“How should I spend my marketing budget?”
It’s the million dollar question I get a lot.
I’m going to make it a $100K question instead (not realistic for everyone, I know, but more realistic than $1m).
The strategy is to strike a balance between ATTRACTING people to your website, CONVERTING visitors into followers, prospects, or customers, and KEEPING both prospects and customers engaged with your brand.
Now obviously any marketing budget should be aligned with the goals of the business, so take the following with a grain of salt (also note: this is just for online or digital marketing).
$35K on Paid Search
Yup, I’m putting over a third of my marketing budget into paid search (includes Google AdWords, Bing/Yahoo ads, and retargeting tactics).
Why? Companies make $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google AdWords (Google Impact Report). As a Google Partner with a lot of experience managing PPC budgets, I can say that this is more or less true.
Paid search is not plain old advertising. It’s about connecting with prospects who are actively searching for products or services that your business sells and ensuring they find you (and not your competitor).
Paid search will help generate the leads and new customers that will allow me to grow my revenues, customer base, and thus marketing budget for next year.
$40K on “SESOCO” (SEO, Social, Content)
As I’ve written about, SEO now takes a team effort. But you still need to conduct traditional SEO practices that include on-page optimization, ensuring your site is error-free, loads fast, is mobile-friendly, and is easily crawled by search engines. As well, optimizing for local search, citation building, and of course building links (which Social Media and Content Marketing can help with too).
There’s a few ways I’m going to use Social Media:
- Implement a company-wide social media culture and ensure all employees are using it to listen, engage, and to deliver better customer service.
- Distribute blogs, content, videos, white papers and other content to my target audience (building natural links in the process, which the SEO team will appreciate).
- Use Blogger Outreach tools to find and engage with my influencers and create an Influence Marketing program.
- Identify and target prospects that could benefit from my product or service, engage them and build long-term relationships.
- Ensure to promote others, and be an active participant in industry conversations and helping others where I can.
Using Social Media to listen to what my prospects and influencers are talking about, and creating a content that benefits them:
- White Paper
- How-to videos
This will help get more inbound links (SEO), more traffic, and most importantly help our customers and reflect positively on our brand.
$10K on Testing and Website Optimization
For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them (REDEYE). There’s no point spending so much money attracting people to your website if it’s not built to “convert”. I’m going to set up primary (email subscription, demo request, ecommerce purchase) and secondary (share post, follow blog, Facebook Like) conversion goals on my website and test, test, test.
I’m going to use testing tools that will help me try different offers, prices, headlines, images, copywriting, and anything else I can think of to continually improve the conversion rate of my website and digital properties over the long-term.
$10K on Email
Yes, it’s no longer a sexy marketing channel, but it still works (and is still very affordable). I’ll use email to:
- Create drip campaigns for those who’ve enquired about our business but are not yet ready to purchases
- Create triggered or automatic emails for abandoned quotes or shopping carts
- Let customers and prospects know about our latest promo, sale, product release, webinar, or contest
- Syndicate blogs and other content
- Survey customers and garner feedback and ideas
$5K Marketing R&D & Innovation
I’d earmark 5% of my budget to “new ideas”. This could be for testing new tools and technologies, looking into data and analytics for insight on better ways to market to customers, or simply to let employees spend a little time on their own projects that they think could help the business move forward.