By Ryan Boog
61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority (Source: HubSpot). If you are not on that bandwagon, you should be. Don’t know how to get started? We’re here to help you decide how much to spend on digital marketing, where to spend it, and why.
Right now, digital marketing is growing and is not predicted to stop. Business owners are seeing a high return on investment (ROI) with an almost infinite ability to reach anyone in the world.
You should allocate about 30-35% of your total marketing budget to your digital marketing budget. Notice that this is not an exact amount because every business is unique.
If it does not seem like 30-35% of your marketing budget would suffice, then slowly increase your budget. But keep track of how much you are spending for every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. Then after a while, see if putting more towards your marketing budget is actually helping by keeping a monthly tracker of marketing data. It should include details of how much you spent and what analytics went up or down. There is nothing worse than seeing $15,000 spent on Google Ads that do not even get conversions.
This is a great question and again it doesn’t have a single answer.
For example, maybe you have an employee that is a photographer and they will take professional photos for you. But you do not have someone that is an experienced blogger. You should allocate your money towards blogging and save money by using your employee for photos.
Note: These percentages are estimated values of money, not based off of efforts or importance. For example, social media only is allotted 10% of the budget but should be one of the top resources being used. It is not allotted a lot of money because most of it is free.
Video marketing today is like social media marketing was in 2015, if you aren’t doing video marketing, you are behind the curve. This does take more resources than writing a social media post, for example. But once you make the video, you can post it for free on YouTube or Facebook. Then, you can choose to do paid promotions from there. The facts are out there:
Don’t leave this statistic in the dark. If you can produce helpful videos before your competitors, you will be the one to get the customers.
Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, or any other online ad platform can make or break a business depending on how optimized the ads are. We have seen clients throw thousands of dollars a day toward an ad, just to get 2 or 3 conversions. On the other hand, we have seen clients get 3X the amount back on their investment. It is all in the experience you have creating a campaign. The great part of online advertising is that you can see results quickly.
If you are interested in putting some of your budget towards online advertising, it would be smart to hire an experienced agency to run your campaign. Ask them to walk through their creation process and strategy so that you know they are qualified. They should also be able to give you a report at the end of each month that shows what you got back from your investment.
One thing that business owners often forget is branding. In order for customers to be loyal to your brand, they need to know who you are. Every video, social media post, and page on your website should give off the same persona. If you are unsure if your branding is up to par, check out Rebranding: The Key to Crushing Your Competition. You should look at rebranding your company before you do large marketing pushes. Then revisit your branding strategy every couple of years.
Everyone is on their phones these days, so your website should be optimized for mobile and user-friendly.
Social media marketing is an art. Anybody can post on social media profiles and say they have a campaign. But there should be much more to it than that. You should treat your brand as it’s own person. It should have a personality, reply to comments, interact with other people’s posts, and so on. If you are not on that bandwagon, you should be. Don’t know how to get started? We’re here to help you decide how much to spend on digital marketing, where to spend it, and why.
You can research everything you need on the internet for free. We are not saying that you shouldn’t conduct research. You should be doing it every single day. But only spend money on informative conferences or exclusive information.
For product photos or photos that will be in front of customers constantly, it would be ok to spend money on a professional photographer. But for blogs or social media posts, you can take the photos yourself. New cell phone technology lets you take high-quality photos for free. You should use this ability often because users love pictures.
Google Analytics and other tools will give you a lot of the information you need for free. If you find you need more information than that, dive into how much that information is worth to you. Then, if you decide to buy it, make sure you put that information to use. If not, cancel your subscription.
If you are thinking about investing in a tool, check if there are free options that you can use first. If there aren’t, always look for a free trial to make sure it will actually help you. Then, if you decide to buy the tool, watch a tutorial so that you utilize all the resources it offers.
Most digital marketing agencies will give you a free audit of your current efforts and tell you where you could improve. If you feel like their audit had some great information in it, consider hiring them. Also, take note that digital marketing doesn’t always show immediate results. Sometimes content can take up to a year to get any traction. But remember that it has infinite power to reach potential customers for free.
Now that you have made a budget, you should plan out your strategy for the year with money allocated to each marketing tactic. Then, you should keep monthly statistics to see where you can improve.
As we mentioned throughout this entire article, you can throw all the money in the world at your marketing strategy and still fail. You need to find a digital marketing mix that gives you the most bang for your buck. If you feel that your company does not currently have very many resources that would add to your marketing efforts, you should look into hiring an agency