How to Plan Your 2017 Digital Marketing Budget

January 11, 2017 Doug Milnor

Digital marketingIt's that time of year again. As 2016 has come to an end, and if you haven't already, it is time to start planning your digital marketing budget for 2017. Forrester estimates that the average firm allocates 30 percent of its marketing budget on digital strategies, and that percentage is expected to creep up to 35 percent by 2019.

Industry-Specific Digital Marketing

Of course, there are some sectors in which digital spend far exceeds spend on more traditional advertising methods. So, the percentage of your marketing budget allocated to digital marketing strategies is somewhat dependent upon your industry.

Commenting on the differences in budget allocation across various industries, B2C notes, for example, that manufacturing businesses might benefit from concentrating on SEO and PPC, while service industries might give more attention to social media marketing and ecommerce sites might focus more on content marketing.

The bottom line is that you must determine which avenue of digital marketing will have the larger impact on traffic and lead generation strategies for your industry.

The Connection between Owned, Paid, and Earned Media

The best digital strategies involve a multi-pronged approach, including your owned media, paid media, and earned media. Many organizations find that the most traffic comes from the points of intersection between these different types of media.

For example, you might create a great piece of content like a killer blog post, video, or infographic, which is owned media. Then, you run a PPC campaign to drive traffic to your content, which is paid media. Last, earned media comes from the mentions, shares, re-posts, and reviews of your content. When this complete cycle occurs, you see a positive ROI for your digital marketing strategies.

Where to Spend Your Digital Dollars

The main issue, then, is how to allocate your budget to get the most bang for your marketing buck. To figure that out, you have to look at several factors. They are:

Overall Marketing Goals: Your budget should be aligned with your overall marketing goals. Where and what you spend is contingent upon what you are trying to accomplish. Taking a step back before you wade into the minute details of your budget will give you some needed perspective. So, do not skip the initial "big picture" thinking that helps you determine your marketing goal for the year.

Target Audience: After you figure out your overarching goal, it is time to narrow your focus to your target audience. This step is vital because, without it, digital marketing can easily devolve into an unwieldy, largely ineffective collection of disconnected campaigns across multiple platforms, in which case your marketing budget is not well spent.

Take a close look at the analytics of your previous marketing campaigns. Where is your traffic originating? Which platforms are consistently outperforming the others in terms of traffic and quality leads generated? Put your marketing dollars to work in these areas.

Exercise Control: Entrepreneur gives this sound advice: "Instead of spreading your budget thin on a large variety of platforms, focus on the ones where you are in full control of both targeting and cost ... The more control you have on what you can spend your budget on, the more you will be able to get rid of what does not work and focus your limited resources on."

Use Good Budgeting Tools: There are a variety of good budgeting tools you can use to help you design a comprehensive marketing budget. For instance, check out Hubspot's free budgeting templates here. Using such tools may enable you to avoid the trap of hidden costs and help ensure you see a positive ROI in 2017.
Digital marketing

Help with 2017 Marketing

You may discover that the best way to get the most from your marketing budget is to partner with a digital marketing agency in 2017. For many organizations, working with a digital agency saves both time and money over the long run.

Because a digital marketing agency works across all digital channels, working with an agency gives you access to tools and resources you may not otherwise be able to afford. Add to that the deep bench of expertise that an agency can provide, and it becomes clear that partnering with an agency that understands both your industry and the ins and outs of digital marketing is a good way to get the most from your marketing budget.

Are you ready to get started? Contact us today to discuss how to start 2017 out with the right marketing strategies at the right price.

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