An optimized marketing budget can quickly grow your business, while an inefficient one can quickly detract from it. To get the most bang for your marketing budget in 2019, you’ll need to consider your strategy, tools, and your time. With highly focused targeting, efficient implementation, and affordable tools, you can maximize value from every marketing activity and asset.
4 Ways to Get the Most Bang for Your Marketing Budget in 2019
1. Use Targeted, Measurable Advertising
The problem with many traditional advertising types is it is difficult to directly measure the reach and impact of the advertisement on your audience. Online advertising has provided a solution to this. With the right advertising and the right targeting and price structure set up, you can truly get the most bang for your marketing budget in 2019.
To get the most bang for your buck when it comes to online advertising, consider the following.
- Know Your Goals: What do you want your advertisements to accomplish? Where in the marketing and sales funnel are they positioned? Should they help customers make a purchase? Or are you trying to extend your reach and gain visibility with your target market? Knowing your goals will help you choose your platform, audience, price structure, and more.
- Know Your Audience: You should know demographic information like age, gender, location and income, as well as more detailed information like other interests and concerns. Knowing who your audience is and what they think about will help you reach them with impactful ads.
- Choose Your Platform Carefully: Remember, to get the most bang for your marketing budget, your primary objective should be making your ads as effective as possible, not getting them in front of the largest crowd. This means aligning the purpose of the platform and its primary audience with your goals and target market. For example, Google search ads targeting “buying” keywords would be ideal for boosting purchases, while audience-targeted Facebook ads would be better for boosting visibility.
- Choose Your Pricing Carefully: Most platforms give you the option to pay for ads by impression, clicks, or conversions. You can set your own price, or you can let the platform’s algorithm decide a price using parameters you set, like total budget and the lifetime of the ad. Finding the balance here can be a challenge, and largely depends on the competition in your industry and the ROI from a conversion. Working with a digital marketing agency with experience using digital ads is often the best way to optimize your ads and get the most bang for your marketing budget.
Plan your strategy and get the most bang for your marketing budget
2. Leverage Organic Connections
Leveraging organic connections can help you get the most bang for your marketing budget in 2019 by building value from an activity that you normally do anyway. Whether you’re networking with suppliers, distributors, and other partners, making case studies with customers, or working with industry publications, you’re building a valuable network. Tapping into these connections in creative ways will allow your network to double as a marketing asset.
Write a post for a blog or industry publication, or ask a colleague to write for one you manage. When it comes to guest blogging, you don’t need a lot of traffic to make this effective. Even if you and your colleague only have a few dozen regular readers, you’ve both just doubled your reach by collaborating.
Some industry publications only use paid features. Depending on how much this is—and whether or not if affects the credibility of the publication—it can be worth it. Take a close look at the publication’s readership, including circulation and demographics in print (where available) and online. Is this your audience? Does the content stimulate engagement? Is the publication credible, and will it bolster your authority in the industry?
To get the most bang for your marketing budget in 2019 when it comes to social media, you need a strategy that makes sense for your business and your audience. A business that deals in consumer goods cannot use the same social media strategy as a B2B industrial distributor. This means using different platforms, providing different content, and interacting with other users in different ways. While you won’t build a following overnight, you should use KPIs to measure your success, and change course when you need to.
Don’t just make posts into empty cyberspace. Use social media as a tool for collaboration and networking. Make sure your content has value to your audience or partner organizations. Consider the following activities in your strategy:
- Posting on partners’ or colleague’s pages to strengthen relationships
- Reposting partners’ or colleagues’ content to cooperatively boost visibility
- Connecting with magazines or industry publications for visibility and industry authority
- Finding your ideal audience and encouraging interactions by liking, reposting or commenting on their content
- Creating groups focused on solving industry problems and sharing helpful information
- Using ads in a targeted marketing campaign (see point 1 above)
- Expanding your network by connecting with community groups, initiatives, or programs that you support
For many businesses, especially in the B2B arena, trade shows present invaluable opportunities to make connections. Though most trade shows require upfront investment to exhibit, many are free or affordably priced to attend, which can be a good way start. To get the most bang for your marketing budget when it comes to trade shows, you’ll need a way to close the loop and get in touch with the connections that you make. You might do this through email automation software or a CRM system (see point 3 below).
3. Save Time With Automation
One of the ways to get the most bang for your marketing buck is to save time. Remember that time is a valuable resource, and saving time ultimately means saving money. There are probably marketing activities that you do right now that you could automate.
With the right CRM system, you can stay in contact with customers and move them through the purchasing funnel without spending hours on emails and phone calls. Automation doesn’t necessarily mean losing a personal touch. When you anticipate what your customers are looking for at various points in the marketing funnel, you can answer their questions and concerns preemptively with automated messages.
Email automation software by itself can also help here, however a CRM system will make the process easier and more effective. Proper lead scoring is one big advantage of using a CRM. This will show you where the lead or prospect is on the sales funnel, and what information will be most effective at which point. The right CRM system will help you do both of these things in one place, automatically.
Here are a few examples of automation at work:
- Get a price list: Instead of a using a vague, general “contact us” form, use a CTA like “Get a Price List.” Add a form field that includes an array of price lists for different products, if needed. Assign an automated email to this CTA and your customer will receive a price list along with any selling points you might’ve included in a personal email or call, such as free shipping, after-sales service, or a case study that proves the quality of the product.
- Sign up for an event: It is possible to automate almost every task in an event set up. You can book tickets, schedule social media posts, send reminders, give attendees all the information they need, and give them a chance to share all with a few automated emails and integrations.
- Lead-scored nurturing emails: when a lead signs up to receive your emails, asks for a price list, contacts you directly, downloads a price list, or completes another step in the sales cycle, automated messages can help move them to the next step. When combined with automated lead scoring, you can provide more detailed information to more invested leads, and slowly introduce new leads to your product or service.
4. Use Free and Affordable Tools
Making advertisements, managing your social media, automating your emails—all of these things require the right tools, and costs of software subscriptions can quickly add up. To reduce these costs, it’s helpful to know exactly what you need. Are you paying for Photoshop when you only need to add text to pictures? Are you paying for a sophisticated social media monitoring tool, when you only need to schedule posts to Facebook?
Here are some free tools that can help you do the job you need without overpaying. Some of these tools are completely free, others have a high-quality free base version.
- Social Media Management: Basic versions of HootSuite, Buffer, SproutSocial, CrowdFire or TweetDeck.
- Photo Editing: GIMP, Paint.Net, Photoscape, Canva, PixlrX, Adobe Photoshop Express Editor
- Email Automation: Basic versions of MailChimp, Constant Contact, Wix ShoutOut, Mailgun, Zoho Campaigns, Benchmark
- Video Editing: Lightworks, ShotCut, Machete Video Editor Lite, HitFilm Express
- CRM: Free versions of Hubspot, Insightly, Nimble, Zoho, OnePage
With each of these tools and strategies, it’s important to also consider the time it takes to learn them. Some of these are very intuitive, while others are more complex. If you find yourself taking too much time away from your business, or allocating tasks to employees beyond their job description, it might be time to consider a marketing agency. Instead of learning and managing all of this software yourself, take advantage of the economies of scale and focused knowledge provided by a digital marketing experts.
Ask yourself how much time you’re spending keeping up with industry trends, learning tools, and leveraging your connections, and whether the ROI on these activities makes sense. If it doesn’t, or if it could be improved, working with a marketing agency might be the best way to get the most bang for your marketing budget in 2019.