No matter the size of your marketing budget, every dollar is precious and deciding how to allocate funds is an ongoing debate. There are endless ways to spend on marketing, and making the right or wrong decision can have a real impact on sales and revenue. Over-allocating to the wrong channel can waste valuable budget while generating little result, and under-funding a high-performing channel can lead to missed opportunities.
Before jumping into which channels are worth a look, there are three key questions to answer to make the most of the marketing budget you have:
- How Have Past Campaigns Performed?
Although past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, it’s a good place to start. Analyze the performance of past campaigns to see which marketing channels are historically high performers, as well as which channels underperformed. For underperforming channels, consider if there are changes that can be made to optimize ROI.
- What’s the Objective?
It may seem like a simple question, but not every marketing channel is the best choice for every goal. Taking a moment to define the goals of your marketing plan can help avoid allocating valuable budget to the wrong channels for your company’s objectives.
- Which Channels Have a Proven ROI?
If you have current campaigns with proven ROI, prioritize them over new strategies if you’re having a difficult time deciding where to allocate your budget. Testing new strategies is important, but don’t spend the bulk of your budget on untested campaigns.
Marketing Channels to Consider
Having a clear read on past performance and current marketing objectives is key to successfully budgeting your marketing plan for 2018. Equally important is choosing the right channels for your company’s objectives. Although every business and brand is unique, there are a few marketing channels that are universally valuable.
- Content Marketing
Creating valuable content is essential to your digital marketing efforts and is the foundation of effective search engine optimization (SEO). It’s an investment and takes some time, but it’s critical and worth the effort. Learn why content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand here.
- Paid Search
Paid search, or PPC, can generate results more quickly than SEO by delivering your ads to consumers based on their search criteria. When consumers search for keywords related to a service, product or need you provide, your ad shows at the top of the results page. Even small budgets can get started with paid search. Start small, analyze performance and gradually increase the budget as you optimize your campaign. Learn more about the basics of PPC here.
Remarketing can be a relatively inexpensive way get another chance with a customer that has already visited your site. Your ad is displayed as the customer continues to browse other sites on the web, giving you opportunity to recover a lost sale.
- Email Marketing
Email marketing is a solid choice for just about any business. Customers sign up or opt in to receive emails from you, so they’re already interested. The cost to run an email campaign is often lower than other marketing channels, but will require the time to create compelling content and graphics for your emails.
Although there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to digital marketing, defining marketing goals and focusing on channels that support those goals are the building blocks of a successful marketing plan.