Planning Your Digital Marketing Budget: 5 Simple Tips

Planning a digital marketing budget is an ever-present challenge for small-to-medium sized businesses. Every business owner wants a precise figure saying how much you should spend, and that number depends on your individual circumstances.

27% of marketers name securing sufficient budget as a top struggle. That data tells us planning could be implemented a bit more wisely! Although the new year will soon be upon us, budget planning is an evergreen concern that transcends holiday periods.

In 2018, the average business allocated 42% of their marketing budget to digital channels. That’s a huge percentage that’s only going to grow larger in future years. With so much hanging on digital, it’s vital to get the planning right.

Here, we’ll lay down some ground rules to guide your next digital marketing budget plan.

1. Set A Clear Goal

Before you decide on a course of action and define parameters, you need to know which direction you’re headed in with digital marketing. What does your company most need to accomplish? It could be brand awareness, more organic traffic, higher ROI from pay-per-click (PPC) spend – wherever your business needs a boost.

Goals should be well-defined and quantifiable. Ambiguous goals are harder to achieve – and easier to fake achieving. Clear goals containing numbers make planning a digital marketing budget much easier. Make sure you leave no room for confusion and nail down that goal!

2. Take Trends Into Account

The digital marketing realm is vast and ever-changing. Shifts in the various methodologies used in digital happen every day, and staying on the leading-edge of trends and changes puts your company at a big advantage. This applies to campaign outcomes and budget planning alike.

New developments can be a fabulous opportunity to get creative with your marketing plan. Catching and getting onboard with new trends before the competition does is an unrivalled way to get noticed by your target market.

Beyond digital marketing itself, tuning into trends in your business sector helps inform your budget planning as well. Remember: Invest where your customers are!

3. Determine Traffic Volume Requirements

Once you’ve set your clear goal and brushed up on the latest trends, it’s time to determine how much site traffic you need to achieve your goal. As with our goal-setting tip, avoid providing ball-park figures or estimating. Instead, use historical data to inform your requirements.

Google Analytics provides the perfect platform to review site traffic data. It also reduces the margin of error in predictions within your digital marketing budget. Site traffic numbers have a strong correlation to sales figures, so knowing how much traffic you anticipate is especially useful for PPC and SEO spend estimates.

4. Decide Which Avenue is Most Profitable

Ideally, you’ll be in a position to pursue an omni-channel strategy. One of the core principles of digital marketing is – essentially – that your brand needs to be everywhere at all times. While that’s not always possible, the most effective technique exposes your business to the most customers.

Across SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing and more, businesses have to prioritise the method that delivers the largest returns. Reviewing previous data helps answer this question too.

5. Use Templates

If you’re not entirely sure how to proceed, or what your budget may look like, don’t worry! There’s plenty of help at hand, in the form of templates. Whether you want to figure our budgets for product marketing, content, PPC or even a Master Budget Spreadsheet – HubSpot has got you covered!

Check out these accessible templates available to download and make your own. Even if you don’t implement them in the form provided, they offer good baseline guidance for businesses without a concrete set of processes. Why not take some time to play around with them and see if your business could benefit?

Now that you have some guidelines, you can get to testing them out and see which ones work best for your business. For techniques like PPC in particular, knowing how to stretch a small budget goes a long way. To find out more, check out our blog on 6 Simple Steps to Maximise Your PPC Budget and discover the savings!