learns what works best for its targeting, it will come back and tell you how much extra ad spend to use. It’s safe to say that if you want to “go big” with your Google ad, you should expect to budget for anywhere between $50 – $150 / day. Granted, this can easily exceed $150/day if you’re looking for results while advertising nationwide (as an example).

Want Professional Help With Your PPC Ads?

While we tend to recommend PPC Ads in addition to initiatives that will increase organic traffic, we’re no strangers to ad campaign management. For your Digital Marketing needs, check out our available services. And don’t be afraid to reach out to us if you have questions, or want to have a consultation call via Zoom.

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