Do you know how much you spend on marketing each year? A well-defined marketing plan gives you what you need to target the right people and grow your business while earning a profit. However, if you don’t keep on top of your spending, you can quickly exceed a reasonable budget and waste your hard-earned dollars.
While you don’t need to obsess over the numbers, you should have a good understanding of where your dollars are going and if it’s worth it. If you find that you need to trim up your spending, there are practical ways to do this. Below we share our favorite tips for making the most of your marketing budget.
First and foremost, you need to gain some awareness of what you are spending money on and if it’s worth the investment. Things that don’t work can be tossed out. Things that do work may deserve more of your budget. For example, you find that you get a lot of engagement from your email marketing strategy, consider investing more there.
Other things to look for are services that you pay monthly for and paid monthly invoices. Many services renew on their own, so you can easily miss them while they run up your budget. Discontinue any services that you’re no longer using. Also, make sure that you aren’t overpaying for any resources or services. Before hiring someone, whether it be a social media marketing manager or content writer, do your research and know what you should be paying.
Once you have a good understanding of what’s included in your budget, you can start deciding how to allocate your money. To do this effectively, you’ll need to define your goals. Are you trying to build brand awareness? Generate more sales? Partner with other agencies? When you know what your goals are, you can put money in the right places and move closer to achieving your objectives.
Not only do you need to define your goals but also your audience. Who are you trying to reach? The easiest way to determine this is by creating buyer personas, or fictional representations of your ideal customers.
Think of your personas as real people. List their age, gender, interests, education level, income, marital status, etc. This will help you develop the right tone for your audience so that your marketing materials will appeal to them. An ad written to a busy mom of four will sound a lot different from one written to a retired man in his 60s.
Distribute your budget among marketing strategies that complement each other, such as content marketing and search engine optimization. Rather than investing in two separate strategies, you can invest in two tactics that benefit from each other. As a result, your efforts will be compounded and you will have new opportunities for brand visibility, increased conversions and increased traffic.
Once more people are aware of your products and services, you can expand to other marketing tactics, such as paid ads, sponsorship and influencers.
Content is at the core of many marketing strategies, including social media and blog writing. However, if you create new content for everything, you’ll end up wasting time and company resources. Instead, you should have one core piece of content that you use for your applications.
For example, you can repurpose information to use for social media, blog posts and email newsletters. To make the content unique, change the keywords, add a new image, include relevant facts and provide new examples. The content will be new and relevant to your readers, but it won’t require as many resources.
A solid marketing budget needs to be flexible. There are always going to be new things that pop up, whether it’s a new product or service, an advancement in your industry or newly accessible technology. You don’t want your budget to be so strict that you can’t take advantage of fresh opportunities. Be flexible and willing to adapt so that your brand is always ready for new challenges.
Many companies start off with a DIY marketing strategy, which can work fine for a while. But, as your business grows, your customers’ needs change and the marketing industry evolves, it becomes more difficult to keep up with everything on your own. Recognize your need for expert help. Once you find a great agency to work with, you will feel comfortable hiring them for more tasks.
There are many benefits to outsourcing some of your marketing needs, and that includes getting the most bang for your buck. Experts have greater access to tools and resources that will make your marketing more effective. Plus, you can hold your marketing firm accountable for your campaigns rather than putting this pressure on yourself.
All campaigns should be tracked, measured and analyzed. When you work with a marketing firm, this will be done on your behalf. You can view the reports to see what investments are giving you a return.
Thanks to today’s innovative analytic tools, there is no need to have your marketing dollars go to waste. You can split test ads and monitor your campaigns to make sure they are working for you. If your ads aren’t performing well, they can be adjusted in real time to meet your objectives.
Seeing the most from your marketing budget is important, as you don’t want to be investing in tactics that aren’t effective for your brand. By reviewing your budget each year, outsourcing some of your needs to an expert and working toward clearly defined goals, you can stretch your dollar further.
To ensure your marketing budget is working for you, contact WSI Net Advantage today for a free consultation at 510-687-9737 or fill out our contact form.
Kevin Dean, President of WSI Net Advantage…
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