When you first start marketing digitally, you’re going to need to figure out your marketing budget. Some people who are new think they have zero budget, and while you may be able to get started with no budget other than your time, eventually you are going to need to have a real marketing budget. In this way, you can take your business to the next level.
What’s in Your Sales Funnel?
Before you spend more than time on your marketing efforts, ensure that you have a fruitful sales funnel. For example, what happens when someone gets onto your email list? What happens when someone buys product A from you? There should be a plan in place to pull people through your funnel to your most expensive product. You may have several funnels, or you may have one funnel – it doesn’t matter; know what’s in it and how it works.
Which Platform Will You Use?
When you do place an advertisement, which platform are you going to use? That’s going to inform something about your budget. It may cost more to place an advertisement in a print magazine or put it on TV than it will cost you to place a Facebook advertisement, which may cost less than advertising on Google, and so forth.
What Are Your Goals?
It’s important to understand your goals in terms of how many people you want to reach, as well as how many sales you will likely make from that reach. If the industry conversion rate is 2 percent, start your figures with that number and run small tests targeting your ideal audience to find out if it’ll work. Then you can increase your budget (technically to infinity) if you have a positive ROI.
What Will It Take to Reach That Goal?
Obviously, you are going to start with numbers, using your own conversion numbers from email marketing, landing page figures, or industry figures. Starting with that information can inform you about what it will take to reach your goals. Say the industry conversion to click an ad is 2 percent, and conversion of the people who click the ad is 4 percent. With this information, you can figure out how many you need to reach to reach your goals.
How Long Do You Have?
Another factor to determine is how much time do you have. If you’re promoting a time-limited item like a live webinar or event, then you are going to be limited in how long you can run the ads. This means you may need a higher budget for a shorter time to reach enough people.
Do You Have the Skills?
When you look at all the factors associated with running ads or marketing in the way that you want to, do you have the skills? If you need to hire someone to help you, then that will add to your budget. Keep in mind for some types of marketing it may pay off in big ways to hire an expert to help you. For example, consider hiring a content strategist who knows how to ensure that you get the results you want.
Do You Have the Resources?
Marketing does cost money and it costs time. Both are important. But, if you do it intelligently, the truth is that it’s an investment for your business that should afford a good return on investment – making it not really an expense at all.
What Are Other Ways to Do It?
If you cannot afford to get help, and you’re not on a time limit, what are some other slower ways you can market your business? Content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing are all relatively inexpensive, costing more time than money. If you do have time to experiment, then this might be the way you go.
Understand that marketing is really an investment and not just an expense. Your marketing, when planned correctly, should deliver you a return on investment that makes it worth doing. That’s the reason you need to test your hypothesis to find out if it offers the ROI you are expecting.