Marketing allows you to scale up your business by effectively reaching your target audience, helping promote your new and existing products/services and growing your customer base.
Deciding where and when to spend your marketing budget can be difficult without some form of planning – be it basic. It can often lead to you spending too much, too fast and not gaining positive results and outcomes. A marketing budget and strategy allow you to spend effectively on different channels.
What types of channels should you be spending your budget on?
There are multiple channels where a budget could really help any brand – even if that area isn’t typically a strong suit for your brand. It sometimes takes little to no cost to get it off the ground, up and running effectively.
- Social Media Platforms
- Content Creation
- Paid Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Paid Advertising (PPC)
- Graphic Design
- Print Material (Flyers & Brochures)
- Word of Mouth
Off the top of your head you might not be able to allocate funds to each and every single one of the above channels. That’s normal – there’s no reason to be alarmed. However, having a strategy is essential and it’s a great place to start.
The marketing plan doesn’t have to stay the same forever. It’s going to be everchanging. As you continue to grow and see which channels work best for your brand, which channels are cost-effective, as well as accommodating for any new trends, changes in technology and platforms.
Like we said before, it is so easy to lose control of spending when it comes to marketing because of how effective it is. But a gung-ho approach isn’t the right way. A strategy is a strategy, even if it is as simple as choosing 4-5 channels and how much you wish to spend on each. That’s as simple as a strategy needs to be at the beginning, as you probably won’t have insights from previous campaigns to gather data from.
Choosing what to spend on each channel, can be made easier by doing some market research. It allows you to get an idea of what appeals to your customers and people similar to them. Data might be available on your social media and various platform’s insights. Data can also be found from credible sources on the internet including surveys and reports.
So maybe after a little rummaging around you find out, a large portion of your audience prefers to view data physically, than usual. It would definitely be a good idea to focus some attention on print material, so getting some flyers or brochures created could be a great place to start. This will be subjective and different for every business. It’s all about finding out what works best for your brand.
One study estimated that around 50% of small businesses don’t have a marketing plan.
You don’t want to make this mistake for your own brand!
How much should you spend?
This question doesn’t have a general answer. It will be different for each brand due to a number of factors and also will vary a lot depending on the industry you’re in. It will also depend on how much you want your brand to grow and how much exposure and market control you want.
You can’t expect to grow your brand without some form of marketing and a marketing strategy in place. Even if it means taking it one step at a time, effectively using one channel and maximising your efforts and budget towards that to gain brand awareness and appeal.
This ties back into how much should you spend on your marketing budget? Setting goals allows you to layout where you want to see your brand at the end of the year. This, in turn, helps you understand how much you’re willing to spend on getting there.
- Do you want to increase your social media presence?
- Do you want to increase the number of sales on your website?
- Do you want new customers or signups?
These are just some of the goals you’d see businesses typically set for themselves. They may seem easy to some, they may seem unachievable for others. You know your brand better than anyone else and the heights you want to take it to.
Sometimes the sheer thought of a huge marketing budget can scare some people. However, there’s always low-cost solutions available that can help you achieve your goals in a cost-effective way.
Having a well designed, strongly branded website is one of the main areas where marketing strategy often looks over. A website is a place where the majority of your marketing will redirect towards. For example, even flyers and brochures which are print material – will point towards your website.
Social media platforms offer a great starting point for brands looking to marketing their product or services. In terms of value for money, it offers some of the best results given your posting high-quality content in a consistent manner.
Word of mouth is another great tool – which is completely free in most cases. This doesn’t always mean to grab the megaphone and stand on the street shouting at passers-by. (Although this might work for you, who knows). Ask your customers to leave you reviews. If you’re set up on Google My Business, your customers will have the opportunity to leave reviews on Google. This is slowly but surely becoming, the main platform for checking the credibility of a brand. You’re able to see others experiences and make your decision to interact with the brand from there.
What we can end with is that neglecting a marketing budget and marketing strategy can be detrimental to your brand. If you want your brand to grow and have goals set, use your budget to explore channels you haven’t used or used effectively. You never know it could be the reason why your brand starts steamrolling through the competition.
If you need to speak to someone about effective marketing and how your brand can benefit from it. Feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the team will get back to you, shortly.