How can I find out the cost of Social Media Marketing, SEO and SEM? Is there anyway to find out how much a particular company spent on it's campaigns?

I run a travel start up and want to drive traffic to my website. I need to have a marketing budget to present to my Investor and would like to know how I can measure this cost. I have a few companies who have done these sort of campaigns before and would like to know how much this effort costed. To name a few: Triphobo, Tripoto, Tripigator, Travel Triangle. Channels I plan to use are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google SEO and SEM. Thanks in advance


Very few brands will openly discuss how much they spend in advertising. This is a highly-sensitive data and a competitive advantage.

You can use industry averages for cost of acquisitions, however. If you use $1 per click and/or $15 per client acquisition, for example, you can do simple math to figure out what your marketing budget should be.

Measuring, improving, and showing ROI is a topic more complex than I want to get into on this forum.

If you'd like, we can schedule a call or schedule some training on this.

All the best,

Answered 8 years ago

You can get an idea of your competitor's organic search proficiency and their paid digital advertising by using This is an excellent tool for competitive research. Since they use a method of data collection that is different from a tool like Google Analytics, the numbers typically won't match exactly. But will give you solid data from which you can make your own comparisons.

Answered 8 years ago

Hi, I have a digital marketing practice in India. Since 2008, with my team, I have helped businesses across industries and nations grow sales through online media.

Addressing your query, this can be done in a number of ways. One of the bests ways is to:

For Facebook: As per your audience profile and target locations, you can get approximate cost per reach, cost per conversion in Facebook Ads. This will help you set you daily budgets.

For Twitter: You can get Promoted Tweets done at very competitive budgets.

For Google SEO: This will require sustained efforts and a long term strategy. As above, narrow down on your target audience profile and target locations. Research on their online behavior, for this, you can analyze competitors' websites, their traffic patterns, keywords and get yourself a keyword research done. Based on results, optimize your website such that it addresses needs of your target audiences. Start blogging on relevant topics and build your brand's online reputation, visibility and ranking. Voila, you will see your website start ranking on top SERPs in few months time!

For SEM: Above research will help you get estimates for cost per click, cost per action, as per your objectives; from Google Adwords. You can also explore Bing Ads if that works.

For Travel Portals, you can contact them directly and get quotes.

I hope this addresses some of your queries. All said and done, it is IMPORTANT that you have a CONVERSION STRATEGY in place. I can say this from experience wherein many businesses have awesome websites but abysmal sales conversions. Many of my clients from the hospitality industry had this issue, wherein my first step was to improve their Traffic Conversion ratio.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further queries or would like to brainstorm on ideas.

Answered 8 years ago

You should never think of your marketing budget in terms of "spend" or set spends each month. Your budget needs to be fluid and based on performance.

If you spend $1 to make $3-$4 then spend until you make less from that dollar.

Competitive insights into marketing spends is tough because no competitor will ever give you access to the real numbers. But SEMrush is probably the best tool in terms of estimating a website's online marketing spend. It only looks at Google organic and paid though, not Facebook or anything else.

I'm happy to run some reports for you on my SEMrush account if you would like. Just ping me.

Answered 8 years ago

Agree with looking at tools like SEMrush, Spyfu, and Alexa to find out what your competitors are doing. That will not only help you understand what they're doing, but also show you opportunities that may be undervalued, and areas you should ignore for now since they are so competitive.

But you should also be looking at how you will measure ROI, not just spend. Measuring spend is ridiculously easy, be sure you have a digital sales funnel set up for every ad you do so you can properly track ROI. You should be able to show 3x return for every dollar spent.

Answered 8 years ago

Prices will vary considerably based on what you want accomplished; the breadth and scope of the project undertaking, people involved, whether it's ongoing (which is always desirable as it garners more results, hence more returns on investment), or a single "one off" effort, if there's training needed, ongoing maintenance required, and actually more than that. And prices will also vary depending upon level of professionalism and overall quality: a professional with 15 years' experience can (and in my opinion, should) charge more than someone who's just starting out and may be inexperienced.

One way to estimate cost is to work out in specific detail what you would like back in return for your investment. So if you stated you want more traffic to a site, I'd ask you what type of traffic do you want? Do you want stay-at-home mothers to patronize your site or corporate attorneys, chefs or CPAs? Any professional with real-world SEO experience can be as specific as you may want. The less targeted your goal, the less targeted your results will be and more scattered...and the less legitimate leads you'll get from a campaign.

What's your budget for a) hiring the SEO/SEM/Social Media expert and b) what's your budget for paying for that professional's budget? This is something non-developers or business owners new to SEO and internet marketing seldom consider. Or is it all one lump sum? Advertising on Facebook can vary from Google Ads, Bing will probably be cheaper but deliver different results from Yahoo, and so on. And all of those advertisers charge different rates and use different metrics to measure and quantify results.

So, without getting too "techie" (if I haven't already done so), I would budget (at least) what I would to place an ad in a local newspaper for several months or what it would cost to place an ad in a local area weekly, or what you'd expect to pay to join a local Chamber of Commerce - with the caveat that a professional web developer with a background in SEO/SEM and social should be able to deliver great return on investment and in more varied ways across the board So whomever you'd work with, you'd want to make sure they can inform and/or train you enough to be able to value and understand what they're doing and how their delivering value to you, make sure they understand branding, content marketing, have testimonials and professional memberships, use contracts, and ask lots of questions. You'd want to build an ongoing partnership with the person to get the best results.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you'd like more details on anything touched on.

Answered 8 years ago

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