Cost to Advertise on National TV

The first question many businesses owners ask when considering online advertising opportunities is “how does digital advertising compare to traditional forms of advertising?”

It’s definitely a question worth asking, since regardless of your industry or business model, you want to be sure you’re getting the highest possible returns for your advertising investment.

Call 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about online advertising plans from WebFX, or keep reading to learn more about the costs associated with national TV advertising, and how it compares to online alternatives.

How much does it cost to advertise on national TV?

Production costs for a typical national TV ad range from $100,000 to $8 million. On average, placement for a 30-second national TV ad costs about $350,000. Costs can vary significantly, however, based on when and where your ad runs, the type of ad you create, and other factors.

Below, we’ll break down the costs of national TV advertising and compare them to online advertising. We’ll also discuss a few other major differences between these two channels.

Setup process & setup cost

The first cost involved with any form of advertising is any associated setup fees.

National TV advertising

The setup process for national TV advertising has two main stages: design and production.

Design refers to the creation of the ad itself. You have to decide on the concept, whether you’ll need to hire designers or actors, and the script you’ll follow for the ad. In most cases, you’ll need to work with an outside agency that specializes in video.

Production is the actual creation process. After you have the design and style decided, you still need to film the ad. Production entails everything from initial shooting to editing and reviewing.

The setup process for TV advertising can run you anywhere from $63,000 to $8 million and can be quite time consuming, depending on the complexity and length of the ad.

Online advertising

The setup process for national online advertising is comparatively simple. You need just a website, and rudimentary ad “designs.”

Because most online advertising networks don’t allow for complete autonomy over the format, design, etc. of an ad, the design aspect is very straightforward. In many cases, all you have to do is select an image for the ad, write a headline, and write some short copy for the body of the ad.

The website aspect of online advertising is necessary because you need to direct users somewhere after they click on your ad. Website design and creation can really run the gambit in terms of time and money spent, and can be done successfully both on the cheap and with larger investments.

The setup process for online advertising is virtually free if you already have a website for your company. If not, it will typically cost you anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000, although it can also be done for much less and much more depending on the circumstances of your business.

Cost of media

Next, you’ll have to consider the cost of getting your ads in front of your target audience.

National TV advertising

When talking about the cost of media for a national TV ad, you measure in terms of dollars spent per second of advertisement, also known as air time.

The average going rate for an ad on national TV is approximately $342,000 per 30 seconds of air time.

Online advertising

The cost of media for online advertising, on the other hand, refers usually to how much you end up paying per qualified visitor. A qualified visitor is a member of your target demographic, usually with high buying intent.

This cost can vary greatly depending on your industry and several other variables, but you’ll usually spend between 5 cents and $3 per qualified visitor to your website.

Cost to continue

Once you’ve launched an ad campaign, you’ll need to pay ongoing fees if you want to keep using it to reach your audience.

National TV advertising

In order to continue a national TV advertising campaign, you have to factor in the recurring cost of media on top of the rate you pay your video production agency.

Even if you don’t opt to partner up with a production agency, you’ll be looking at that $342,000 per 30 seconds of air time for every additional ad you want shown.

Online advertising

The cost of an ongoing online advertising strategy is simply that same 5 cent – $3 cost per qualified visitor you’ve already been paying.

You may have to design new advertisements here and there, but this can be done without much hassle.

Demographic served

In addition to simply looking at costs, the demographic you can reach with any form of advertising should also play a role in your decision.

National TV advertising

This is where things get a little hazy with national TV advertising. You can narrow down your demographic slightly based on which channels your ad runs on, but this still isn’t very accurate.

The truth here is that you won’t ever have a very clear idea of what specific demographics your ad is viewed by, at least within the context of national TV as opposed to more local stations.

Online advertising

With online advertising, you get a surprising amount of control over who sees your ads. While your targeting options definitely depend on what ad network you’re utilizing, some common demographic targeting options are:

In other words, it’s possible to construct a finely-tuned online advertising campaign that’s catered to the exact demographic you want to hit.

Definitive ROI tracking?

Once you’ve launched a new ad campaign, you’ll need to figure out how to determine your ROI.

National TV advertising

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to measure when it comes to the results of TV ads.

Many companies do what they can by asking new customers “where did you hear about us?” but this requires relying on consistent self-reporting. Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to get an accurate data pool with this method.

Online advertising

With online advertising, ROI is the name of the game. You can track just about everything: You’ll know how many times your ads have been seen, how many times they’ve been clicked on, how frequently a click converts into an actual customer, and much more.

In fact, the entire model of online PPC advertising is centered on optimization through careful data analysis.

Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that improve your bottom line.

See More Results

WebFX has driven the following results for clients:

$3 billion

In client revenue

7.8 million

Leads for our clients

5.2 million

Client phone calls

Ready to reach more customers with online channels?

Advertising on national TV has worked well for some businesses in the past, and will continue to work well for some businesses in the future.

However, when compared to the online advertising channel, there are some clear shortcomings that come along with national TV advertising.

If you’re thinking about trying out national online advertising, we’d love to help!

At WebFX, our expert team of Internet marketers has years of experience structuring and managing lucrative online advertising campaigns. We know how to test and optimize so that you end up with the best possible ROI, and we’ve helped businesses across the country use smart online advertising to improve their bottom lines.

Contact us today for more information, or for a free quote!