All business owners and freelancers know how worthwhile marketing can be. We know that it is important in order to start and sustain business and whilst all of this is great, the part which causes confusion for many businesses when it comes to marketing is making the most out of a set budget.
Marketing is expensive and can be costly to run, whether you choose to use Google Ads or hire influencers to promote your products or services on social media, these costs can fluctuate depending on your choices. However, whilst it is expensive, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth doing as higher costs can directly yield higher results and conversions, it just needs to be well managed.
The key to making the most out of your marketing budget is to determine what you want to spend and how you want to spend it. A lot of business owners feel uncomfortable when it comes to negotiating budgets and talking money and there is a lot of conflicting information about how you should spend it. Here is a guide for how you can make the most out of your marketing budgets.
Decide on your overall spend
There is a lot of advice floating around on the internet about what you should be spending when it comes to your marketing strategy. Some people believe that you shouldn’t spend money on marketing until you are making a substantial profit, but this is incorrect as it is unlikely that you will make any money if no one knows that your brand exists. If you are a new business or startup, be sure to decide on your maximum monthly overall spend early on into your business planning and preparation so that you can adjust and review as the months go on.
There is a lot of trial and error when it comes to marketing as something which works for one company might not work for you. Some hit and miss is completely normal, especially when you’re running split tests on things such as product pricing and your brand tone – this is all part of your marketing investment.
Know the platforms that you want to market on
Once you know how much you approximately want to spend on your marketing strategy, you need to select the platforms and tools which you will want to use. This way, you can be sure as to the exact costs and the best ways you can divide your budget. Write down a list of the platforms and channels you want to use and market on and put them in a priority list. Examples include:
- Search Ads (Google Ads)
- Content marketing
- SEO and on-site marketing
- Email marketing
- Social Ads (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
The more specific you are about which platforms you want to use, the more specific that your budget will be.
For many businesses, their social media presence and website is their lifeblood. If you’re looking to strengthen your online presence and marketing strategy, then you can take the existing content on your website and social platforms and repurpose it.
This is a great way to save some of your marketing budgets and if your business is already successful, then you know that this works. Any pre-existing press releases and website copy can be cataloged and you can then add keyword optimization to the content and republish on your website. This content can then be used for your social media presence and promotions and gain further visitors from SEO. This way, everything that your marketing strategy creates works twice as well for your business.
You can also reuse your advertising content in different ways, rather than just pigeonhole it for advertising only. Not every ad creation and draft is used, so the chances are that you have more than a few rejected ideas which can then be reused in other ways. You can use ad images and accompanying copy for your reports, or you can even go as far to use previously scrapped ideas to create new and other campaigns, with some slight tweaking. Remember, time is money when it comes to business and the same is true when it comes to marketing.
Look to the future
Every good business should be putting plans in place for their future from their first day of operation. It is important that, as a business, you think big and your marketing strategy should reflect this. Think about things you want your business to have in the future and start to get plans in place as early as possible to implement them. This way, you can allocate the right funds as and when this time comes.
For example, looking into app development is a great way to make your business more attractive and appealing to customers and clients, but it is something that can take time to get right and establish in the right way. Prioritize what is important to you and the business and find ways in which you can make it work. Remember to stick to your pre-determined budget as if you go over it, it could put other marketing plans, or even your business, in jeopardy, depending on how much you went over.
Planning and determining your marketing budget shouldn’t just involve deciding on how much you should spend, but should also include dividing your budget and making sure it is allocated to the right places. Take a look into what you can afford to spend, realistically, and remember that even if your revenue isn’t high you need to spend money to make money.
Small businesses especially need to monitor and keep tabs on their marketing budgets. Reaching as many customers as possible is vital when it comes to achieving growth and business goals. It seems to be a never-ending struggle to keep your business running smoothly so having a good sense of what does and doesn’t work can make all the difference.
Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer for many business and technology publications. With a wide range of knowledge in the sectors, she is an avid researcher and writer in the field, taking particular interest in Northern tech brands such as Apadmi. Having worked with a number of different businesses, Natalie is now a freelance writer looking to specialize in the sector. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.