4 Keys to Successfully Setting Your 2018 Marketing Budget

4 Keys to Successfully Setting Your 2018 Marketing Budget

Haven’t set your marketing budget for 2018? Don’t fret there’s still time! Here are four tips to successfully determining the direction your marketing budget will take in the coming year.

1. Look Forward and Back

Before you can look forward, take time to look back. Analyzing the successes and failures of the previous year means taking a hard look at what was expected from your marketing and what results were achieved. It can be difficult to determine which marketing channels were responsible for which contacts made and which sales closed.

Segmenting the marketing can help with this process, but it will take a great deal of research to get a truly accurate picture of how a specific channel impacted your business. The payoff comes in being able to quantify results with a degree of certainty that lets you set your 2018 budget with some confidence.

2. Evaluate Your Audience

It is likely that at some point you sat down and considered the personas that make up your audience and determined the best ways of targeting them. Do those demographcs still represent your market well? The increasing pace of change in information channels affects not just how you reach your audience, but how they prefer to engage with you. Even customers that have been traditionally reluctant to embrace technology are wading in deeper today. Reassess your audience and determine the changes you need to reach them effectively.

3. Write Your 2018 Marketing Goals

After you know the direction you want to take and who you want to reach in the upcoming year, define your goals. Your goals should be specific and measurable. Once you determine how much you can afford to spend in total (we’ll talk about that more below), you can then break down how much you can spend on each goal or marketing channel. Determine which digital marketing tactics you will use to reach each of those goals and how you will measure your efforts – ROI, click-through-rates (CTR), organic search traffic, direct URL traffic, or impressions, frequency & reach from your media buy…or maybe a combination of it all.

Now, let’s talk about how to calculate your budget!

If you’re a newer company or have a new product or service to advertise, you should expect to spend anywhere from 12-20% of your gross revenue on marketing – that’s design, printing, social media, and ad placements. Why? Because the less the buying public knows about your company, product or service the less likely they are to buy it – or even consider it as an option.

Now, say you’re an established company, you should allocate 10-12% of gross revenue to marketing. Established brands have their loyal customer base and don’t necessarily need to advertise as heavily.

Gross Revenue * chosen percentage = annual marketing budget

Ex: If a company brings in $250,000 in gross revenue and has decided to allocate 10% towards marketing, here’s how we calculate the annual marketing budget:

$250,000 * .15 =  $25,000

There’s no one magic number that works for every company, looking at it in a percentage of gross revenue is an easier way to build a marketing budget.

4. Assess Your Digital Presence

It is likely you will need to refresh your website to better meet the expectations of those personas. What will it take to ensure that the customer can find and engage you online? Make the necessary updates.

Plan to budget for social media ads in 2018. B2B companies should use LinkedIn social media ads, and B2C companies should advertise on the social platforms that are most important to their audience.

It’s also wise to continue to create sharable content for your website and social media in 2018. Publish consistently and consider including as many long-form pieces as your budget allows.

If there’s still room in your budget, consider ramping up your email marketing efforts and dedicating some resources to SEO.

Digital channels should continue to dominate your thoughts as you set your marketing budget.

How the repeal of net neutrality will play into social media and digital marketing is yet to be determined, but better to be (or stay!) ahead of the curve!

Social media marketing is growing in importance as a marketing channel demanding attention in the budget. With a solid plan and appropriate strategy, you’ll be set for success. Having a content, or editorial, calendar built out at least monthly will help you strategize and determine what posts to boost, or sponsor. Yes, something will always come up that you can post that day or that week, but having a set content calendar, and the help of a platform like Hootsuite, can prevent a lot of headaches.

Facebook ads are a great way to reach your targeted audience for as little as $5 per day. You can choose your audience based on demographics, geographics and psychographics all laid out for you within Facebook’s ad platform.

Don’t have time to set a content calendar and deal with promoting ads on social media? Hire someone to help! Hire someone who you’re confident in to build your company’s brand and be your online presence.

For more information about setting a marketing budget, our graphic or web design, social media or SEO services, fill out our project planner or send us an email!

For further reading, check out these great articles here.

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