As a small business owner it can be hard to work out where to put your money when it comes to marketing. How do you know what is going to generate a return and where do you focus your efforts?
Have a plan
The first important step for any kind of budget is to have a plan. Work out what you want to achieve and where your priorities are. This could be growing followers on Facebook, targeting a specific audience or planning a campaign to collect leads.
Set a budget
Do your research and work out what your costs are and how far your budget can stretch. For instance, if you’re running a Facebook Ads campaign, conduct a pilot first to ensure your messaging and targeting is on point.
Use free opportunities
Before you commit to spending on anything, make the most of free marketing opportunities online and maximise these. Look out for free online listings for events, forums for collecting data or set up a Google My Business listing to promote your services and products.
Define your audience
Work out WHO your audience are, WHERE they hang out and WHAT your value proposition is. This will then help inform decisions about where to spend your marketing budget, so if you get an opportunity to advertise in a magazine, for instance, but you know your audience are mainly on Instagram, you can safely turn down that opportunity.
A crucial step and one which is often overlooked. Be sure to measure, monitor and review any campaigns or advertising you do so you can optimise it and learn from it. See whether it aligned with your original goals, did it demonstrate a good return on investment and did it engage your target audience?
Align with your business goals
Knowing where you want to go with your business will inform how much budget you can commit to marketing. So if you have a big goal in mind you'll need to commit more money for a longer period of time. If you have a smaller goal, you can commit a smaller percentage of money for a shorter period of time. Be realistic with what you can afford to spend on marketing per month and per year.
There is no magic formula to marketing budgets and sometimes it will be a case of trying things and seeing what works best for your business.
Looking to get a plan together for your next campaign? Talk to us and see how we can help you pull together a solid marketing strategy to reach your ideal customers.