No one likes sticker shock. In fact, car dealerships are required to post the price of every car on their lot. But it’s not so easy for businesses and organizations shopping for digital marketing services. Researching the myriad of online marketing options can be time consuming and mind-boggling. Listening to advice from colleagues to “get into Facebook” or “buy more banner ads” would be risky. While there is no one-size-fits-all pricing in our industry, we offer the Top 5 Things You Need to Know about budgeting for digital. Your blood pressure will thank you!
1. Plan Ahead – The easiest way to implement digital marketing tactics is to have resources allocated for them in advance. You shouldn’t abandon your traditional marketing methods, but shifting some marketing dollars now will help when you are ready to launch online programs later.
2. Know What is Included in Digital Marketing – Just like traditional marketing budgets (print, radio and TV, outdoor, trade shows), your digital marketing budget should include at least a few programs to reach your target audience, based on your objectives and strategy.
- Web design/redesign
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- PPC (Pay Per Click)
- Content (Blog, Videos, Webinars)
- Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, others)
3. Estimate % of Marketing Budget for Digital – Industry surveys show that businesses are increasing their digital marketing spend year over year. Our friends at 6S Marketing in Vancouver use this handy formula for high-level budget planning. You can raise or lower the percentages to suit your business model.
4. Create a Multi-Year Digital Roadmap and Budget – You have to crawl before you can walk, so it often makes sense to start small (aka manageable) with digital marketing. Answering a few questions will help you and your agency partners plot out a phased digital marketing program:
- What are your 1-3 year growth targets?
- How much business are you losing while you wait to figure it all out?
- What digital programs can your business realistically complete in year one?
5. Understand what a website redesign might cost – Many clients start their digital marketing with a redesign of their website. A good move, since your website is a digital storefront, and a quality site helps other digital tactics succeed. But business owners and managers often don’t know what they should expect to pay, and what they get for their money. To save you hours of research, we recommend this article and cost estimating tool from the folks at Hubspot. They do a nice job breaking down what’s involved in website design, from a basic site up to the most complex. Their cost chart is right in line with our own estimating experience.
Get Caught Up
If you have not read our other posts about preparing your business to operate in the digital environment, please read the other posts in our series.
1. Digital Marketing – Top 5 Ways to Avoid Sticker Shock