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Price curve graph
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Build your brand and business presence with the help of professional advertising. Marketing pros can help you with all aspects of advertising, from creating content like articles and commercials to negotiating media buys and placement to make sure your content gets seen and heard on billboards and TV, in newspapers and magazines, and on the radio. Whether your monthly marketing budget is under $500 or over $10,000, or you only want one-time advertising help, marketing pros are here to get your business name heard. A wide range of factors affect advertising costs.

Media buying

Marketing companies negotiate time slots and ad space on your behalf. Companies that produce video, audio and online content may be able to charge less for their media buying and placement services because they also produce your content. One example is Reel Big Media of Albion, Rhode Island, which charges clients 7.5 percent of the total media buying fee. Traditionally a media buyer will charge 10-15 percent of the total media buying fee, says Ron Carlstrom of Reel Big Media. The company will work directly with the media outlets to provide them with files in the right formats, and will handle all the communications and negotiations around scheduling for you. Here are some examples from Reel Big Media of media placement costs in New England:

  • Monthlong package on a small, local radio station for a 30- to 60-second spot: $1,000-$2,000.

  • Monthlong package on a premier radio station for a 30- to 60-second spot: $10,000.

  • Monthlong commercial package on TV for a 30-second spot: $25,000-$100,000, depending on whether it airs on local cable or a larger group like Comcast.

Audio

Produce audio recordings for your company to use on the radio. Carlstrom of Reel Big Media explains they can record the client’s own voice, or Reel Big Media will recruit and vet actors (known as talent) to do the voice-over for the radio ad, and will offer the client three voice options to choose from. After a read-through teleconference to perfect the pronunciation, the final recordings, editing and musical touches are completed. Reel Big Media negotiates buying the radio spots and sends the audio file to the station. Creating the audio file can range in price from $1,250-$2,000, depending on whether the client chooses to hire professional voice talent.

Video

Professional production companies can create videos for your commercials, social media videos, trainings and more. Production value is the main determinant of video cost. The number of locations in the shoot, the use of aerial footage, the use of talent and the extent of editing required all contribute to the production value. Video intended for TV, for example, typically requires a higher production value than a video for social media, explains Carlstrom of Reel Big Media. Whether you want to record video for a TV commercial or your Facebook feed, here are some examples of video cost:

  • Aerial video for commercial real estate advertising: $1,250 from Reel Big Media.

    • Drone pilot shot video footage as well as still photos, and edited footage together with graphic animation overtop. Project turnaround time was one week.

    • Video footage was placed on MLS, LoopNet and social media for marketing.
  • Animated video for plumbing company: $3,500-$4,000 from Reel Big Media.

    • Wrote a script and created animated video showcasing the plumber’s unique services. Reel Big Media placed it on the client’s website and social media channels, and the plumbing company displayed it on screens in plumbing supply stores.
  • Base rates for filming from Reel Big Media:

    • Half-day filming rate: $2,250-$3,500.

    • Full-day filming rate: $3,500-$5,000.

    • Editing costs: $1,000-$2,000 for a 15- to 90-second video.

    • Hourly rate for additional editing: $100-$125 per hour.
  • Average price range for TV commercial video production: $7,500-$15,000 from Reel Big Media.

Outdoor advertising

Billboards, kiosks and other outdoor marketing strategies are another way to reach your audience with your message. Pricing varies by region as well as the location of the advertising. With billboard advertising, factors that can impact cost are the traffic or circulation potentially exposed to your message, the audience who will be seeing it (fancy neighborhoods have higher billboard costs than economically depressed neighborhoods), and impressions—the number of people who may actually see your message. A premier spot in Massachusetts might be $25,000 per month, explains Carlstrom with Reel Big Media.

Newspaper

Newspapers promote your sales events, spread news about your services, and are delivered to customers’ doorsteps every morning. The cost of newspaper advertising depends on the size of the paper’s circulation, the physical size of your ad, whether it’s in color or black and white, the length of time you’re running the ad, and other factors.

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Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.