What Are the Different Types of Media Advertising Costs?

Advertising is vitally important to the success of most businesses. Without advertising, customers may not know a business exists, let alone what it offers and how it could benefit them. There are many different types of advertising, each with its own costs and considerations. When examining media advertising costs, it is important to do a cost-benefit analysis that estimates whether the increase in business will more than compensate for the media advertising costs.

The major source of media advertising costs that may first jump to mind is the ad buy, or the amount it costs to run an advertisement in a given type of media for a set period of time. These media advertising costs tend to dramatically increase depending on the amount of people exposed to the media and how many other companies are competing for the same time or space; for instance, an ad in the local newspaper will cost far less than a 30-second television commercial during a major sporting event, both because it is far more valuable and there is much higher competition for available spots.

In a newspaper or magazine, factors that can affect the media advertising costs associated with the initial buy include the size of the ad, whether it is in color or black and white, where it is placed, and how long it runs. In some cases, advertisers can negotiate a better price by agreeing to run the ad longer. In television, the popularity of the channel and program, length of the ad, time slot where it is aired, how many times it will run per day or week can all vastly affect the ad buy price.

Another important source of media advertising costs is the development and creation of the advertisement itself. For print ads, such as newspaper ads, flyers, and billboards, costs may include hiring a designer or photographer to create the layout, design logos, or take pictures to use in the ad. Labor and supply costs, such as the staff time and supplies it takes to print 4,000 flyers, or the costs associated with erecting and maintaining an outdoor billboard, may also be a consideration.

For television, film, and online advertisements, a huge area of media advertising costs may include the production of a commercial. This may include hiring writers, directors, actors, cameramen, and technicians, paying for a location or studio, renting lights, cameras, costumes, and props, and feeding the cast and crew daily. Hiring a recognizable actor will increase these costs dramatically, while creating a text-only commercial might reduce costs significantly.

Internet media advertising costs are a very different kettle of fish than traditional advertising methods. Many businesses rely on pay-per-click advertisements, which direct a user to the company website from another location. Usually, the business will pay a few cents to the website owner for posting the ad, or may sign up for a monthly-fee service that distributes ads over related member sites. Pay-per-click advertising can be an excellent way to add traffic to a website, and even serves as an Internet billboard for those that choose not to click on the ad.


Discuss this Article

Post 3

@SarahGen-- There are definitely ways to get around the costs. Some social networking sites do have options for advertising at lower costs than advertisements on websites. Those can be very useful, but sometimes they are a hit or miss.

I also know small companies that advertise through personal blogs and through others' social media accounts with free giveaways, gifts, coupons, etc. You would be surprised how many people would be happy to retweet or repost your ad in return for a coupon or a chance to win a free product. The cost turns out to be little to nothing and it can have a fairly wide reach and effectiveness.

Post 2

@ddljohn-- Yes, but what about social media? I'm not necessarily talking about websites. What about social networking sites? Those can be used for advertising and I don't think it costs too much.

Post 1

For the most part, it seems that the wider the reach of an ad, the more it will cost. It's not easy for small, family owned companies to afford ads in papers, radio and news. It requires a lot of money. Internet ads tend to be more affordable, but they are still expensive on very well know, popular sites with nationwide reach and high potential.

So basically, if you want to reach a lot of people, you have to be prepared to pay a lot.

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