How to Optimize Your Small Business Marketing Budget
5 Tips to Make Your Small Business Marketing Budget Work Harder
by Andreas Bünter, Founder GetYourExpert
The first tip for optimizing your small business marketing budget? Make sure you have a strategy.
1. Have a Plan in Place
To make your small business marketing budget work for you, you need to have a marketing strategy in place, first.
Without a strategy, you’ll end up spending money randomly, throwing dollars at various tactics and hoping something sticks. On the other hand, with a strategy in your back pocket, you’ll have a path mapped out to ROI.
You’ll know exactly where your marketing budget is going and why. That’s because a strategy ties your business goals together with your marketing plan, which matches up with your budget. (It literally ties it all into a bow.) In general, your plan should outline the following areas at a minimum:
- Your overarching marketing goals plus yearly aims/objectives
- All segments of your marketing plan (email, social media, content, etc.)
- Your planned marketing activities and their estimated costs (research, creation, testing, tracking/measuring)
For more information on creating a marketing budget, this guide from Marketing Insider Group is a good starting point.
2. Look at Your Small Business Marketing Budget as an Investment – Not a Cost
Once you have a marketing plan in place, stick to it. While this sounds simple enough, it’s harder to actually put in practice.
Think about it: Instances may pop up where you instinctually want to cut your marketing budget in favor of funneling that money elsewhere. But, you allocated that money to marketing for a reason.
Marketing forges customer relationships, builds brand awareness, and generally gets your name out there. Without marketing, you have no way to bring in new customers and leads.
So, instead of thinking of marketing as a necessary evil, pivot to upholding it as an investment for the future health of your business. That will help you stick to your guns when the temptation to stray from your budget/plan arises.
3. Track and Measure Your Campaign ROI (Is What You’re Spending Worth It?)
Don’t just spend money on marketing and leave it at that. You’ll have no idea if what you’re budgeting is actually worth it.
Instead, make sure you track and measure your marketing campaigns so you can justify the cost. That way, if a marketing activity doesn’t seem to be working, you can eliminate it and spend that money elsewhere. On the other hand, if a marketing activity is working really well, you can invest more into what you know works.
Here are a few basic marketing metrics to track to help measure the effectiveness of your campaigns (and if you’re spending your campaign budgets wisely), via Cleverism:
- Engagement – Are people interacting with your campaign? There are a few ways to measure this.
- Email engagement stats like opens, click rates, and unsubscribe rates.
- Social media engagement stats like shares, comments, likes, and retweets.
- Website stats – Experiencing increased traffic, a lower bounce rate, and higher click-through rates can mean your ad campaigns and content marketing are working.
- Increased sales – This metric is easy to see in action. If you noticed increased sales during and directly after a campaign, you can probably correlate the two.
4. Make Sure Your Landing Pages are Optimized
The money you invest in ad campaigns and content is wasted if your landing pages don’t capture leads effectively.
That’s why you should make sure you optimize them for the users you’re targeting. If users click to your website or landing pages and immediately want to click away, you’ve lost the chance to convince them outright. Providing a good user experience is thus half the battle for encouraging conversions.
That means you need:
- Good, usable, intuitive website design
- Clear navigation and content
- Actionable, persuasive copy or content optimized with relevant keywords
- Optimization for desktop and mobile browsers
- Speedy site loading times
Optimizing your landing pages will help you get more concrete results from your ads and content campaigns. Don’t forget this key piece of the puzzle when planning and implementing your marketing budget.
5. Invest in One Marketing Activity You Do Really Well
In marketing, there’s no need to jump on every bandwagon or trend. You don’t have to do everything – you just need to do one or two things really well.
For example, you don’t have to have a presence on every single social platform to build brand awareness and stay relevant. Instead, focus on the platforms that make the most sense for your business, where you have momentum.
It’s better to concentrate your resources on one or two channels and do really well there. The alternative is spreading yourself too thin and having a mediocre impact at best across your accounts.
Small Business Marketing Budget Woes? No More
If your small business marketing budget seems to stretch tighter and tighter as the year progresses, or if you don’t have a budget to begin with, it’s time to make a change.
Follow these tips to optimize your budget and make it work better and harder for your business. Instead of spending money randomly, you’ll spend it strategically, which will drastically improve your results and ROI.
For more strategy, budgeting, and marketing know-hows, talk to us at Get Your Expert.