Increasing Your Digital Marketing Budget? Where to Start

As you prepare your business finances, you’ll need to evaluate your digital marketing efforts, their value, and your budget. Digital marketing and storytelling are becoming more important for businesses of all kinds every year. For the best results, you need to solidify your budget before the beginning of every year so you can make a plan. 

If you’re like many other companies, you plan on spending more on digital marketing next year than ever before. Here’s how you can increase your budget. 

Properly Set Your Digital Marketing Budget

As you plan for a new year, you’ll need to consider all of your budgets. Pay close attention to your digital marketing budget. By confirming your budget well before the new year, you can start planning your marketing calendar and know exactly what you’re going to spend and when. 

Most companies spend between 5 to 10 percent of their revenue on marketing. This rule of thumb can help you spend just enough to market your business without breaking the bank. Remember, this percentage is for all of your marketing efforts, so you might want to spend at least half on digital marketing. 

Determine whether digital marketing or traditional marketing serves your business better, and aim to spend more on that. Unfortunately, many companies fall short of this guideline and spend too little on digital marketing.

The 70/20/10 Budget 

When you set your digital marketing budget, try using the 70/20/10 rule. Here’s a breakdown:

70 Percent on the Now

Seventy percent of your budget for digital marketing should be spent on the now, which consists of strategies you already know work well for your business based on your market research, buyer personas, and past marketing efforts.

This is the best area to allocate most of your budget because you already know these strategies work. 

20 Percent on the Next

Use the next twenty percent of your budget to go towards the future. Again, these are strategies that will be new to your business. For example, if you’ve never done influencer marketing before, aim to spend at least part of this 20 percent on it. 

Putting money towards digital marketing strategies you’ve never tried before will help your business grow. You can’t grow your business without investing in new methods that can help you reach more people. 

10 Percent on the New

The smallest portion of your digital marketing budget should go towards new things that are unknowns to the digital marketing industry, such as experimental strategies and emerging technology. These new trends will help you stay ahead of the competition. 

For example, companies that invested in SEO ten years ago are happy they did because they were able to beat out the competition early and stay on top of Google search results pages (SERPs). Never invest more than 10% of your budget into new things that haven’t been proven yet.

Figure Out What to Budget For

To effectively increase your digital marketing budget, you’ll need to figure out what you’ll use your budget for. Make sure that have your bank statements, profit, and loss statements, or any spreadsheets you keep that help you manage your digital marketing spend. Next, add up all of the digital marketing you’re currently doing, and make a note of how much you spend on: 

  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • PPC Advertising
  • Email Marketing

If you don’t do all of these digital marketing strategies, write them down and put a zero next to them so you can see what efforts you can allocate a budget to. For example, if you haven’t invested anything in PPC advertising, put a zero next to it and make a note to consider that for next year. 

Understand How Much Strategies Cost

The next thing you’ll need to know is how much each aspect of digital marketing costs. This can be hard to determine, so all of your numbers will be estimates. Call up local digital marketing agencies and ask them how much they charge for things like SEO, social media marketing, PPC management, and more. This will help you get a ballpark figure for how much you’ll need to invest in these strategies. 

Methods for Increasing Digital Marketing Budget

Now that you have tons of numbers in front of you, it’s time to start figuring out ways to increase your digital marketing budget. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

Hire Interns

Interns are a great way to bring digital marketing in-house without spending too much money. While you should always pay interns, you can typically hire these individuals at a lower salary than someone who has been in the industry for years. Interns are usually looking more for experience than a high income. Many of them are right out of college, so they’ve learned the most recent tactics for marketing. One major drawback of interns is you should plan to either hire them shortly or be prepared to let them leave when they find a higher-paying job. 

Use Complementary Strategies

If you want to get the most out of your budget, you should use it for strategies that complement one another instead of investing in two separate tactics. For example, social media marketing and SEO complement each other well. While SEO involves writing blog topics to help your website rank on Google, you can use those blogs for content on social media to bring more traffic to your website. 

Drop Strategies that Don’t Work

After a few trial runs of different marketing strategies, take a look at the results, determine which don’t perform well, and completely drop them from your marketing plan. Consider distributing your budget evenly among two or three separate campaigns with the same goals and measure the results. The one that performs the worst can be something you eliminate next time. 

That being said, there are some exceptions to this rule. You can only compare strategies that take around the same amount of time to see results. For example, you can compare Google ads with Facebook ads, but you can’t compare SEO to PPC. SEO takes several months for you to see results, while PPC only takes a few days in most cases. 

Repurpose Marketing Assets

Instead of creating new content for every marketing strategy, repurpose your creatives to save money on design. For example, you’ll need headlines with ad creatives and a call to action with social media marketing. You can use these same assets on another form of digital marketing and PPC campaigns. You should also plan to use your headlines across marketing efforts for overall brand awareness and recognition.

Keep Testing

Digital marketing is all about testing different methods and strategies to see what works best for you. Make sure you have a buyer persona so you can get to know your customers before you decide which strategies will be worth your efforts. 

About the Guest Author – Andrew Grant

Andrew Grant is the co-founder and Head of Marketing at Dutch. He holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. His career has allowed him to grow businesses of all sizes, allowing him to develop the necessary skills for start up marketing. Dutch leverages the power of telehealth to provide accessible pet health care, and Andrew is an integral part of sharing that mission.

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