How to Strategize an Annual Budget
With new trends in digital marketing, there are endless opportunities to spend advertising dollars on digital marketing. Business professionals are looking for ways to invest in digital ad buys, ad retargeting and paid social media campaigns, while maintaining traditional marketing efforts, like direct mail.
These new opportunities are a welcome change to marketers, but they raise questions when it comes to the annual marketing budget. Create a strategy that will work for your business, while working toward realistic goals.
Start with an Attainable Goal
Determine a clear goal at the outside of your budgeting process. If your team knows what you are working toward, it will be easier to prioritize the company’s needs while balancing the funds available and the many digital opportunities that are out there. Decide if you want to raise brand awareness or focus on sales, and stay focused on the goal as you create the annual budget.
You’ll also want to make sure you know what you can spend on digital marketing, without negatively impacting other functions of your business. Take a look at current revenue and then consider what the competition is able to do online. Combine these insights with the goal that you set for your digital marketing, and then find the sweet spot, to get the most out of your investment.
Weigh the Options
Marketing your brand is no longer cut and dry. It often goes beyond traditional media buys to working with digital media marketing firms and expanding your reach across digital platforms, whether those platforms are access on a desktop or mobile device. Take a look at all of the opportunities that are available to you, including the channels, distribution methods and tactics in digital marketing. Then decide what tactics best suit your company.
Consider options like content marketing, paid social media campaigns, email marketing, paid search results and online display advertising. You’ll also want to consider your options for marketing on mobile devices and optimizing your website for search engines or conversion rates. List the tactics you most want to pursue, allotting funds and staff support to each one, and don’t forget about the need for online public relations, in order to ensure you are building positive relationships with your customers.
Monitor and Measure your Results
One of the greatest benefits to digital marketing is the ability online platforms have to provide quick and reliable analytic information, relative to each marketing campaign. In some cases, you can get instant feedback on whether the money you’ve spent on a particular tactic is performing well. Monitor the performance of these online campaigns and make adjustments as you go.
Take advantage of the many tools that are available to measure the success of your advertising spending, in terms of clicks, reach and conversion rates. The more statistics you measure, the more you’ll know what marketing tactics are effective for reaching your target audience. Study the data to determine the success of your current marketing efforts, and also take a more comparative look, to see how the data compare to similar data from previous years. If you find that digital marketing is doing more for your company than traditional print methods – and you have the numbers to prove it – you can even make the case for increases in the digital marketing budget down the road.