6 Things That Will Help You Spend Your Marketing Budget More Wisely
Your marketing efforts may, in fact, dictate the overall success of your business. Without exposure and leads, there are no sales, right? Because of this, you want to ensure that you are using the money you have budgeted for your marketing efforts as wisely as possible.
1. Determine your budget
First and foremost, you need to understand the kind of marketing budget you have to work with. Understanding and how much you are willing and able to spend is one of the most important things that you can do. If you just start throwing money at things, you won’t be able to properly test their effectiveness. Even if your budget isn’t what you want it to be, you still need to figure out what it will be. Only then will you be able to effectively determine what strategies you’ll forgo and which strategies you’ll invest in.
2. Set clear goals
You can’t go somewhere if you haven’t decided what that place will ultimately be. One crazy mistake I see a lot of startups making is not clearly articulating their goals. Sure “get profitable” is a great goal…. But how many users will that take? How many sales? How much exposure?
Some marketing strategies are going to yield faster returns than others, so you’ll need to truly understand what you must accomplish so you can then, in turn, put your marketing budget in the places most likely to deliver ROI.
3. Know your buyer fully
In the beginning, we all have an idea of who our buyer or customer is. As we move along in our business journeys, we have opportunities to figure out exactly who they are. Talk to them. Do surveys or send them emails. Get feedback. Run a market study.
My point here? You’ll waste a ton (like seriously a ton) of money if you are marketing to the wrong people. So spend the time developing your customer avatars and learn everything you can about the person or people you wish to serve.
4. Determine the best marketing channels
There are a plethora of channels for marketing your brand, and making the most of your budget means understanding the following:
Where your customers spend their time
What the customer acquisition costs look like on each platform
How much time/energy must be spent on each platform to yield results
How long you should expect to start seeing results
For example, advertising on Facebook or Instagram can be quite cost-effective, but if you have little to no budget to run and test campaigns, that fact doesn’t help you much. Instead, you might want to focus on organic traction on social media. Posting in and of itself won’t do much! You’ll have to drive new prospects to your page via engagement, and possibly take things one step further by sending DMs so you can reach more people faster.
5. Test everything
Whenever you are implementing any kind of Internet marketing, you will want to be testing consistently. You’ll never have the best version of any marketing iniatitive on the first try. From landing page copy to images on ads to CTAs on your website—nothing is too small or inconsequential to be thoroughly tested, analyzed, and then optimized.
This is scary for most businesses as “dumping” a bunch of money into activities that aren’t yielding solid results seems like a poor decision. It’s not.
You simply can’t get solid results without testing. By spreading your marketing budget out initially, doing testing, and analyzing the results, you will be able to see where you should be placing a majority of your marketing budget.
6. Hire a professional
If you really want to maximize your marketing results with the limited budget that you have available, you are going to want to hire a professional. Am I saying this because I’m a professional? Well, sort of.
Ultimately, the easiest way to waste your marketing budget and lose money as a business is to spend the budget based on what you hear from others instead of based on a customized marketing plan. I see this all the time. Professional marketers have already made the mistakes you’ll likely make and can help your brand shorten the learning curve. A professional will be able to customize your marketing plan and help you to better allocate time, energy, and resources.
In the end, this saves money and a ton of headaches.
It’s not always going to be easy. Especially in the beginning, you might feel like you’re wasting your money on strategies that aren’t delivering—and that might be true. And that’s ok.
Marketing is a long-term growth strategy. It takes time and anyone who’s telling you there’s a quick fix is lying to you. Lack of financial resources can be a challenge for any burgeoning brand, so it’s essential that you spend what budget you have for marketing wisely.
Meet the Author: Shauna Armitage
Shauna is a Marketing Director or Fractional CMO helping early-stage startups scale with effective strategies, creative solutions, and unparalleled integrity by making the most of small budgets for maximum impact.
As a vocal advocate for women in business, Shauna is on a mission to redefine what it looks like to be a working woman and to support other women doing the same. She spends her free time traveling with her husband and four kids while drinking Coca-Colas. Connect with her on Instagram at @shauna.armitage.