As we near the end of another year, and another decade, and the holiday season approaches, it can be all too easy to start winding down. However, this is a crucial time for getting a head start on next year. Use this time to plan properly and you can set yourself up for success in the coming twelve months.
One key area where this is especially true is marketing. If you leave your marketing budget for 2020 to the beginning of the year, you’ll be at least one step behind much of your competition. In addition, you’ll find yourself spending your marketing budget without a plan in place, which is never a good idea.
Whatever size your business might be, the amount you allocate for marketing is always integral to your future. Creating a solid budget and spending plan can therefore be the difference between success and failure.
So, how do you go about deciding your marketing budget for 2020 and where is your money going to go the furthest?
Use the data
The best way of knowing how to spend your marketing budget in the most effective way is to use the data that already exists. That means compiling and analysing the figures for 2019. If you have an existing marketing budget in place from last year, this should be fairly straightforward. If this is your first marketing budget, then you may need to spend some time adding up what you spent, and where.
Once you know your areas of spend you can then start to assess where it was most successful. Was your social media marketing successful at bringing in new customers? Did direct email marketing work for you? Or maybe you had good results with organic traffic from search engines? Finding out which areas of marketing work best for you and your customers gives you a clearer picture of where to spend going forward.
Once you’ve established what areas of marketing work best for your business, the next stage is to set goals for the coming year. Set benchmarks on your current performance and use these to drive success in the future. You might also look towards competitors to create a goal for how your marketing should work.
However you set your targets, these should be the goalposts for you and your team. It’s a good idea to allocate some time during the year to assess how your progress is going with regards to achieving your targets. This will help everyone stay on track and keep the team pushing in the same direction.
Modern marketing relies heavily on technology. In fact, an average of around 30% of all marketing budgets are spent on software and technology to assist with marketing performance.
There are various types of software to help with different aspects of marketing. There is automation software such as HubSpot, Keap and Marketo, as well as social media scheduling such as HootSuite and Buffer. Of course, this software often comes with a price tag, either in terms of purchasing costs or staffing. So you need to think carefully about which will have the biggest impact and make for the most efficient use of funds.
Branding continues to be one of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy. In order to make your branding successful, it is essential to understand who your target audience might be. Find out who they are and where they spend their time and their money and this information will help you to create a branding strategy that really communicates with them.
There are various strategies for boosting your brand in 2020, including search ads, remarketing ads and social media. Understanding your demographic makes it easier for you to understand which of these will be most successful.
Content marketing and SEO
Content is always a powerful tool. But it needs to be aligned well with your sales funnel to have the biggest impact. There’s no point spending time and energy in creating engaging and captivating content if it doesn’t translate into sales. Remember that there are no short cuts when it comes to creating great content. So, it’s well worth taking the time and energy to find the right designers, writers and creatives.
SEO is all about making your company easy to find. It’s also one of the least understood areas of marketing strategy. You don’t have to be at the top of every search – it’s more about making sure you’re at the top of the right ones. Try and get inside your customer’s heads and create organic SEO that will reach out to them. SEO doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming – it’s all about being effective.
Social media marketing
It’s estimated that around 90% of all brands now use social media as part of their marketing strategy. So if you’re one of the 10% then maybe it’s time you reconsidered. It’s not enough just to set up a Facebook page or fire out the occasional tweet; you need to target the right platforms and know how to use them.
Facebook’s highly targeted ads are still the biggest draw for businesses and make up about 80% of social media marketing spend in the UK. But if Facebook is not used by your key demographic then this could still be budget allocated in the wrong direction.
There are other channels for marketing spend, such as email marketing and video content. Whether or not these are suitable for your business very much depends on the nature of what you do. If used correctly, they can be effective in certain industries, so do consider them as an option.
Spend some time creating your marketing budget for 2020 now and it will be in place and ready to go when you get back to work after the Christmas holidays. Put it off and you could find yourself one step behind the competition and playing catch up for the rest of the year.
If you would like to know more about marketing budgeting or need help setting up yours, then get in touch with a member of our team.