Digital marketing is currently the most effective way of communicating your offers, be it your products or services, right in front of your desired target market. However, many businesses are still uncertain about the exact budget that should be spent on digital marketing endeavours and how this amount shall be allocated in each task.
Success in this domain stems from a deep understanding, coming to terms with your audience’s needs, since their interests and behaviours shall determine what you will share and how you will go about it. The other two elements, namely consistency and quality, always need to be on point. You may ask why? Statistics show that we need on average 7 interactions with our prospective customers before they purchase.
Generally speaking, and while there is an overall decline in amount of money spent, marketing budgets fell into the 6-13% range in the previous years, with business to customer companies spending almost double than their business to business counterparts, according to CMO.
If you set your budget fairly small, your brand might not reach the widest audience. If you set it too generously, other important aspects of your marketing plan might also take a back seat.
Here are 5 bulletproof tips that you can bear in mind in 2016 to thoroughly handle your digital marketing expenses like an expert.
1. Examine Your Previous Results
Recall the techniques you have used in the previous year. Did they end up being successful? Which ones didn’t turn out well? Which ones still remain promising? Would it make sense for you to use them again?
Examining previous results is very important. If something did work well before, then that’s a good signal for you to maximize it further. If something didn’t reach the best outcome, you have to identify why. Also, think about what could’ve made it successful.
Do not allocate your budget to a tactic based on its actual cost. You should allocate it based on its proven effectiveness. If something you did before turned out unfavorable, you can either shut it down and spend the money on something else or think further on how to make it work.
You also have to set some cash aside for testing new tactics. This will serve as your investment to find better marketing opportunities that can potentially fuel you revenue in the future.
2. Set Specific Goals
This is always the first step in crafting a plan. Know where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Be specific in setting your goal. It should have two elements; ideally, it needs to be both quantitative and qualitative in nature.
What do you want to achieve this 2016? Do you want to start gaining recognition through social media? Are you eyeing on increasing sales by 5-10%? Are you interested about exploring the untested waters of the new digital trends? You won’t know how to budget your marketing cost well unless you have a clear target in mind.
3. Know What the Industry Trends Are
You must not only take a look at the things that have previously worked out well for you. You should also take the time to know the tactics that have boosted the profitability of the rest in the industry. Take time to research about the statistics. You can’t expect everything to be accurate online, but browsing multiple sources could help you gauge the average results of each digital marketing tactic across various niches.
For example, SEO or Search Engine Optimization usually captures the lion share of online businesses’ digital marketing budget. Social media usually represents 15% of the marketing spend. Mobile marketing is also steadily growing as an important ranking factor and takes a large share as well. These are just examples. How exactly you allocate your marketing funds will largely depend on the nature of your business, the competition in your market place, and how your target audience behaves.
You don’t have to follow exactly what others do. It will just bring you an advantage if you at least know what’s going on in your playing field.
4. Use Digital Tools to Determine Your Digital Marketing Budget
After having done the steps above, you can now start specifying the exact budget to set.
The good news is you don’t have to manually calculate everything out. There are easy-to-use budget calculators that can help you a ton. They’re also super easy to use. You can get everything done in a snap by just answering some very simple questions. And we’re not talking about questions requiring long essay responses here. You just have to answer straightforward questions that require 3-4 simple numbers that you probably already know.
5. Maximize the Budget Well to Reach Soaring Results
Deciding how much to spend exactly is a good start. However, you need to ensure that every penny could go as far as possible. You have to be consistent in your marketing efforts. You have to ensure that the entire marketing plan is executed well. Most importantly, you have to measure how effective your techniques have been by looking at the results. You can only know that a marketing plan is effective if it has thoroughly hit the exact set of goals that you have initially established. Do not expect everything to immediately work out well. Be happy if something troublesome comes up as it can be a good learning opportunity for you to better your next marketing budget plan.
I am sure you are after big results in 2016. The above tips will certainly help you decide on the best course of action – but it is ultimately up to you to make wise decisions. You need not to splurge all your cash on digital marketing and make sure you can quantify the return on investment. As long as you wisely craft your marketing plan, you are bound to boost your online presence.