Some may say that the best part of creating a budget is getting it over with. And yes, budgeting may force you to confront the fact that you simply don’t have the funds to put all of your best marketing schemes into action. It’s a huge bummer having to “kill your darlings” when it comes to all of your brand development aspirations for the sake of allocating funds appropriately. However, budgeting really pushes you to consider what your biggest goals are and help you to understand what is achievable, and what you may need to hold off on until next quarter. Creating a digital marketing budget that works for you doesn’t have to be all woes and worries. We’re here to help you make your marketing dreams come true, regardless of how big or small your budget is!
1. What are your goals?
Before you can even think about creating a budget, you need to first establish what your goals are. You probably want to form goals around the following:
- Creating content that will appeal to your audience
- Optimizing that content for high search visibility
- Promoting content and driving traffic to your site
- Converting new followers via discovery
The above bullet points summarize the general goals of most marketing endeavors. Of course, your goals are going to be more specific to your brand and individual circumstance, but the overarching theme of each of these will still hold up no matter what outlandish, out-of-the-box marketing schemes you dream up.
Start by considering what your number one, big goal is. Odds are, this is probably more general. Then, think about some smaller, short-term milestones that you can achieve to push you closer to satisfying your main goal.
Understanding what your goals are and where your priorities lie will help you to allocate funds appropriately to the endeavors that you believe will be the most instrumental in helping you achieve success for your brand.
2. What were your most successful previous campaigns?
Go back and analyze the results of previous marketing campaigns you’ve run. What worked? What didn’t? If you had successes, what could you have changed to make them even sweeter? What was the loss vs gain of your campaigns? Are there any that are worth running again? These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself as you pour back over the data you’ve gathered. Don’t forget to pay attention to how your demographic has shifted — what worked for your audience in the past may not work as well now.
3. How much money are you working with?
Here’s the part that every marketing coordinator dreads: confronting the reality of funding. As marketers, we have the tendency to conjure up all of these grandiose, fantastic plans for campaigns — who can blame us?! We love our jobs, and we’re passionate about spreading the word about the brands we love and believe in. But the harsh reality is, not everything is going to fit snugly into the budget. You’ll need to get real about how much money you have to allocate to each component, and if there’s not enough to go around, some things may need to be adjusted or even cut out completely.
However, try not to focus too much on what isn’t possible, but rather what is. You can still do so many cool things with a limited budget, and if you have a solid understanding of your audience and a highly tailored campaign, you can stretch your dollar quite far.
4. What content will you need to create to achieve your goals?
Let’s finish out with what is probably one of the best parts: bringing your campaign to life! Using the budget you’ve created, figure out what kind of content you will need to create in order to help you achieve your goals. If you want to increase traffic via SEO, perhaps funneling money into some blog posts would be your best bet. If you want to increase your follower count on social media, maybe a giveaway or contest is in the cards. Want to build follower loyalty? Content marketing might be in your best interest. The possibilities are endless!
When it’s all said and done, don’t forget to analyze the results of your campaigns that you enacted with your digital marketing budget. It will help you immeasurably when it comes to future marketing endeavors, and creating your next budget will be even easier!