There are many important ingredients needed to produce a successful marketing campaign, and an ample budget is one of them. Without the necessary funds available to them, your marketers are going to be limited in their options when they are devising digital campaigns. However, setting the right budget is more complex than many people appreciate. Not only this, but it is just as easy to overfund a campaign as it is to underfund it. You don’t want to overspend and pay more than you need to for your campaigns. Below are 5 budgeting tips to help you settle on the right budget for your campaigns every time.
Begin with a Clear Objective
Every successful marketing campaign begins with a clear plan of action. Without clearly defined goals and objectives to work towards, your marketers are going to be limited in their effectiveness. Working with maximum efficiency is virtually impossible if you don’t know exactly what it is that you are working towards.
Your available budget is always going to affect your objectives to some extent. There is no sense in aiming for the unachievable or exhausting your resources chasing something that you are never going to reach. However, in some cases, it will make more sense to prioritize your objectives and to find the extra room in your budget if necessary.
Learn from Your Past Campaigns
One of the advantages of starting every campaign by clearly setting out your objectives and goals is that it makes it much easier for you to measure the success of your campaign afterward. You will also be able to monitor your campaign while it is in progress by keeping an eye on the relevant data. Google provides you with numerous tools for managing your Google ad campaigns, and there is a whole host of other software options out there for digital campaigns outside of Google.
Your evaluations of past campaigns should inform your decisions about future campaigns. By learning from the successes and failures of previous campaigns, you can ensure that the next campaign you run is more cost-efficient. As you learn how to use the tools available to you more effectively, you will be able to get more out of them. Similarly, you will find that the longer your marketing and sales teams spend working with one another, the more efficiently they function as a cohesive unit.
Something that many businesses overlook when they are evaluating their digital marketing campaigns is an audit of their spending. This audit should look at where the money has been spent over the course of the campaign and what kind of returns it produced for the business. These audits are useful for identifying inefficiencies in your budgeting and correcting them for future campaigns.
Don’t Forget About Ad Fraud
Ad fraud is the scourge of the digital marketing industry, costing marketers billions of dollars every year. Unfortunately, ad fraud in all its forms is on the rise. The digital marketing industry is enormously valuable, so it is inevitable that it attracts significant interest from malicious actors looking to exploit the system. Whenever you are budgeting for a new digital marketing campaign, you need to account for ad fraud.
What is Ad fraud specifically? There are numerous different forms that ad fraud can take, with fraudsters using a variety of methods to manipulate the number of views an ad apparently receives. If you want to learn more, this guide to ad fraud from ClickGuard is a great place to start.
Some fraudsters will create display frames that layer multiple ads on top of each other. To the viewer, it appears as if they are only seeing a single ad but, even though they can’t see them, there are actually several ads being displayed at once. As a result, the marketers are all paying for their ads to be seen, even though only one of them is.
Be careful about who you partner with to deliver your digital campaigns. Less reputable marketing agencies are more likely to be involved in click fraud – you don’t want your campaigns to end up financing fraudsters and wasting money.
Consider Current Industry Trends
Just like any other industry, the marketing world goes through different trends and fads over time. Knowing what the latest trends are and what audiences are currently responding best to will enable you to plan much more cost-effective digital marketing campaigns. Whether you are aware of it or not, this is something that you are probably already doing to some extent. For example, SEO is an essential component of any digital marketing campaign and SEO strategies are based around current keyword trends. The same logic applies to other aspects of your digital marketing campaign.
Modern digital marketing campaigns are nearly always multimedia affairs. That means that the marketing media used will consist of a variety of images, videos, and other types of digital media. However, the optimal ratio of each of these different media for you to use will depend entirely upon what you are marketing and to whom.
You should never copy your competitors’ marketing strategies, that’s bound to end in calamity for you. However, you should not only seek to learn from your competitors’ successes, but you should use their strategies to inform your own. For example, if your competitors are going all out on their PPC marketing, but appear to be neglecting their keyword research, then you might want to consider attempting to leapfrog them with your SEO.
Think Outside the Box
Thinking outside the box can be a very effective way of making your marketing budget go further than it otherwise would. For example, instead of spending a relatively large amount on a poster and leaflet campaign to promote your business on the high street, why not instead try to put together a guerrilla marketing campaign that leans into its threadbare low-cost approach?
Guerrilla marketing media is designed to look organic and generally doesn’t resemble marketing materials at all. This can make guerrilla marketing more effective and help it to resonate with audiences. When we see an advert that we know is an advert, our defenses are up and we are more suspicious of the message being put forward. On the other hand, marketing that looks organic does not elicit the same response and can circumvent the audience’s natural defenses.
Setting an appropriate budget is essential if you want your digital marketing campaigns to be successful. If you don’t give your sales and marketing teams the funds that they need to plan, produce, and execute effective marketing campaigns, then they are either going to be limited in their effectiveness, or they are going to end up spending all the available money without anything to show for it.
You can’t control the budget that your business has available, but you can decide how to best use that money. Collecting the right data about previous campaigns to enable you to properly analyze them and assess their effectiveness will help you to plan future campaigns. Once you have a reliable process for monitoring and evaluating your digital marketing campaigns after launching them, it will become much easier to budget for them effectively.