Knowing where to allocate your digital budget could make or break your success.
Marketing budgets are predicted to grow during 2017-2018 and a Get Response survey of 200 US-based companies (with at least £200 million in annual revenue) showed that most of them expected that growth to come via digital marketing. Almost 70% of the businesses surveyed were looking to increase their digital and web-based budgets.
We know that digital is a key area for any business, large or small, as the return on investment is easy to measure. The challenge for smaller businesses is how do you manage your campaigns, ad spend and time spent across platforms without spreading yourself too thinly? And, how do you get that all-important return on your investment?
Working out how to split your budgets accordingly can be a challenge early on. Reading data such as Google Analytics to understand your website performance and your content marketing can all help to build a picture of how well you are performing online. This gives you valuable insight into where to spend more and where you should claw back.
But what if you’re new to all this and don’t have access to any data yet? The good news is that you can get started without any. The bad news is, you’ll need to get comfortable with the idea that your initial budget needs to allow for some testing and potential failure.
- Set a “test budget” that you know is going to be spent over a certain amount of time, and purely for experimenting and gathering data.
- Start small. Pick one platform, and a set time frame (we suggest a minimum of one month).
- Ensure Google Analytics is set up and start collecting your data.
- Review your analytics, insights and available campaign data. Use this information to shape what you do next. If people were viewing it, but not clicking it, is your call to action strong enough? Perhaps the images need changing?
- Look at your audience. If you’re targeting young people, then make sure you’re using the platforms that they are likely to be using.
- It is okay to stop using something. If you run a test on Facebook and you get zero results after you’ve tweaked and tested, then move your attention to something else. What works for others, might not always work for you.
Fod Ads Sake
If you’re looking to run some ads, it’s worth keeping in mind that in the digital world, an ad for the sake of an ad is the equivalent of a cold call. It won’t always resonate with your audience and is more likely to put them off clicking or buying if it is too aggressive or not relevant. Consider how your advert can link into something you’re already doing.
- Are you running a competition?
- Perhaps you have a launch offer on a new product
- Are you running an event you want people to attend?
Thinking about how your content will resonate with your audience means that it needs to have a purpose behind it. In today’s digital world, an ad doesn’t have to feel like an ad for it to be an ad…does that make sense? Ben and Jerry’s do this really well.
Once you’ve started and your content is gathering you useful data (whether that’s through blogs, ads, Instagram etc.) then start looking at it. If you’re noticing that most people coming to your site are coming via a certain search term, then it makes sense that a portion of your budget needs to be spent on keeping those keywords a core part of your digital budget.
Spending on digital ads with those words in them should increase your traffic and, hopefully, your return on your investment. Blogs and content around them will also help to keep that traffic coming. Don’t just set it up and leave it, keywords can go through trends – just like things in the real world.
Using analytics or similar, start benchmarking and noting peaks in traffic and attributing them to things you’ve been doing at certain times. All of this gives you great ground to improve your activity and start to see what works and what doesn’t.
For help with analytics take a look at these handy tools: https://contently.com/strategist/2016/08/02/the-top-10-free-content-analytics-tools/
Yes, all of this takes time. You’ll probably want to sit down and make sure you’ve set aside a decent chunk of time for you to properly plan and allocate your budget spend, based on what you know.
Planning can be an area that you want to get a little bit of help – a lot of people find that once they’re up and running, they can manage it themselves but they just need a bite of help getting over that first hurdle.
We can help you by doing a website or search audit that gives you great data to start you off and help you create a strategy that will keep you on-track. If you’re interested in finding out how it can help you, then we’d love to hear from you.