Marketing and more specifically digital marketing covers a ton of avenues when it comes to planning, budgeting, and execution. With so many options it’s harder than ever to determine what a monthly budget should be, and even more how to spend your marketing budget the right way.
When it comes to marketing only one metric matters… RESULTS. And that’s what we’re looking for when managing marketing budgets.
Luckily we manage marketing for a variety of different business types and sizes and have a great deal of data to help businesses and more importantly our team to make the best decisions and to deliver actual results. Let’s take a look at planning your marketing budget.
1. Be Realistic
It’s important to understand that most businesses are spending about 10% of their revenue on advertising. If you’re spending less on marketing you’re probably in one of two categories. First, your revenue is limited and even 10% doesn’t get you very far. Second, your expenses in other departments are too high to justify the cost of marketing.
As a general rule of thumb, an annual revenue of 100k or more would be required to effectively have enough funds remaining to market with.
But what if you don’t have 100k or more of revenue? Let’s take a look at our next tactic.
2. Sweat Equity
You can get a lot out of digital marketing if you’re willing to put a little sweat equity into it. Not all marketing requires an advertising budget or high-end content production. You can easily generate blog posts, SEO, and direct social engagement to drive more traffic and in turn sales in order to get to that revenue mark. What really helps in this arena is a partner in your corner to help guide you down the right path.
When you’re working with a partner, it is important to offload as much work as you can. Marketing is meant to increase traffic and quality leads and this means you should be spending more time selling products or services as a result.
4. Prepare to Test
Marketing is dynamic and what might work today might not work tomorrow. It’s important to be confident with your budget in order to test new ideas. As marketing platforms and tactics change, it’s important to be ready and to be early to the game. Just think of the business you could have generated if you were one of the first businesses to take Instagram seriously.
5. Target, Target, Target
Marketing with a firehose is a surefire way to waste your budget. When you test often, you can also target specifically. Platforms like Facebook allow incredibly specific targeting. When targeting properly you should see a better ROI and higher quality leads.
6. Think Outside The Box
It’s easy to fall into old habits of Google AdWords set and forget campaigns but being able to think outside the box can yield some great results. Let’s take direct messaging for example. DM 200 of the top blogs or writers in your industry and offer up a free article written by your company in exchange for a backlink to your site, for example. While time-consuming, getting just a few articles up will generate valuable backlinks and traffic.
Digital Marketing is a culmination of SEO, Advertising, Social Media, and plain old hard work. Be prepared to focus on all of these areas when planning and budgeting your marketing plan.
8. Plan the Budget
All of the previous items are real considerations to take into account when planning your budget but at the end of the day, if you don’t have a number written down, your budget is $0. Understand that the goal is always to market in ways that generate RESULTS and positive ROI. The cost of marketing should be negligible in relation to the additional revenue generated.
Being realistic about the effort of digital marketing and the investment it takes to generate RESULTS is the first step to determining the ideal budget to get started. Starting is the second step. At the end of the day, it’s not what you spend, it’s what you generate as a result.