There are a few areas to focus on as you plan your digital marketing budget. To get your content found and consumed online, it really boils down to allocating budget for these four things:
- Creating the right content that resonates with your audience
- Optimizing the content for high search visibility
- Promoting the content to drive your audience to your site
- Distributing the content to drive new audience discovery
There are three ways to accomplish these four tasks: You can do it all yourself, collaborate with an agency or hand everything over to an agency. How do you know which is right for you? Let’s find out.
How to Estimate an Effective Marketing Budget
Although he doesn’t include any budget numbers, Adam Erhart explains what you should be thinking about as you deploy your upcoming digital marketing strategy, including the challenge that you should spend only 20% of the time creating content and 80% of your time promoting and distributing your content. His hypothesis is that the market is over-saturated with mediocre content, so brands must create some significantly better content and then promote the heck out of it to succeed.
There are massive amounts of content being published every day. You’ve got to create content that stands out, and you’ve also got to amplify your content. Both steps are designed to increase the reach and audience of people that will interact with and share your content. Don’t miss these important steps. Make sure to include an adequate budget for these in your overall plan.
Do you have a plan and the funds to effectively distribute your content?
Budgeting for Digital Marketing Based on ROI
You’ll want to consider the content, promotion and measurement for each stage of the customer journey and how they interrelate to one another. You’ll look at not only content, but how to promote it and measure KPIs that are most important to your success.
A 5:1 ratio is considered the middle of expectations. A 10:1 ROI on digital marketing is awesome. Keep in mind, however, your ratio will be dependent on the length of your sales cycle and your ability to establish and track conversions. It will also depend on the competitive nature of your industry.
Use our digital marketing calculator to help you develop your budget and better understand the cost/benefit analysis to your digital marketing efforts.
How Much Should You Spend on Digital Marketing in Total?
Don’t fall in love with the medium you’re currently using. You need to spend 5-20% of your time or money on new innovative things, says Gary Vaynerchuck, and content marketing can be one of them.
Traditional marketing doesn’t work as well as it used to. You also need to be where your customers are consuming content. Check out this video from Gary V. He’s motivating to watch, but fair warning: some of his vocabulary is NSFW (just make sure you have headphones in).
If you need some ideas on where to spend your general online budget, this video is for you. It will help by showing how to allocate funds for digital marketing and all the different considerations while you’re creating the budget.
If you’re creating a budget from scratch, it might make sense to see what other organizations are spending. You can use their spend to help justify the budget you’ll be requesting. While not perfect solutions for determining the spend, there are several tools that can provide a good idea of competitor strategies, channels and advertising spend. Here are two recommended tools:
Consider the length of your sales cycle and other aspects of your business that might cause you to increase or decrease your budget compared to these averages. This info will give you a good idea on where to start with your content marketing budget.
As you’re putting together your editorial content calendar and prioritizing what content to create, also consider the different kinds of content you can create for your audience. Here are some ideas of the kinds of content you can publish:
- Q & A
- Case Studies
- White Papers
- Blog Posts
- Curated posts
- Free Guides
Need Our Experts to Help Craft Your Next Marketing Strategy?
We talk to organizations all the time that are still debating whether to hire more in-house resources to handle a full digital marketing strategy or hire an agency. While it may seem like hiring in-house help is a cost-cutting way to take control of your own marketing efforts, the math rarely adds up—especially if you consider all of the roles you’ll need to fill if you want the same reach (and results) as working with an agency.
Your agency should be your “partner”, which means sharing responsibilities – and it’s critical toward building a good agency/client relationship. It’s your agency’s job to use their expertise and skill to advance your brand, boost your traffic and takes steps for you to ‘own’ your audience. They’ll need to collect data, analyze that data and report back to you on what the data means and what their next steps will be. Ideally, the responsibilities are broken down like this:
- Create a detailed scope of work that allows the client to fully understand the work you’ll be doing for them and by when.
- Help the client understand the “why” behind your activities.
- Engage with the client and teach them along the way. Show them what you’re doing and why it’s important.
- Communicate on a regular and frequent basis.
- Do the right thing.
- Inspect what you expect.
- Ask questions if you don’t understand.
- Hold the agency accountable for the work they’ve contracted to do.
- Communicate on a regular and frequent basis.
How Much Should You Budget for Digital Marketing This Year?
This was an excerpt from the complete guide for preparing your next digital marketing budget. Don’t miss out! Download it for free and start growing your business like never before.