How to Set an Online Marketing Budget That Drives Business Growth

Let’s face it. When you start a business money is not going to be thrown at you.

You have to budget for online marketing and everything else you need to build a successful business. Setting the optimal online marketing budget is difficult.

Figure out what kind of online presence you have. If you do not have a well established online presence you will need to set aside money to get started.

Having a website, social media platforms, content marketing, landing pages, and a PPC campaign will take money. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, you will still need to set a budget.

Your budget for online marketing depends on your business.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How much capital do you have?
  • How much competition is there?
  • Who are your customers?

The beginning is a learning curve. You have to figure out your first clients, systems, and processes. It is best to focus in the beginning on having an optimal website. Also focus on your social media accounts.

After you have set up your website and social media accounts, now it is time to grow. About 10% of your revenue should go towards marketing. Inbound marketing is important to grow your return of investment (ROI). This is what most of that 10% will help.

It is never okay to slow down your marketing.

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of stopping their marketing when they get busy. Even a well-running established business needs ongoing marketing. As your business grows so does your revenue. That means your budget for online marketing should be increased accordingly.

Who you sell to also matters. Do you sell to companies or individuals? When you market to individuals you are in competition with many others. You need to be able to reach your customers which will be more work. When you sell to companies the marketing is more targeted.

It is important to be realistic about what you can afford. If you are just starting a business, you might only afford one or two marketing tactics. Doing a few things a month can make a difference. It all adds up. When you are just starting out you have to go slow. Be careful. Try one thing. If it works, increase your marketing budget. If something doesn’t work, cut it out and try something different.

Don’t ever increase your marketing budget without proof that what you are doing is working.

After establishing your budget for online marketing you should decide how to spend it. For a new business, you should start off with one or two marketing tactics. It is a good idea to build those up first to maximum results. Some of your budget can go towards creating offers, SEO, Pay Per Click advertising, and social media marketing. Setting up new channels can work as well. Set new channels up one or two at a time. This is because it can be costly and takes more work.

Set up Google Analytics to track results from your online marketing. Look at your results whenever you add another marketing channel. This way you can see what is working for you and what is not. It is easier to make the necessary changes this way. If you are using a PPC campaign you will want to track your conversions too. You will want to create more campaigns and landing pages. Keywords will be important for you to get visitors that will convert to leads.

Focus on content marketing if you have a smaller budget. If you create great content and promote it effectively, you could become an authority in your field. The key to content marketing is great content and even greater content promotion.

Keep in mind that online marketing it will grow as your company grows. You can get to a bigger budget with the right strategy and time.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.