Launching a B2B marketing campaign for the very first time or for a new market can be hard. You likely don’t have any past data to refer to, which makes it difficult to determine the right budget to allocate to a specific marketing activity or channel. So what can you do to get started?
The below is a great marketing budget breakdown that you can use as a guide to help create your first campaign budget. With the insights you gain from every campaign you’ve launched, you can adjust your budget accordingly so you’re allocating resources to the most effective activities and channels that will deliver the highest ROI.
These are the five areas you need to consider when building out your budget, according to Daniel Kushner, the CEO of the B2B marketing social media management software company Oktopost:
Content Planning And Creation: 40-50%
Before you start creating any content for your marketing campaign, you need to first identify your campaign goals. That’s how you can evaluate the returns on your marketing investments when your campaign ends.
Say, for example, your goal is to improve your brand awareness. You may then want to focus your campaign on differentiating your company from your competitors – by offering your target audience value through the content you create. That way, they will associate your brand with value.
Or, perhaps your goal is to improve customer retention. Then, your campaign may need to focus on improving your customer satisfaction and offering relevant products or services they need to become more successful.
Whichever goal you’ve identified, content will likely be key in helping you achieve that objective. However, according to the 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, only 37% of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, even though 89% reported their organizations use content marketing as part of their overall marketing efforts.
Creating content without a content marketing strategy, you’re basically leaving your marketing campaign success to luck. By taking the time to develop and document your strategy, you can develop a deeper understanding of your target audience, and create the content that will best resonate and add value to them. Effective content makes your target customers want to engage and interact with your brand, and ultimately convert them into sales for your business.
Paid Advertising: 20-30%
A good promotion plan will not solely rely on earned and owned media for success. While it’s true that much of digital content marketing’s success is through organic reach, paid marketing can give your brand the boost it needs to immediately stand out from the pack and get your target audience’s attention. Organic reach, on the other hand, may take a bit longer to reach your target audience.
If your company is entering a new market in your industry targeting a different customer segment or persona, paid advertising can be particularly effective in helping your brand improve awareness and build presence in that specific market.
Before you start buying social media, cost-per-click, print ads, or even TV commercials, you’ll want to do some research first. And this is where your content marketing strategy will come in handy. You need to understand where your intended audience is actually spending their time to research and find information about your product or service and industry, and which channels they prefer to consume content.
Once you have those insights, you’ll know which channels to target to improve your ROI. Today’s platforms, such as Facebook, have highly sophisticated targeting and tracking capabilities that can help you reach your intended audience and measure the performance of each ad, so you can optimize your paid marketing efforts and reallocate your budget to ads that are delivering the highest ROI.
Employee Advocacy: 10%
Your employees are one of your biggest marketing assets to promote your company and help generate new leads and business. Why? Because research shows that people today find employees or their peers much more credible than a company’s leaders or corporate channels.
And by educating and empowering your employees to become your brand ambassadors and advocates, they can greatly improve your brand awareness, attract new leads and help you achieve your company goals.
Advocacy-strengthening efforts can include everything from internal events to educational workshops and trainings, marketing collateral and employee engagement programs focused on improving and selling the company culture and goals.
Obviously these efforts aren’t free, but they’re a worthwhile investment that will not only improve your company’s employee morale, motivation and productivity, but will also help your company attract new customers and employees.
Employees can help brands reach and engage new audiences and customers on a more personal level, and this is why many companies have started implementing employee advocacy programs to help market their brands and products.
With the right marketing automation platform, you can effectively measure your ROI by tracking referrals and response rates from your employee advocacy program as well as any referral campaigns you run on social.
Marketing Technologies: 10%
Marketing technologies can help you automate, manage, track and analyze your marketing campaigns much more effectively. Not only will they save you time, money and resources, but these tools can also provide you with the insights and metrics you need to evaluate and optimize your campaigns, so you can more effectively demonstrate and improve your marketing ROI.
Before you launch any campaigns, make sure you have a measurement strategy in place so you can properly track the metrics you need to assess your campaign performance, and that you have the tools that can support you with your measurement needs. These marketing technologies can include:
- Marketing Automation Platform to help you automate, manage and measure your marketing activities and workflows more efficiently, to generate, nurture and convert leads faster. They also help you engage your prospects and customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle. As well, marketing automation platforms allow you to track and report on the success of your campaigns.
- Content Marketing System (CMS) that can used by your team and other contributors to create, review, edit, publish and organize content for your blog, website, landing pages and other web properties.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to manage interactions with both current and future customers as well as monitoring progress of prospects in your sales funnel. A CRM system also allows you to gather and analyze customer insights so you can improve customer satisfaction and engagement, and ultimately sales.
- Social Media Management Tool to manage your brand’s social presence and campaigns, monitor conversations about your brand in real-time, take action on engagement opportunities and analyze results of your campaigns.
Whether it’s hosting your own events or participating in industry conferences, tradeshows or conventions, they all represent fantastic opportunities for your brand to establish market presence and build relationships with prospects and customers.
Event costs you’ll need to consider when organizing or attending events may include registration fees, travel and hotel accommodations, marketing collateral and promotions, just to name a few.
Do you have any other tips for creating a successful B2B marketing campaign budget? Please share your ideas below!
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