Digital Marketing On A Budget: A How-To Guide

digital marketing on a budget  how-to guide

It is estimated that expenditures on online marketing will total $129 billion this year.

Over the past few years, businesses have invested heavily in web marketing. Not surprisingly, the budgets for online marketing and other forms of marketing are now at par in most companies.

Unlike traditional advertising, online marketing allows businesses to monitor and track the progress of their campaigns.

It also offers better conversion rates, and businesses can even begin with small budgets. 

Unfortunately, small businesses without a big financial muscle are still lagging behind when it comes to advertising online.

In this article, we will look at some of the steps you can take to make the most of digital marketing on a budget.

Set Goals

Though most marketing campaigns are geared towards generating sales, businesses can also advertise with other objectives in mind. Knowing specifically what you want to achieve will dictate the marketing approach you take.

Your goal should be based on the result you hope to achieve. Are you a startup looking to create awareness or an established brand looking to boost loyalty? All these are different goals that require a unique approach.

Your campaign can also have other secondary goals. Even then, the approach should be centered on the primary goal.

Understand Your Target Market

For any marketing campaign to succeed, it is important that you know who exactly you are targeting and the best method to reach them. Even before you develop your budget for marketing, it is important to fully analyze your audience.

Consider the following:

• How old they are
• Their income level
• Where are they located? Suburb or city?
• Which brands do they normally associate with?

 With your ideal client in mind, do extensive research online to get as much industry insight as possible.

Knowing things such as spending habits can help you curate your advertisements to appeal to them as well as price your products strategically.

If you are in the food industry, understanding your customers will also help you with quality assurance which you can improve by following this useful guide.

Choose the Appropriate Channels

There are many ways to create awareness online. However, they do not all deliver the same results for different market segments.

Once you have fully understood who your customers are and how the market is in general, move on to select the most appropriate medium to reach them.

If your campaign targets the public on a retail level, there are high chances your content will be consumed on the go.

Therefore, your website and ads should be optimized for use on mobile phones and tablets. Do not forget to make the content lively.

Towards that end, include videos and photos. For such content, social media is an effective delivery channel.

If your business provides solutions to other businesses, your marketing campaign should be geared towards reaching the decision makers. Therefore, the mode of delivery and nature of the advertisement should have that in mind.

This content will be most likely viewed in the office. It should, therefore, be structured more as articles and the website designed to cater for desktop users.

Analyze the past and Look to the Future

Thanks to data analytics, it is easy to know the performance of online marketing campaigns. Before you launch a new one, make a thorough assessment on how the previous one did.

While you are at it, look at the campaigns your peers and competitors have had and find out how they performed.

The results from those campaigns will help you identify bits that work and those that don’t. This will help you save money and time.

Online marketing techniques are always evolving. Take the time to do your research and find out the current trends in marketing.

This insight will give you access to new opportunities and allow you to capitalize on the first-mover advantage.

 When developing a marketing budget, there are many factors that come into play. These include:

• The sector you are in
• Your business’s capacity
• Desired timeline for the marketing campaign to make an impact
• The reasonable growth potential of your business.

All the mentioned reasons should be considered. However, most businesses only use projected gross revenues and allocate a percentage of it to marketing.

For small businesses, it ranges from 3-5 percent. The allocation can be increased depending on the objectives. For instance, companies that are trying to establish themselves in the industry use up to 20% on sales and marketing.

For businesses that have revenues below $ 5 million, the best allocation level is 7-8%. It should be channeled to the following avenues:

• Brand development costs via the channels you use such as websites and blogs
• Promotion expenses such as campaigns, advertising, and events

Most businesses have revenue margins of 10-12% after expenses. If your margins are lower than this, you should consider revising it appropriately.

Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget

Drawing the most value from resources is a skill every entrepreneur should master, especially when working with a tight budget. Establish a clear and specific plan for utilizing your marketing budget.

Since marketing is a vital component to your overall business plan, establish time frames for achieving specific goals. This will make it easy to determine the performance of your campaign in relation to your objectives.

Test, Review and Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategies

There is no one size fits all online marketing strategy or budget allocation formula. With every campaign, you launch, track, and monitor the results.

You must also compare the performance of different campaigns while trying to find the specific aspects that bring you success.

As you continue to try and test, you will find the right balance for you. However, you should still monitor what new trends emerge.

Consider hiring a team to monitor the developments in marketing techniques. If you cannot afford to dedicate a team to do so, assign that role as a secondary one to one of your team members.

Is Online Marketing Worth the Trouble?

These days, any business that wants to achieve its full potential cannot afford to ignore digital marketing. Not only do more people depend on their devices for day to day tasks such as shopping, but also, the number is continually increasing.

Additionally, it allows small businesses to access mass markets at the fraction it would cost to do so through traditional forms of marketing.

Do not let your business lose out to competition, start your online marketing campaign today, and watch your business grow. 

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