Where Should I Spend My Digital Marketing Budget?

One of the most important questions any business must ask itself is: How much should I spend on digital marketing? With all the reoccurring expenses it takes to run a business, it is important to have key marketing tactics working for you and not against you. When it’s time for a company to invest in digital marketing, they’re usually playing catchup against the competition and struggle because they don’t know how much to spend to make an impact in their market.

Altitude Agency wants to explore why it’s important to focus on how much a business should spend on digital marketing in order to dominate your niche online.

How Much Should a Small Business Spend on Digital Marketing?

Digital and print marketing dollars should have a return on investment (ROI), no matter how small the impact is. Ask yourself: Do you have a specific way to track these dollars? What is your current ROI? Working with a digital marketing company can lay out an effective digital marketing campaign. Using these goal tracking resources on your campaign is the key to business growth and online success.

Before you ask how much you should spend, you should be asking: What should we be doing?

So, let’s start there.

What Should I Spend My Marketing Budget On?

Every business is different. Every market is different. You may be in a highly competitive niche, but the market is less competitive, or vice versa.

Here’s a simple blueprint for identifying where you should and shouldn’t spend your digital marketing budget on:

  • First, you need to determine what your competition is doing right and emulate that.
  • Then, you need to do it better.
  • Next, you test the waters in different digital marketing channels that your potential customers are using daily.
  • Finally, you need to continue to invest in what’s hitting the mark with potential and recurring customers. Ditch what’s not.

A digital marketing agency will identify what your competition is doing and what you need to do to do it better. This will be the starting point for figuring out exactly where your digital marketing budget should go and what projects you should tackle in order of impact.

Where Your Digital Marketing Dollars Should Be Spent

Website

Your website is one of the first impressions potential customers get of your business, brand, and reputation. Is your website outdated? Does it look like something from the 1990s? Chances are this will turn off someone visiting your website, and they’ll run away to a competitor with a more modern-looking, easy-to-use website.

Content Marketing

Your website is only as good as its content. Content bolsters the trust and authority that comes with providing genuinely useful information to a potential customer and is often what converts them to a lifelong one. Content marketing can be thought of as a multipurpose tool for your website with the ability to generate a better ROI. As you develop more relevant and knowledgeable content for your website, think of ways you can repurpose it for social media, email marketing, and more.

PPC

With Google taking more and more “real estate” on page one of the search results, ads may be the only thing potential customers see when looking for your business online. A good rule of thumb is that if you see that your competitors are doing PPC, you should be doing it too. Put yourself front in center, so you don’t fall to the sidelines. If you’re not first, you’re last in the eyes of potential customers.

Reputation Management

Reputation management is more critical than ever online. Google values brand authority, awareness, and trust as do your customers. Online reviews have become a staple of Google My Business and big online directories like Yelp and Yellow Pages. Like PPC ads, Google My Business listings, are often shown above organic listings, which means if you don’t show up locally with good reviews, you may be overlooked for the competition.

Video

It’s more important than ever to leverage video in advertising or on your website to capture new customers and showcase why your business is better suited to help them than anybody else out there. According to Blue Corona, “U.S. Internet users spend an average of 15 hours each week with digital video, and Cisco predicted that video will even make up 82 percent of all internet traffic in 2021.” 15 hours each week! If you’re not using video, your digital marketing budget is being wasted.

SEO

Google currently holds more than 70 percent of search engine market share. If you’re not found at the top of search results in your industry, you might as well not exist. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the only practical way to ensure your website competes organically against the competition. By investing in on-going SEO, your website is positioned to stay at the top of organic search results into the future which will only increase your lead generation and digital growth.

How Much Should I Spend on Social Media Marketing?

Before spending a single dime on social media marketing, your digital marketing agency will do research to determine where your customers are – those are the only social networks you should invest time and money into. Any marketing agency that says otherwise is wasting your digital marketing budget. Its mileage will vary depending on your industry. Some businesses create social profiles, and that’s it, they don’t need to use them. Other companies may need to focus on one or multiple social networks to reach potential customers.

How Do You Calculate a Digital Marketing Budget?

We’ve used this quote before as a good starting point for businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recommends at least eight percent of your gross revenue should be spent on marketing. They suggest that up to 20 percent of your gross revenue be spent on marketing if your business is just getting started or trying to play catchup in your market.

If you don’t have the budget to do it all from the start, work with your agency to begin with what will make the most impact. Work your way down that list until you’ve grown enough to invest in all the digital marketing channels your potential customers are using. Remember you want to be front and center as the choice on all levels of your digital marketing campaign.

While the growth may be slower from the start, the initial growth will help you generate the revenue you need to keep investing in bigger and better from new and improved digital marketing campaigns for your business.

Keep in mind that most agency pricing will vary based on your industry, the marketplace, competition, and your location. If you’re a local business vs. a national company, the costs associated with running a successful digital marketing campaign can start in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

Work with a digital marketing agency to let them guide where those dollars should be spent based on your business’s unique goals and competition. Don’t just throw digital marketing dollars around if you’re not sure where to spend them, especially if you’re not tracking your ROI. Your digital marketing budget is best served by being focused.

Your digital marketing budget shouldn’t be defined by an “all in” mentality by you or your digital marketing agency. Your budget should be defined by where your customers are lurking on the web. By hyper-focusing on where your customers are, you’ll be able to capture qualified leads quicker and more efficiently with your digital marketing efforts.

Don’t rely on fancy “marketing calculators” or gurus online to tell you how much to spend in a blog post or a YouTube video, rely on an agency in your corner understanding your business, your competition, and your customers to help you determine the best digital marketing budget to grow your business online.

What Makes Up a Digital Marketing Campaign?

You must have an online presence if you are serious about growing your business. Your competitors are already there. They’re building trust with your potential customers while you’re nowhere to be found. More than 70 percent of consumers research a business before buying from them. If you’re not found online now, you might as well not be seen at all by potential customers.

Getting a digital marketing campaign started isn’t easy if you’ve never done it before or don’t know what channels will be successful for your business. Let Altitude Agency explain what digital marketing is, what a campaign is made up of, and how to start outgrowing your competition today.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is any marketing effort on the internet. Some examples of digital marketing include having a website, leveraging social media, sending out email blasts, running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, content marketing, creating video content, or investing in search engine optimization (SEO.

Do you know what digital channels work for your business? Do you know what channels would be effective for your business to grow? If not, a digital marketing campaign is essential for your business to be successful online.

What is a Digital Marketing Campaign?

A digital marketing campaign is the strategy and approach laid out to ensure your online business grows. This is a step-by-step guide created by a digital marketing agency. This guide will include the digital marketing channels being used to meet your goals – no matter how big or small.

Common Digital Marketing Campaigns

Here is a breakdown of some of the most common digital marketing campaigns and why they are important to online growth.

SEO

Google makes up more than 94 percent of all organic traffic on the internet. SEO increases the quality of traffic to your website by focusing on your website’s business’ location in organic search results. The goal is to keep your business on the top of the search results. Anything lower could result in losing potential customers.

Content Marketing

Content marketing can increase lead generation 3x quicker than paid search. Content marketing focuses on creating quality content about your business, its services, and the marketplace that potential customers find compelling. These customers will become your biggest advocates because they understand you’re a helpful, trustworthy source of information.

Social Media Management

More than 79 percent of people use Facebook online. Instagram hit over one billion users in 2018. Pinterest users spend 50 percent more on average vs. other social networks. These are a few of the stats to show how powerful social media is to reach your audience. Why not connect with potential customers where they spend their time online?

Video Marketing

Fifty percent of potential customers look for videos on a business before visiting a store or giving them a call. Did you know that 72 percent of people would rather watch a video about a product or service than read about it? Video is one of the hottest digital marketing trends and doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon. By leveraging video about your business and services, you’ll get in front of potential customers and convert them into paying ones.

Email Marketing

With active email accounts across the globe to hit 5.6 billion by the end of 2019, almost everyone on the planet has an email account. By leveraging email to reach out to your past customers and connect with future ones, you can encourage them to give you a call or visit your website by sending out a single email.

Digital Advertising

More than 64 percent of Google users click on ads when looking to buy a product online. Digital advertising in all its forms – PPC, display, social, video, and more – are a powerful way to connect with new customers no matter where they spend their time online.

Your business’s digital marketing campaign will outline what the goals are of each channel, along with how to measure the return on investment (ROI) or spend with each of those channels. This roadmap will ensure you’re hitting your goals at set intervals, such as monthly or quarterly, and allowing you the flexibility to adjust if something isn’t quite working.

Digital marketing agencies will work with your business to understand it before creating a digital marketing campaign geared for successful online growth. Some of the steps they’ll take before they create a campaign for your business include:

  • Marketplace Analysis: When your digital marketing agency understands your business and the competition you face, they will be able to determine where you fit into the competitive space and what it will take for your campaign to succeed.
  • Business Objectives: Setting business goals for digital growth is essential to measure the ROI of any digital campaign. Working with you to set realistic goals will translate to success when implementing a digital strategy for your business.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): KPIs allow your digital agency or marketing director to set goals to show whether a campaign is working or not. These KPIs also help us the digital marketing agency understand when we need to adjust, scrap or think outside the box once a digital campaign starts.

Marketing stats provided by HubSpot.

What Are the Best Digital Marketing Strategies?

Once you and your digital agency understand your business and its goals online, they will put together a digital marketing strategy and campaign to start dominating your competition.

Here’s what few digital marketers will tell you when getting serious about tackling your online competition:

  • You don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to do it all at once.
  • There is no one best digital marketing strategy.
  • There are no “one-size fits all digital marketing campaigns.”

The best digital marketing strategies are centered around your business, your niche, and what your competition is doing. They start with focusing on building your brand authority and trustworthiness, which are essential for long-term online success. By earning the trust of potential customers, they’ll leverage your services or products when they need them the most. This type of relationship building is missing from most marketing online and offline, which is one of the primary reasons many businesses fail to succeed.

There are many quick fixes in digital marketing that will lead to short-term growth but won’t sustain you into the future. You want to avoid these where you can and look to the long game to overtake and stay on top of your competition.

Your digital marketing agency will work with you to understand your business and marketplace, then develop an action plan that covers what will work for you. They won’t waste time or money on channels that aren’t going to drive customers your way. They’ll look at each digital channel and determine where your customers are to capture their attention and bring business your way.

Here are some examples of the best digital marketing campaigns and strategies from some of the world’s biggest brands geared towards their voice, their place in the market, and how they want to reach their audience from Single Grain.

Where Does Budget Fit into Digital Marketing Campaigns?

Many businesses have no clue how much to spend on digital marketing. This is one of the reasons they don’t give it a shot. They may spend too much money on channels that aren’t where their customers are spending their time. It’s also one of the reasons why their efforts to reach qualified customers fail.

The United States Small Business Administration recommends spending seven to eight percent of your gross revenue should be spent on marketing costs. Fifty percent of that should be spent on your digital marketing efforts to be competitive.

The snake oil salesmen in the industry will tell businesses they can succeed on minimal budgets and disappear when it turns out this isn’t the case. When working with a reputable digital marketing agency, they will be upfront with what it will take to grow your business. If it costs more than you can afford, they will tell you that, too.

Digital agencies will work with you to determine if a smaller budget might help you grow, but the turnover might take longer than you’ll want, resulting in losing business to your competition. If you’re going to succeed online and grow your business in the digital space, you have to be willing to take the chance and spend the money on a competitive digital marketing campaign.

As you can see, what makes up a digital marketing campaign comes down to what your business is and how you want it to grow. Each digital marketing campaign will be different depending on your audience, what your competition is doing, and how quickly you want it to succeed.

Working with an experienced digital marketing agency like Altitude will help you understand what it takes to elevate your business above the competition. Let us help your business grow by contacting us today.

Why You Should Cater Your Digital Marketing Needs to Your Business

It is easy to get consumed by the details of digital marketing and completely forget about your business strategy. Digital marketing strategies often involve so many moving parts that they can become overwhelming or just distracting enough that you end up taking your eye off of your ultimate goals.

To address this, here are some points to consider as you navigate the digital marketing landscape.

Business Strategy Alignment

The business strategy. This is your overall plan – the growth objectives that take into account every aspect of your entire business. Maybe you call it your 3-to-5-year plan.

It could be that the bank asked for your business plan at one time, and so it’s terrifically formal. In other cases, an exceptional business strategy can be a series of doodles on the back of a napkin. It’s no matter; your business plan represents the big picture. And, it’s important to everything. Really important.

Your business strategy should include vital steps on how you go about positioning your organization within your chosen market to:

  • …successfully compete in your industry.
  • …satisfy the expectations of your customer base.
  • …achieve positive business performance.
  • …to make a profit.

How Business Strategies Get Lost in Digital Marketing

Lots of digital marketing is cool. Very, very cool. If you are not doing it all, perhaps you think you’re missing out. Well, maybe you are.

There are so many options available for digital marketing that it is easy to get lost in the maze. There’s just so much technology. Then, there are the technical choices – should you be focusing on SEO or social media? PPC or organic growth? Throughout these decisions, it is vital to keep in mind your target audience and the purpose of each campaign or marketing strategy.

When you are in the midst of growing your business, the ever-changing digital marketing landscape quickly becomes overwhelming. You are already busy enough. How are you supposed to develop, fine tune, and then maintain a modern, agile, effective digital marketing strategy, too?

Imagine that digital marketing as a business discipline is like a quiver of arrows designed to hit a target (your audience) so you can win a contest (making a profit). When the arrows are shot into the air – instead of towards the target – no matter how well and with how much style you shoot, you are not going to win. This is just like implementing digital marketing that is not in tune with your business strategy. It might be fun to watch, but it is not going to move you toward the ultimate goal.

Bringing Digital Marketing to Your Business Strategy

When your digital marketing does not align with your business goals, you may notice:

  • You either spend a lot of time or not at all deciding on what digital marketing to do. Because you have no real criteria to make the decisions, it is either very difficult or you “do everything.”
    Campaigns seem to go on and on with little or no results.
  • You spend money, but you can’t tie it directly to results that matter. Perhaps sales go up, but, strangely, profits go down.
  • Digital marketing often involves multiple strategies, different goals, and complex objectives. Dealing with all of these moving parts can distract even the most dedicated entrepreneur from the real goal: your overall business strategy. The team at Altitude Agency can help you stay focused by catering your digital marketing needs directly to your business strategy.

Contact us today to get started.

How to Figure Out Your ROI with Digital Marketing

For some businesses, the problem is not making money but in figuring out the best ways to reinvest that money to grow the company. You might have a successful coffee shop that is handing out hundreds of cups of coffee a day, but unless you turn that extra money into a worthy investment, your shop will remain stagnant.

Return on investment (ROI) is one of the more critical data points in any business strategy but how can you calculate ROI on a digital marketing campaign? Let’s learn how you can figure out your ROI data points, so you aren’t throwing good money down the drain to grow your business.

Figure Out Your ROI Before You Waste Money with Digital Marketing

The goal of any digital marketing campaign is to elevate your business and get a significant ROI. What type of goals you have depends where you currently stand, where you want to be, and what it will take to get you there. Any smart campaign begins with establishing concrete goals. Without goals, you can’t gauge ROI.

Doing the Math to Figure Out ROI

Measuring your ROI for digital marketing compared to traditional marketing is more difficult but is doable. Your goal is to set up conversions (sales, leads, or click-throughs) with a specific attributed value to find this ROI.

For example, you could assign any closed sales that initially issued from your campaign as a percentage of that sale. This is more difficult in some industries than others. If an ad secures you a direct $40 purchase, you can pencil that in. However, calculating the ROI for indirect business needs a value system to calculate its efficiency. This will take some work out on your end.

How many leads or clicks convert to sales? How many digital leads turn into appointments with a chance to close? You must use your history and knowledge of your company to assign dollar amounts or values to your campaign to help you measure your ROI. You might assign $100 to a lead that turns into an appointment or $300 to an appointment that turns into a closed sale.

Once you’ve come you with assigned values, you can use those values to measure success among different avenues of digital marketing including SEO, social media advertising, or a YouTube video campaign. It may take practice, but you can find accurate ways to measure your ROI within the digital marketing world and companies like Altitude Agency who are happy to help you do it.

Choose a Digital Marketer That Cares About Your ROI

A reputable digital marketer will help you calculate your ROI and track sales, leads, and other data as it pertains to your campaign. Companies like ours make their living on turning in positive ROI reports and wouldn’t be able to function if they couldn’t show demonstrable success from a campaign. Use us not just for ideas but for analytics, too.

Any investment in your company is about your ROI in the end. With the help of patience, monitoring, and Altitude Agency you can track your ROI for any campaign directly or by assigning values to different successes. Digital marketing is notoriously fickle so use your ROI and past experiences to make the best decisions moving forward.