Before jumping into spending money on a digital marketing strategy, recognize that it’s vitally important to have a realistic budget.
Depending on where you are in your business, finances may be tight. In online marketing, results are often directly related to how much budget you can allocate toward your marketing efforts and spending cheaply can lead to poor results that negatively impact a business owner’s perception of the value of paid online marketing. On the other hand, just throwing money at a poorly built marketing strategy can be equally disappointing, so working with skilled professionals is a must.
Most professional online marketers will not take on a client that can’t at least budget $1000 a month toward marketing. For reference, U.S. small to medium size businesses spend on average $1500 to $10,000 per month on online marketing.
When developing a marketing budget, a good rule of thumb is to allocate 10-15% of revenue toward gaining more sales and leads. If you can’t afford to spend this, you may have to fall back on bootstrapping your marketing tasks yourself until you can. Sometimes you can find university marketing students who are willing to manage aspects of your marketing plan at a reduced rate in exchange for work experience. Other options include using automated tools like Buffer.com or Later.com to optimize your time. Ultimately, however, you will see the biggest jump in marketing results when you can afford to direct a realistic budget toward paid advertising and marketing funnel development.
The two most frequent complaints business owners have about online marketing are; they don’t understand how it works, or they’ve been burned by a person or agency that wasn’t skilled enough to do what they wanted.
There are two tips you can follow to avoid this scenario: work with skilled professionals who have references, case studies and reviews, or in the case of a new agency, ask if they offer any type of money back guarantee. Money back guarantees in online marketing are pretty rare so you won’t often find them, but when you do, it should indicate that the agency is upfront and willing to take the risk of lost revenue to prove to you they can effectively help your business.