The marketing and advertising industry is constantly changing, leading to a seismic shift in the industry over the past 20 years. We’ve seen rapidly changing media behaviors, the rise of the internet, and a proliferation of new technology and platforms.
It’s easy to lose sight of your marketing goals and spread your budget across every platform that comes along. But this is a losing strategy. Your budget isn’t a shopping spree, it’s an investment.
Too often marketers miss an opportunity to see stellar results by allowing their tactics and budget allocation to drift away from their strategy. Today, we’re here to help you fix this.
Let’s walk through the thought process of spending your marketing budget.
Know Your Organization’s Goals and Challenges
Every business faces unique goals and challenges. Before you can commit your budget to specific channels, you need to have a zen moment of self reflection.
Much like a hiker heading on a long trek, you can’t wander off into the unknown. You need to know exactly what it looks like when your organization wins. Is that brand awareness, is that lead generation, or is it both? It’s your job to understand how your company creates demand and facilitates the sales process.
Every campaign should have an objective.
This is how you’ll measure success. According to whether you’re trying to influence awareness or obtain leads, yours might be:
- Generate a certain amount of leads.
- Drive a specific number of pageviews.
- Increase social media mentions by X%
- Get a certain number of people to download content.
Setting an objective will help you see exactly where you need to go, the best way to get there, and what might stand in your way.
Determine the Right Channels
This is where things get complicated. Every organization is different, and these inherent differences will lead to different campaigns and different marketing spends. Your goals and your budget will determine the channels you use and the overall complexity of your campaign.
There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing your channels and allocating your budget.
- If you have a small budget, you may want to focus your budget on one or two channels. Don’t try to spread everything out. You have to invest enough money to allow your channels to be effective. For larger budgets, you can afford to spread your spend across a variety of channels to boost your reach.
- Utilize channels that complement each other. If your keyword volume is low, you can use banners to help increase awareness and increase the volume of searches around important keywords. Certain brand awareness elements can help you scale your lead generation efforts.
- Optimize for your goal. If you want to build brand awareness, increase your spend on channels which have broader reach. Channels like YouTube, Facebook, the Display Network, and print can be great ways to get your message in front of large audiences. For lead generation, try certain Facebook ads or paid search.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even if you have a small budget, you need to experiment with new channels. For instance, YouTube may seem like an unproven channel, but with it’s huge audience, precise targeting, and range of ad formats, there is a lot of versatility in what you can accomplish.
Track and Optimize Everything
One of the most important things a marketer can do is track everything. It doesn’t matter whether you have a billion dollar budget or a $20 budget, you need to know how things are performing.
Digital marketing channels clearly tell you how your ad performed.
According to how you have things set up, you can see how prospects are responding to your ad via impressions, clicks, and spend. If you have marketing automation and analytics programs, you can even track site statistics and conversions.
For offline advertising like print and signage, you’re going to have to get a bit more creative. This doesn’t provide the same data. Using tracking numbers and URLs can help you see how many people called or visited your site from offline advertising.
Why are you doing this?
As your campaigns are running, you need to see how things are performing. You may realize one channel is outperforming another, necessitating a change in budget allocation. Campaign data can help you make an informed decision about how your campaign is running and what changes need to be made.
Budget allocation can be a giant pain. But it’s also a critical aspect of every marketing campaign. You can’t treat your budget like a limitless credit card. Instead, you need to build realistic campaigns that utilize your marketing spend in the most efficient manner possible.