How design influences the cost of advertising

Why would we write a blog post about the cost of advertising?

Because that is how business owners at the highest level think, how much does this cost?

As with almost any marketing sometimes the first thing that gets brought up is cost. We are going to walk you through where cost can add up so that you can be better prepared to work with your digital marketing agency or understand why design cost so much.  We are not going to highlight how to save money but rather bring up the things where it can go wrong. It sounds negative but costs are always a reality.

Advertising costs from your agency might run involve the cost of manpower and ads online which are paid for differently.  While it’s a very good question, your advertising cost needs to be broken down into what are the aspects that are going to affect the cost.  One of the first things an advertising agency should think about is the creative aspect of your ads while contemplating cost. So while there are many more aspects to think about to create a budget for your ads, let’s break down how design affects your cost.

The creative process and how it affects the cost

The below is rough and we do mean a rough process for making creative. 

  • Defining goals and objectives: Establish what they hope to achieve through your graphics and creative choices. They do this through how they will measure success allowing marketing agencies to plan effectively.

  • Conduct a target audience analysis: Researching and understanding the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your target audience allows them to create effective content.

  • Research competitors for design trends and industry best practices in order to create engaging visuals for your ads.

  • Brainstorm ideas for how to represent your message in the most visually striking way possible without copying the competitors.

  • Create a content plan: Planning what types of content we will publish and when, including blog posts, Custom created graphics, videos, and other multimedia to help keep your social media presence active and engaging.

  • Pick the right images, fonts, and colors to create a cohesive aesthetic throughout the piece.

  • Develop and/or under the current brand voice and tone: We create a consistent tone and style for your brand’s social media presence and help it stand out from the competition.

  • Check elements such as alignment and spacing to ensure that all parts of the design are consistent and balanced.

  • Send all creatives for initial approvals and make adjustments.

This process can be long and lots and lots of revisions if you are not nimble enough which can really drive up costs. 

Both digital marketing agencies and clients alike need to understand the process and have faith that either side does not want to drive up costs. Being overly judgmental before it gets out the door can drive up the cost.  The word judgmental sounds so harsh when it comes to your own brand and what it represents though so it’s not said without a care.  You have to keep in mind that the end user is often finicky and you can quickly not be able to grab their attention as well as understand how the algorithms work with ad fatigue.

Another aspect is how ‘abstract” attracts more attention than normal.  If you are looking to recreate what you have always done without elements of abstraction you are not going to attract attention.  With no attention, your cost just went up.

We live in our own world of creativity and designers have years of experience in what works and don’t work on these many platforms. We have to sometimes step aside and let the consumer be the judge of the design of our advertising work. 

Audience targeting cost always comes first with design.

Thinking about the audience that you are marketing to affects what design you are going to use. Well of course it would but how does that affect your advertisingAudience targeting affects design cost


Your audience might have higher expectations when it comes to the design because of the nature of what you are selling.  Think about certain industries like the beauty industry or perhaps landscaping, where the output of the product or service is designed.  

You might have to put more resources into the creative design process to influence the design of the end user.  They are looking for that wow factor.

It can also affect it in another way, if your creative was not designed by taking the perspective of the end audience you will observe, interact and hopefully convert that you have completely wasted the time invested to create the advertising creative in the first place. 

If your design was also not clear with the messaging it portrays and speaks the language of the user involved it’s also going to be missed opportunity and drive up costs. 

Design cost influences the marketing channels you use.

Types of Digital Marketing

Where are you going to market and design matters because of the natural cost of marketing on one platform or the other?  This is because social media advertising costs on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin can be less per click, and impression and more than platforms like Google ads. 

However much has changed with newer types of marketing involving Google ads such as performance max, where lines are blurred between what was once a text-only platform. 

Now social media platforms often involve making creative for multiple types of placement for both images and video in a multitude of sizes across multiple platforms. You can still get away to a degree with just text on Google ads but it’s going to be hard to compete as we grow more toward full-funnel marketing. 

It should have always been this way, but we go obsessed with final attribution and forgot about the benefits of zero-click marketing. 

Zero-click marketing funnels such as webinars, podcasts, and live videos can also pull on the advertising budgets and cost due to the time involved and space needed to be creative.

Although podcast marketing is a pretty cost-effective type of marketing and pulls less on the budget to have a pretty background.  Even the creative that goes with it doesn’t have to be super out there.  It relies heavily on voice, which just requires a microphone. 

Advertising costs even with live videos, webinars, and podcasts due require artwork through back posts on social media advertising channels to be able to get traction and reach the content.

Advertising channels such as Tiktok and reels can really drive up costs if you overthink it too much. 

The problem that arises here is the sheer volume of creativity that needs to be made in order to get traction on these platforms. One way to control cost and time is to realize on most of these platforms overproduction can work against you, users of these platforms often are looking for short quick authentic videos.

Even with this in mind, the design is going to be needed to come up with topics, camera use, editing, and graphics.  Because Save these are so short-lived and even harder to measure results, it’s difficult to truly understand the cost.  We often get wrapped up in metrics that start the funnel but can find it harder to match down the funnel. Let’s go back to the begging of the funnel of design and cost.  

Grabbing attention with design, don’t blow the ads budget.

Here we have it, the beginning of design. Well not really first you are coming up with the design based on everything above and you have already put in a lot of work to get to that point.  Your marketing agency has gone through several steps already such as those listed above.

Then they pray to the gods of social media when they put the ads out for what could be a very short life of a creative. 

Once they have enough data they can determine through many metrics such as engagements and click-through rate if they are grabbing someone’s attention with their design. If not, different levers with the advertising platforms will be pulled such as choosing a marketing objective to see if we can grab the attention of the intended audience.  From there, the whole design is not scrapped but rather tweaked as a lot of costs were already put in at this point. 

Today’s consumers can sometimes have a very short attention span with creatives. So while they might catch someone’s attention and get them to the next step will also experience ad fatigue where they have seen an ad too many times and a new creative needs to be made.  

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin base how much reach your campaign get on ad fatigue and engagement with the ads. So if you do not get the engagement, then advertising costs go up as creative teams go back to the drawing board.

How design affect after the click in advertisng cost

You have put in all this work to get to this point of they have made it to your website and then the UX and design just fail.  If your design does not carry through from the ad to the landing page you are going to affect conversion rates.  Conversion rates are how often your website converts on the desired action of the website. This can be a struggle because of the designer not having full control of the landing page and the cost involved to also design the landing page.  Design is just one aspect of many when it comes to conversion optimization of landing pages.

Designing for the full funnel and cost.

Even the best design does not hit the first interaction with it.  Because of this, we have cost involved in the frequency of someone seeing your initial ads and the cost to bring them down the funnel.  Often the first interaction with your brand is just the introduction.  You have their attention but now you need to delight and move them down the funnel.  Remarketing in form of ads, social media, and email marketing drive cost with needed design for every stage that someone is at in their funnel of purchase. 

The assets pressure to create more and more often

We have certainly said this in many different ways but it deserves its own paragraph in this piece. The pressure comes from platform algorithms, our own boredom, and consumers alike. We live in a throw-away society where we are looking for shiny objectives and that is what design does. We just have to balance the feeling and emotions of the above with the cost of doing so. 

AIDA Model in Digital Marketing

Testing can also affect the pressure.  No marketers out there will nail the design and messaging every time the first time.  For this reason and also for pure reasoning of can they do it better, you have tested.  Testing takes a budget to be able to convincingly refine and make it better.  Even when you are done with testing, your target audience is fatigued with that message. Back to creating!

In addition, design and content must be constantly updated to remain competitive. Trends come in waves, and it can be hard to keep up with them while still staying true to the brand’s mission and values. The constant evolution of designs and messaging is necessary to keep customers engaged. 

Are you exhausted with the design cost yet?

Trust us your potential clients are not exhausted with the design, they want more.  This piece was not designed to make you feel exhausted by cost but rather toAd Fatigue and driving up cost understand how much work goes into getting it right.  In today’s internet world if we pushed a button is it working? We need to make sure we all understand doing it the right way takes time and money. 

Let’s also talk about a running joke here, time to clock in and be creative.  Creativity doesn’t just happen that way, it’s not just a machine.  There is the time involved in running through it.  Unless of course, you are working with a marketing agency that handles the same industry over and over.  We have talked about the design dangers of that before and how now you are in the sea of the same.

Simply put the time to think of a creative aspect there not a clock in clock out button to creativity 

Are the design cost with advertising worth it?

If you are wondering whether all this digital marketing is worth it, then you are questioning whether consistently talking about the value of your business is worth it.  We don’t think you would argue with this.  We just all want it all and we want it now.  Your business way not built overnight and neither will the design of your marketing.  It will need to consistently be redefined to match the growth of the business.  The consumer also will get tired or not motivated and your design has to move with it.  Here’s to happy creating!

Tired of not getting results?

Let’s chat about what’s missing with your Online Marketing Strategy!

Schedule a complimentary 30-minute strategy meeting.