As the new year comes closer and closer, the time to create a budget for your business is here! For any business, large or small, budgeting for your digital marketing efforts is essential. These efforts are primarily digital nowadays, thanks to smartphones and technology being upgraded faster every year. With digital marketing being so fast-paced and paramount to grow and expand a business, how does anyone know how to plan for or even make a budget? The team here at Glacial Multimedia has your answers!
Why Do You Need a Marketing Budget?
The process of getting someone to use your product or service is more complex than ever. With the advent of the internet, smart technology and increased customer savvy, people are looking around a lot more! People don’t want just a doctor or ophthalmologist - they want the BEST doctor or ophthalmologist they can find. They look at reviews of doctors and the practice, they evaluate the website and services; potential consumers are putting entire industries under the microscope as soon as they identify a need, which is why you need to make sure anything you put out for people to see is worth the money spent putting it out!
A marketing budget keeps you on track and gives guidelines for expectations, as well as show you how well you are performing in specific areas. If you put a lot of money into TV ads and get a very small ROI, that is a good indicator to put some of that money into something that is giving you more bang for your buck.
How do you Create a Marketing Budget?
1. Make A Marketing Plan
One of the biggest sins of many businesses is establishing a budget without a marketing plan. Several studies have shown that up to 85% of small- to medium-sized businesses use marketing budgets without a marketing plan to go along with it. Essentially, these businesses are trying to keep a raft going down stream with no map or paddles!
Developing a marketing plan is the best first step to creating a budget for marketing efforts, including information such as financial goals, product/service overview, major marketing campaigns planned and other key pieces of information that might affect how much money you can spend on your marketing efforts. All of your goals need to be clearly stated and realistically achievable. You should make a plan for a specific length of time - a good starting point is to make a marketing plan for the next year. To put all of that into one sentence; align your marketing goals with your company goals.
2. Consult Marketing Professionals
This may seem like the most obvious step, but many CEOs and others who decide where money is spent feel that they know what is best for their marketing efforts. The truth is, a person who has studied, researched and lives in the marketing world is the best resource you can have when deciding on a budget. An expert knows what works, what expectations to have for certain decisions and how to manage the fluctuation of campaigns. This will help ensure that you have achievable and worthwhile goals. A marketing professional is the difference between a decent ROI and a ROI that truly shines!
3. Set Your Marketing Budget
This is where you set the overall amount of dollars you are willing to spend on any and all marketing efforts. Needless to say, the more money you allocate in your marketing budget, the more you can do across the board. However, simply dumping a large pile of money doesn’t do you any favors either. Marketing is a game of quality and quantity, not one or the other. A good starting point is to base your budget on your top-line revenue. If you are focused more on customer retention and aren’t looking for much growth, use 1-2% of that revenue. For those with more ambitious goals in mind, 5% of your top-line revenue should be used for digital marketing efforts.
4. Allocate The Money
Now that you have the money, where are you going to spend it? This step is where all the decisions have to be made! How much do you want to spend on SEO and Paid Search? Should you buy a new website, or update the content on your current one? While it can seem daunting, if you have followed the previous steps, this has essentially been done for you and make your decisions much easier. A good starting point is to make sure all facets get the proper funding. Search Marketing (SEO and Pay-Per-Click ads), Display Ads (Remarketing), Social Media (Facebook campaigns) and Email Marketing are the biggest focuses for every business.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to budgeting and lines have to be drawn on what a practice is willing and can do with their money. Glacial Multimedia offers top-tier service to assist you with creating this budget. Grow your business with marketing - call Glacial at (207) 878-5900 or visit our website to get started budgeting today!