You may think that a television commercial is unreasonably expensive for a small business, but the actual cost might surprise you.
The price will vary depending on:
- The size of the television market (depending on the area)
- The time slot
- The popularity of the show you choose
However, as a general guide, TV advertising costs:
- Big cities: probably run between $5,000 and $10,000 a month
- Smaller cities might charge around $1,000 – 2,000 a month
- Smaller towns, you might be able to run an advertising campaign for as little as $500 a month
This is still a significant amount, but TV commercials will allow you to reach a larger and more engaged audience than most other forms of advertising.
How to Buy TV Commercials
First, you’ll need to decide if you want to advertise through:
- Local broadcasting
Local broadcasting means buying advertisements through your local versions of the big networks. In USA: Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
Cable/satellite advertising is generally cheaper but will reach a smaller audience.
Network broadcasting will be more expensive but will allow you to advertise during popular programs such as American Idol and NFL football and therefore reach a bigger audience.
Target the Right Audience
To make sure your commercial is effective, you need to make sure the right people are watching it.
Television stations will allow you to choose the show and time slot you advertise during, although they may come with different price tags.
Think about when and what your potential customers will be watching to make an informed choice.
If you’re not sure, you can share some demographic information such as the age, gender, and income of your average customer with the television station.
They should be able to help you choose a show and time slot that matches your target group’s preferences.
Factor in Production Costs
Remember that the price of airtime is not the only cost for your commercial; you will also have to produce it.
Depending on your approach, this can be fairly cheap, but if you want a complex commercial, you will have to buy or rent equipment, pay actors, and probably buy some things for set design and costumes.
This can add thousands of dollars to your expenses.
Some local broadcasters, however, may be able to make the commercial for you if you are running the advertisement for long enough.
They may still charge you for this service, even if you are advertising with them.
Ask an account executive if they can offer you a deal on a package of advertising and commercial production.
What do you think?
Have your say in the comments below.