Skip to content

Building a Marketing Budget for Your Small Business

Planning a marketing budget should be the first step you take as a small business owner when diving into marketing your small business. Knowing how much you can spend on creating your marketing materials and how you go about spreading them out is important as it affects the quality of your work and how it’s presented to any potential customers.

Having a marketing budget is important for any small business owner to create and maintain at all times. It helps you keep track of your costs and expenses when it comes to promoting your small business online or offline. Without a marketing budget, you could end up losing money and not even knowing where it’s gone.

A small-business marketing budget is your master plan for promoting your small business, including how much time, effort, and money you’ll set aside for each kind of promotion. Marketing activities can be carried out in various ways to promote small businesses; from small businesses’ websites to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Other forms of small business promotion include small business cards, brochures, flyers, and small events in person. The marketing budget is a guide for small-business owners to refer back to when planning the various small-business promotions that will be carried out.

With a small-business marketing budget, small business owners can plan small events to promote their small businesses in a more personal manner. This could be handing out flyers or small business cards at an event, such as a local community fair. Small-business owners can also carry out small online events by running advertisements on sites such as Facebook throughout the day for a

What should you consider when building your marketing budget? Honestly, there are a lot of things you should take into consideration when building your budget. Let’s take a look at them:

How you’ll distribute

First off, you need to know where you’ll be advertising your business.

Will you be primarily online, such as social media? Will you pay for the social media platforms to promote your advertisements? Or are you planning on just posting to your feed and hoping for the best as far as engagement?

Are you planning on posting flyers locally? Will they be in a public space or do you need to make a deal with another business owner to display your marketing materials?

All of these activities cost money and need to be planned and budgeted accordingly.

Type of Content

Different types of content will cost differently. Designing a graphically pleasing flyer to post around town will cost drastically different in certain aspects than a voice-over commercial on a local radio station.

After you decide what distribution route you’ll take, you need to figure out what forms of content will do best with each route.

For example, with Instagram, you’ll want both beautiful photos that pertain to your business (product and event photos do great here!) as well as engaging videos that grab your target audience’s attention. This means you’ll want to budget for both photography and videography.

If you’re only planning on printed marketing, which is not wise in today’s internet-dependant age, you’ll want to make sure you’re budgeting for a graphic designer, photographs, printing, and possibly distribution. It costs money to send out marketing via mail, and it’s important to make sure you don’t overlook any cost like that!


What kind of equipment do you need to create your marketing material? Should you be investing in the equipment and purchasing it for yourself or renting it?

Using your phone for photos and videos that will be going on most of your marketing efforts is not wise. It’s important for quality purposes to make sure you’re using professional equipment. Poor quality photos send the wrong message to your potential customer base.

Professional equipment can be expensive, but when you’re small business is small it’s important to stay within your small budget. Being able to rent the equipment can really help with costs if you can’t afford the investment until you drum up more business. Companies like C&I Studios offers equipment rental

Event printers, computers, and editing software should be included in this part of your budget. If you use it to create anything marketing-related, it’s part of your marketing budget.


If you’re creating photos or videos for marketing purposes, it helps to know how much you can spend on renting the space before you book the place.

Public spaces can be less expensive, but you need to make sure you’re following any laws in the area. You also need to know if there’s a limit as to how many people you can bring, as well as how long you’re allowed to be in the space.

Private places can be either expensive or incredibly cheap, depending on who’s property it is. If you’re going somewhere private, it’s important that you have permission from whoever owns the place. This is especially true for small business-owned homes and backyards. It doesn’t matter how small or large your space is, if you’re using it for marketing purposes, it’s part of the budget.

Understanding how to find the perfect location in your budget for photo or video shoots can be difficult, we know. If you need more help, you should check out our previous blog post about finding the perfect location.


Who do you need to create your marketing materials? Do you need to hire people to work the cameras, actors or models to help display the products you’re selling, or even find a freelance graphic designer or writer to help create the content? You should be including their costs in your budget!

Graphic designers are able to create amazing content for both printed marketing and social media. They will create graphics that can be used on both printed marketing as well as online in social media, e-mail marketing, and on your company’s website. They can create logos, which really help your business be recognizable, too!

Writers and editors help you to communicate to your target audience, as well as the rest of the world, what you want to say. It’s important to hire people who have a certain way with words that fits your company’s brand and can catch as many mistakes as possible when editing. They’ll make sure your company is being presented in the best light by their writing. But it costs money to hire them, and you should be making sure you’re paying them a fair wage.

Video production teams, photographers, and even actors all help you to create marketing materials. These people are not small expenses, they can cost up to thousands of dollars for just one shoot. But most small businesses who are starting out don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars laying around to spend on marketing.

That’s why it’s important that small business owners find ways to cut corners when they can to save up for their marketing budget. You should try small things like taking your own photos and videos in the beginning, until you’re able to hire someone else to do it.

If you’re going to be shooting photos or videos that involve models, then you’ll need to know how much it’s going to cost. The photography industry is ever-changing when it comes to rates. For small businesses in the beginning stages, they tend to pay less. But if you’re looking for a specific model with a certain look, then you’ll have to pay a little more.

Remember that models are people, too. They need to make a living, and they work hard at the jobs they do!

If you’re hiring actors or actresses to be in your marketing materials, then chances are you’ll need to pay them for their time, just like models. This can include shooting photos or videos, attending small events, even just being your brand ambassador at small, local businesses.

The post-production crew helps you to put the final touches on your marketing materials. Editors, colorists, and sound mixers can all help take small pieces of small businesses to make them look polished. Remember that small businesses don’t have unlimited budgets, so small things are important!


Props are important in both videography and photography. If you’re setting a scene, you’ll want to have the right props to make the scene look realistic and inviting to the viewer.

Having a prop budget will help you to make sure you’re getting the right shots. Even if you can only afford a few items at a dollar store, to begin with, it’s important to have some props on hand for any marketing campaign that’s coming up. You can also find great props with some character at any resale or thrift shop if you’re on a tight budget!

Recycling props is not a bad thing, either. Some props allow for your content to be recognizable, whether it’s one prop or just an aesthetic that you reuse. Small business owners who are looking for small opportunities to save money should be recycling their props as much as possible. They can reuse the same prop as long as it fits your marketing campaign as well as adds to the overall aesthetic you’re going for!

It’s important to make sure you aren’t counting out props. Props can help you to tell a visual story if done right.


Costs in post-production include retouching, music, editing, and color grading are important to include in your budget. This small business marketing technique can help your marketing materials look more polished and professional.

Retouching is the art of editing images that you either want to be edited or need to edit due to poor lighting, camera positioning, etc. Retouching helps small businesses to make their marketing materials look visually pleasing and correct small mistakes in the process.

Some editing does tend to cost more, which is why it’s important to be using the correct equipment in the first place so that you’re less likely to have to retouch the entire photo or video.

It costs money to use certain music or graphics, too. Music can help small businesses tell a story and convey emotions. However, small business owners should be mindful that they aren’t using music without permission from the rights holder or artist.

When small business owners save up for marketing budgets, it’s important to remember that small things add up. Saving here and there can help small businesses to afford marketing materials that

Hiring a service

Of course, hiring a service outside of your small business is going to cost money. But it can honestly get you the most bang for your buck while also making sure everything is done right and optimized for whatever type of marketing you’re putting out into the world.

They can do as much or as little as you need, from providing a full marketing strategy to only helping with bits and pieces of the work.

Consider companies like C&I Studios that are happy to work with businesses of all sizes to help them create amazing and successful marketing content. We provide many different services from video production to product photography and more. You can look at our portfolio here to get a taste of what type of content we’ve created in the past.

Contact us to get started! We can’t wait to hear from you to talk ideas, tips, and strategy!


We hope that we’ve been able to help you establish the right marketing budget to promote your small business in a way that brings in new customers or clients. There are so many different ways marketers spend their money, and there are also many ways they should not spend it, and we sincerely want your business to succeed. We hope this guide helps you to navigate the world of marketing as a small business and we look forward to seeing your efforts soar!

Hide picture