Over the last couple of weeks I shared helpful insights to consider as you create your marketing budget, from overall content strategy and social media advertising to organic social media management, blogging and email marketing.
Although those are the most common and very effective strategies to consider, there are additional tactics you may want to incorporate as part of your plan. Keep reading for three more tactics and, should you choose to invest in them, important questions to consider for your marketing budget.
Marketing Budget Consideration: Infographics
You’ve surely seen infographics floating around the internet; as Fission defines, “An infographic is a powerful tool that combines statistics and data into beautiful, humorous, or easily digestible images that you can easily post to various platforms to ensure the information you want to instill in readers is getting across as intended.”
Research shows consumers respond well to infographics:
- Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3 times more than any other type of content (HubSpot)
- High quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text articles (Kissmetrics)
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual (Kissmetrics)
If you decide to create and share infographics as part of your strategy, consider these points when finding room in your marketing budget.
1. Where Will You Get the Data?
Because infographics are so data-heavy, it’s important you include relevant, timely, compelling details that will resonate with your target audience. Many infographics include research and statistics around a central theme, such as content marketing statistics, paid search trends or social media trends. If you decide to make data-heavy infographics, think about where you’ll get the details. Will you scour the internet for statistics to include (with a citation of course!), or do you need to build in research costs as part of your marketing budget?
2. Who Will Design the Infographic?
Once you figure out where you’ll find the content, consider who will actually make the infographic. Do you already have the tools to do it yourself, or do you need to purchase a graphic design program? How much will it cost?
Or, will you outsource infographic creation to a graphic designer? How much will they charge? While many designers charge per hour, a solid one should be able to at least give you a range of the cost so you can make room for it in your marketing budget.
As you think about which option to go with, consider where you’ll find the graphics too. A lot of graphic designers have access to numerous stock photos that are perfect for infographics. If you do it yourself, will you need to spend time finding images to include? Will there be a fee involved in purchasing them? Include these incidental fees in your marketing budget as well as they can add up quickly.
3. How Will You Publicize the Infographics?
Do you have a publicity plan in place for your infographics? How will you encourage others to share your new graphic? In addition to sharing it on your blog and in your social media updates, do you want to run a social media ad promoting it? Or will you research other bloggers that write about similar topics and ask them if they’d be interested in sharing your new graphic?
Remember, your up-front investment of creating an infographic isn’t worth it if you don’t share it effectively. Make sure you include publicity in the infographic section of your marketing budget.
Marketing Budget Consideration: Guest Blogging
In addition to establishing yourself as an expert, guest blogging (writing a post on another website as a guest) can be a fantastic way to increase your online visibility. Many websites that accept guest blog submissions will include a link back to your website; the more links to your site from credible websites, the better for your SEO.
Here are four questions to consider as you add guest blogging to your marketing budget.
1. Will You Research the Contacts and Requirements Yourself?
If you’re going to conduct the research, remember it will take time to find credible opportunities, plus then you need to look through the requirements and make sure you’re following all the directions.
If you don’t have time to do this, build the cost of hiring someone to do it for you into your marketing budget.
2. Who Will Write the Guest Posts?
Again, this is a task that will take time. Most guest blogging opportunities stipulate you need to provide original content, so you can’t rely on just submitting a post you already published on your blog. You also want to make sure the articles you’re submitting are well-written and relevant to each different website’s audience to increase your chances of them picking up your post.
If you don’t have time to research and write the post yourself, factor in the cost of having someone on your team or a content marketing partner do it for you.
3. Who Will Contact the Guest Blogs?
Will you spend the time it takes to fill out the forms, contact the guest blogs and follow up with them regarding your post, or will you hire someone else to do it?
If you hire someone, how aggressive do you want them to be? Will they contact multiple guest blogs regarding opportunities every day, or just a few a month? That will impact how much you should set aside in your marketing budget.
4. Will You Pay to Publish Your Posts?
Some guest blogging opportunities are paid, some aren’t. Are you willing to pay to have your guest blog published? If so, account for it in your marketing budget – the amount you factor in should be directly related to how aggressively you’re pursuing the guest blogging opportunities.
Marketing Budget Consideration: Podcasting
As Natalie explains in this blog post, podcast listenership is on the rise!
- Podcast listeners are much more active on every social media channel (94% are active on at least one – vs 81% for the entire population)
- Podcast listeners are more likely to follow companies and brands on social media
- 50% of all US homes are podcast fans
Creating a podcast can be a fantastic way to establish yourself as an expert and reach a new audience that may be interested in your brand.
However, if you’re going to invest in this tactic, you need to account for it in your marketing budget. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
1. What Equipment Do You Need?
The good news is that podcasting equipment isn’t extremely expensive. As Natalie’s podcast post shares:
There are many options to acquiring podcast equipment, the cheapest being to use your computer’s built in microphone. Or you can buy one; a decent model costs around $30. Next, you’ll need some kind of editing software. Again, you can get this for free by using Garage Band or Audacity, however for businesses, it’s worth paying a little more to use Adobe Audition.
2. Who Will Be the Voice of Your Podcast?
Are you going to be the podcast host, will someone else host it on behalf of your business or will you co-host it with someone? If you bring someone else in to do the podcast with you, will you need to compensate them for their time? If so, it needs to come out of your marketing budget.
3. How Long Will They Be? How Often Will You Have New Episodes?
This question is especially relevant if you have a host or co-host whom you need to compensate for their time. If you do a one-hour monthly podcast, the cost will be greatly different than if you do a two-hour weekly podcast. As you plan your strategy and budget, keep this in mind.
4. How Much Planning and Prep Will They Take?
What will the format of your podcasts look like? How much time will it take you to research topics you discuss? Will you interview guests? If so, how will you find them and how much time will it take to coordinate with them? How much time will you spend editing them after recording? Will you hire a producer and/or editor to help with all of these logistics?
5. How Will You Publicize Them?
Once your podcast episode is ready, how will you publicize it? Natalie’s post shares, “Make sure to tag your podcasts and upload them to different directories like iTunes [or Soundcloud], and visit different sites on the web that pertain to your topic.”
You’ll also want to share links to the new episode in your social media updates, email newsletter and on your website in a blog post. If you have room in the marketing budget, consider running a social media and/or Google ad campaign around it as well.
Tips to Reduce Your Overall Marketing Budget Cost
As you can tell, there are a lot of factors that go into your marketing budget. Of course all of the tactics I’ve shared are useful, but the price adds up. How can you reduce the overall cost of your strategy?
First of all, remember you get out of it what you put into it! If you slash the marketing budget completely, you won’t see any results.
But you also need to be realistic about spending funds you have, so review your goals. What do you want to accomplish in the coming year? What are priorities for your business?
With your goals in mind, scale back your plans to focus on the highest priorities first. Also, remember you don’t need to jump into every tactic with full force. Once you select the ones that will help you reach your goals, lay out a plan that will keep you within your marketing budget while still pursuing your objectives.
Here are six examples of ways to scale back your strategy:
- Invest in one to two social media platforms your audience uses most. For the top platform, publish one update a day. For the secondary platform, publish three or four updates a week.
- Run a social media ad campaign on one platform. Reduce your budget per ad as you do A/B testing, then once you know which factors resonate best with your target, increase your budget and just run one ad at a time.
- Start a blog on your website and commit to writing one new blog post a month. As you get more practice blogging, increase your frequency. Make sure you share your articles on any social media channels you’re managing.
- Instead of worrying about distributing an e-newsletter every week, scale it back to once a month. You can also save time developing new articles by sharing your blog posts – plus that cross-promotes your content.
- If you choose to create and share infographics, start small with a goal of one new graphic per quarter, or even every six months. Then spend the time in between graphics promoting it on your social channels, blog, e-newsletter or through social media ads (as your budget allows).
- Make your guest blogging tactic a slow and steady approach. Instead of trying to get guest posts picked up everywhere at once, target one website at a time. Take a couple of weeks to research and write the post, then another couple of weeks to submit it and follow up as needed. Then the next month, move onto a new guest blogging opportunity.
Another factor to keep in mind is that you or your staff may not be the most efficient when it comes to managing these various marketing tactics. It may be more cost-effective to outsource some or all of the work to an agency that can do it efficiently, thereby reducing your overall marketing budget.
Final Thoughts on Your Marketing Budget
Part of running a thriving business is investing in a successful marketing strategy. While it takes time and resources, the payoff is worth it!
But, as you know, you want to make sure you’re spending your funds appropriately. By taking the time to really think through your goals, how you’ll achieve them and the various costs associated with your strategy, you’ll be able to develop a comprehensive marketing budget and reduce the number of unexpected costs that arise.
If you want to know more about planning an effective marketing budget for your company, or any of the helpful tactics I’ve shared in the past few posts, please contact us! We’re happy to provide a complimentary 30-minute consultation to answer your questions.
In the meantime, here are a few more helpful articles that might give you some ideas for your marketing strategy:
- How to Create an Effective PR & Marketing Strategy
- 6 Proven Sales Tactics to Improve Your PR & Marketing Strategy
- Best Ways to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
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