Creating a small business marketing budget is one of the most important things you'll do for your company, so it pays to spend the time to get it right.
These are our top three tips for creating your marketing budget:
1) Gather data on what you spent in prior years
As much as possible, you should be gathering information on what's worked and what hasn't - and in particular, you want to do more of what works while shutting down anything that isn't providing a sufficiently good return on your investment.
If you've been running a website, Google Analytics (or a similar service)" is your best source for this kind of information. Here are a few points to keep an eye on:
- Where did your visitors come from? In most cases, the answer is going to be "search results" or "paid advertisements" - but from there, you need to look at which search terms and ads brought them to you. This will help you figure out why people are visiting your site and what they expect from you - and addressing that will help convert them into customers.
- What activities generated visits? Most people don't come to your website out of nowhere. Rather, they tend to appear in response to something you did, such as posting a blog, engaging with them on social media, or using print or digital ads that actually got them to react. Look for activities that you can repeat over and over to attract new customers, and remember that some of the most effective methods (like blog posts and other recommended inbound strategies) only show their true value over time.
- What engages your leads? Once a lead has visited your site, they're probably going to engage with some aspect of it. This could include reading blog posts, downloading guides and other offers, or simply buying something from an online store. Regardless, pay attention to the things that your most successful leads are engaging with and try to promote those. Similarly, if there's an area of your site that simply isn't attracting attention, consider removing it unless you have another reason to keep it. This will help your SEO efforts by ensuring that each page is seen as a useful and valuable resource by search engines.
As you plan your spending for the new year, try to put more tracking measures into place so you can get better data for future planning.
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2) Align your marketing spending with events throughout the year
Many companies aim for a stable marketing budget, with each month getting about the same amount of funding. However, for a real small business marketing budget, that kind of thinking could actually be holding you back. Instead, try to align your marketing with events throughout the year.
For example, if your products are often given as gifts, then it's best to market around gift-giving holidays. If you're helping with taxes, then your focus should be advertising before and during tax season.
Essentially, you're looking for the levers that offer you the highest returns throughout the year. That said, don't go overboard on this - you need to get enough business throughout the year to pay your bills, so you should only allocate the extra part of your budget to the yearly schedule.
3) Remember that it's easiest to sell to people you already know
When you're writing a small business marketing budget, it's easy to focus on revenue - but you need to keep your customers in mind at all times if you want your business to succeed.
Accordingly, your budget should allow you to work your network with strategies like email marketing and social media marketing. If you spend most of the year focused on building and expanding your network, then your efforts during the best advertising times are likely to be far more successful.
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Finally, remember that your small business marketing budget should have a strategy focused on long-term growth. It may take months for your efforts to bear fruit, and that doesn't come without challenges - but once you get past the initial hurdles, your plan should help your business overcome its challenges and move towards sustained growth and profit.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company. We specialize in inbound marketing and digital marketing. We work closely with our clients to develop marketing strategies that focus on their individual needs and ensure success.