Last week, we talked about some practical tips on how to start preparing your 2019 marketing strategy. Having goals and taking steps toward them is important, but of course any serious plan is going to require some funds to back it up. So how do you know how much you need to set aside to reach each of your digital marketing goals for next year? Here are some tips on how to portion out your marketing budget.
Start with what you already know. Begin by looking over your 2018 budget. How was the ROI in each area? Do you wish you had spent more in one area, and less on something else? Avoid repeating campaigns that didn't work out for you, and channel your resources efficiently by using existing data to help set up a framework for your new budget.
Prioritize current trends. There are countless ways that you can allocate resources, but it's important to pay attention to marketing trends, and right now that means focusing a lot of your attention on things like video, mobile, and influencer marketing. For example, search engines penalize sites that aren't fully optimized for mobile, so if that means you need to get your web designer in to make some changes or even do a complete overhaul, then that needs to be a priority in order to keep your SEO practices up-to-date.
Look into emerging technologies. If you want to be ahead of the curve, that means taking some measured, calculated risks on the Next Big Thing. Some technologies are more of a sure bet than others, so if you're hesitant to put too much on the line, look into tech that's skyrocketing right now, like implementing AI chatbots, or investing in Business Intelligence tools to help streamline your marketing and make it more effective.
Expect the unexpected. There's no way to predict every single thing that's going to happen to you next year, so you have to be prepared for all of it. What if pricing goes up for one or more of your more lucrative marketing channels? What if a new competitor starts to grow quickly and you need to respond accordingly? It's also important to plan ahead for things like software and technology upgrades. Again, looking at your old budgets can be useful to help you see where unexpected costs tend to come from, and what sort of ballpark figures you need to be looking at to handle those costs.
Budgeting for marketing may seem intimidating, but sitting down to do it is the hardest part - once you start looking at the numbers, it becomes less of a scary question mark and more just matter of distributing resources into a well-balanced plan.
To assist you in your planning, click here to download 8 budget templates that will help you to manage your marketing spend.
Cogo Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and nationally.