In fact, some company bosses used to joke that they knew half of their marketing spend was successful—they just didn’t know which half?
Now, with a much greater concentration on digital marketing, it is easier to track the results of any investment—although that doesn’t mean traditional forms of promotion should be abandoned entirely.
Below, we’ll share out top tips to help you get the most out of your in-house digital marketing budget.
Firstly, it’s worth considering what is usually in a marketing budget. This answer may differ depending on who you ask in your business, or in the wider marketing world.
In a typical marketing budget, there are many channels where you can use your budget. Such as:
Many of the above will help you to raise brand awareness and increase growth, when used effectively.
Don’t worry about ensuring you cover all these immediately. Your marketing plan doesn’t have to remain the same forever, as it will need to evolve. Which is another reason why having a marketing strategy in place is so important.
To get the most from your marketing budget, here are some suggestions.
A marketing strategy is essential to forecasting and managing your costs.
Consider your business objectives and how each marketing channel can contribute to achieving them. Then set smaller objectives against each of the channels themselves. Ideally, this should cover the whole marketing funnel.
For example, your objective may be to raise your brand’s profile via organic social media, and then have lead-generation based objectives for Google search ads.
Your strategy should include key performance indicators (KPIs), so you know your efforts have paid off, allowing you to track your return on investment (ROI). These should be meaningful and show progress towards your set objectives. From the example above, you could have “new followers” as a KPI for your social media, and “form conversions” or “cost per acquisition” for Google search ads.
Measuring and tracking these will help to optimise your strategy and put resources towards the most effective and profitable projects and channels.
Try to plan for 3, 6 and 12 months so you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve throughout the year.
Using analytics platforms will give insight to determine which strategies are working. They can be effective tools to help you decide which type of ads are most successful, how many posts per week is optimal, and whether you’re meeting your goals.
As a minimum, your website should have Google Analytics with conversion tracking set up.
Regularly reviewing this data (ideally monthly, but at least quarterly) helps to ensure you’re:
Use your analytics to keep track of your progress against the KPIs set out in your strategy.
However, even if your metrics are moving in the right direction, there may be more ways to optimise your marketing spend. Keep shifting and experimenting by trying different ideas, tactics, and content. This helps to keep things fresh for your existing customers and target new audiences.
There are loads of free marketing tools that help support your marketing efforts. Some of our favourites are:
While it can be tempting to sign up for many free trials, it’s worth looking to see if they offer a basic version first. This allows you to familiarise yourself with the platform, how to navigate it and what tools are already available before upgrading.
You may find after the trial that the free version has everything you need, saving you money in the long run.
Where you can, repurposing and consolidating content saves time and money. For example, when creating a blog, can you create an infographic summary for social media? This will allow you to focus on other ideas or campaigns.
It’s also worth cross-posting new blogs, offerings and sales on social media. People may follow you on social media without being aware of everything you can offer. As social media is a free resource, it’s a great tool to help build brand awareness and drive organic traffic to your website.
To achieve certain goals and get the most from your marketing budget, have specific strategies which complement one another.
For example, SEO and content marketing naturally work well together, using written content to enhance the goals set out by SEO.
PR and social media complement each other well. Both contribute to your brand awareness and any press releases can be highlighted via social media. Both channels can be used for free, or paid if you require deeper levels of audience targeting.
Strategies should change as customer behaviours evolve, so it’s important to review analytics and reports regularly to ensure you remain on the right track.
One of the best ways to maximise your marketing budget is to recognise and acknowledge when to ditch your current strategy when it isn’t working. Even if your traffic is increasing, it isn’t always worth continuing to invest money into a campaign when it isn’t converting.
There are exceptions to this, such as an SEO strategy which can take several months before it begins to show results.
Businesses don’t always have the budget to recruit in-house specialists, but outsourcing to an external agency or freelancer which specialises in areas you’d like to focus on, can save you money and time.
Agencies are fast paced, hiring experts in their fields to deliver high-quality work on a tight deadline. Due to the competitive nature of the industry, agencies are often at the forefront of marketing innovation and utilise the newest thinking and techniques. External marketing agencies like Purpose Media, are a great source for specific projects or campaigns, as they have experience running successful campaigns.
Freelancers can be a lower cost option if you have very specific output-based needs, such as a single blog post. However, freelancers can be difficult to manage and are less-suited to tasks which can’t be very specifically briefed.
When you work with us at Purpose Media, we will support you with all aspects of your marketing strategy, providing insights, knowledge, and support. Our specialists are able to deliver services such as SEO, copywriting, PPC, social media, and digital PR, to make your goals a reality.
If you’re interested in learning more about what we can offer, get in touch to discover how we can help you get the most out of your marketing budget.