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Budgeting 101: How to Plan for all the Marketing Essentials

So, the numbers from last quarter just came in, and…you spent way more than you thought you did. Marketing costs are going to rack up quickly if you don’t have a defined budget for how much you want to spend on your campaign.

Small agencies and business owners can’t afford to just jump into the wilderness and hope they’ll do well at the marketing game, because one of two things will inevitably happen. You’ll either spend all of your (or your client’s) money on the front end of the campaign or you’ll leave essential things unfunded.

Getting a budget together should be the first step in any campaign. I know, I know. Nobody likes looking at finances, but it’s going to be critical to your success.

The first thing you need to do is figure out how much you have to play around with. If you’re the owner of a smaller, unestablished company that has only been around for a handful of years, I suggest using no more than 15% of your gross revenue on your marketing. If you’re less than a year into your business, focus on making sure things run smoothly before you begin to think about spending money on marketing.

The next thing you need to do is make a list of everything you want to include in your marketing package. How do you want to put your brand out there? For this, make a list of everything you’d like to include in your marketing. I like to use the “plan drunk/replan sober” method for this. This is a euphemism, it doesn’t involve any actual drinking. (Then again, it doesn’t NOT involve a few beers, either.)

“Plan drunk/replan sober” basically means to make a list of everything you want for your marketing campaign, don’t hold back. Then, come back to your list with fresh eyes and prioritize based on what’s most important and, critically, what your budget is. Try not to feel like you’re going to be missing out if you don’t have enough budget for every little thing you want to do. If all is a success, you can integrate these things further down the line.

What are the most important things you’re going to want to factor into your budget? This will depend on how far along you are in your business, but I would consider these the four cornerstones of a marketing campaign:

  • A good website. Hire a designer if you need a hand in developing this, but a well-designed website is critical.
  • Content. A blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel. Whatever suits your business, have content for your audience to engage in.
  • At least one social media platform, whichever suits your company best.
  • Branding. Again, hire a graphic designer for this, you’ll want your own, professionally done branding for legitimacy.

How you go about doing this will all depend on your budget. Or, you could let somebody else handle it for you? Would you pay money to have the experts make sure your marketing campaign rolls out without a hitch (limited as your funds might be)? The Go! Agency can run a campaign that can fit your budget and take the stress of being a first-time marketer off of your shoulders, so you can focus on what really matters: your business. Connect with us today!

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