With so many different areas you can focus your marketing efforts, it’s more difficult than ever to outline a comprehensive marketing budget. Plus, since you’re operating with finite resources, it’s impossible to spread money out across all the different platforms available to you. Today, we’re going to try and make it a bit easier to decide where to allocate your resources to achieve the best return possible.
Preparing Your Budget
If the Wall Street Journal is correct, then the average company will allocate about 11% of their total budget towards marketing expenses this year. Depending on your industry, this number is going to be higher or lower. For example, companies selling consumer products often spend up to 25% of their budget on marketing expenses. Meanwhile, companies in manufacturing or energy spend 7-8% of their budget on marketing.
If you’re still in the weeds with regards to setting your marketing budget, this helpful marketing budget calculator can help steer you in the right direction. Once you’re able to nail down your budget, you’ll be able to implement your plan, track its performance and measure the ROI it’s generating.
Top 3 Marketing Budget Expenditures
While the sheer volume of different areas you can focus your budget on doesn’t make it any easier to plan your budget, there are certain areas that you just can’t overlook in 2018. Let’s take a look at the top 3.
In 2018, content will remain king. Content has dominated seemingly every activity central to marketing over the past few years, and it will continue to play an important role moving forward.
Focusing on quality content production is going to be one way you can differentiate your company from your competitors while creating customer relationships that will hold serious weight when it’s time for your customer to decide where to spend their money.
Most importantly, content is easily re-purposed to fill the needs of different platforms. Often, the video you’ve produced for YouTube, or the infographic you’ve created for your blog will also be just as home on your Facebook or in your guest posts.
For years, the idea of organic reach on social media has been dead. But, if you’ve been reluctant about opening up your wallet to reach your audience on social media, you’re missing the boat. Besides, social media continues to be a more cost-effective way of reaching your customers than other forms of paid digital promotion.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the growth of video on social media platforms, especially live video. Video will remain a vital part of a successful social media mix.
Video growth on Facebook is especially noticeable. Analytics firm eMarketer found that Facebook users engage with 6.3% of the videos they see. Considering the sheer volume of content that’s available today, that’s a pretty staggering figure.
Further, video posted directly to Facebook has significantly more engagement than video which is shared from other platforms, as the chart below illustrates.
An often overlooked expenditure that should probably be part of your digital marketing budget is user experience. This is particularly important for companies with transactional websites. Often, companies with a quality website that converts well overlook this aspect. This is foolish, considering that UX could be the difference maker that pushes them over the edge.
A memorable user experience is also one of the best ways to inspire trust in consumers as they browse your website, and trust is of the utmost importance in 21st-century marketing. This animated video does a great job of illustrating why UX needs to be part of your 2018 marketing budget.
Further, UX becomes even more critical when you consider it in the scope of building new websites or digital products. Robert Pressman’s Book Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Guide does a great job of further reinforcing the importance of UX.
In the book, Pressman asserts that “for every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development, and multiply to $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release.”
Of course, this may be a bit of an overstatement. But, the fact remains that UX should certainly be an integral component of your marketing budget for 2018.