Whether you’re referring to personal budgets, business budgets or the nation’s budget, there is always room for improvement. It’s not just about the fact that budgets are constantly evolving, but it stands to reason it takes some time to get it right, and because your needs will continually change.
When it comes to your inbound marketing budget for 2015, there are some things you can look at to create your most efficient budget yet. You can also expect to sit down and evaluate it frequently to see if there is something that needs to be tweaked or further improved.
What should you expect to spend?
Is there a formula that gives you the magic number? Unfortunately, no. Like anything else in the business world, an inbound marketing budget is highly individualized, and it is based on where you are at, how large your entity is and who your target audience and personas are.
Many businesses can expect to allocate, on the lower end, seven to ten percent of their overall budget and, on the higher end, 15-20 percent of their overall budget to marketing.
In most instances, these numbers cover everything, both business promotion and branding. How much you need to defer to each depends on where your business is at. In the beginning stages you’ll be looking to build your brand through a website, logo and introductory marketing fodder. You’ll later move more funds to campaigns and outreach, as well as altering tactics to move customers down the funnel.
Your inbound marketing budget should break down how much you’ll be spending each month on activities, staff and content. You can’t expect to get anything from inbound marketing if you don’t put a consistent effort in. Inbound marketing is an ongoing thing, not something that should be done in fits and starts or bursts of activity.
When you’re determining your 2015 inbound marketing budget, get really clear on each aspect such as identifying, attracting, converting and closing customers.
What Tactics Are Most Effective?
Inbound marketing has earned its place as the marketing tool of choice. Most people spend a solid amount of time on the internet daily, whether for work, to connect or simply as entertainment. It stands to reason that online marketing is one the best way to reach them.
The tactics you use are going to ebb and flow, but there are some tried and true successful methods, the ones you will pull from your arsenal on a regular basis. Here is a compiled list of tactics and tools, and why they are effective.
Let the leads find you
Sure, you can spend your days searching and trying to find leads, but why do that if you can get them to find and choose you? One way this happens is through search engine optimization. It is also about interesting and appealing content and optimally utilizing social media. By building a flow between your marketing ploys and platforms, you will reach leads and give them a purposeful direction. Look at this as the tactic that attracts. And remember to use SEO on your website, blog and other various outlets because that’s how your leads will find you.
Today’s consumer likes to be engaged and connected. Through the use of your social media you can target different audiences and types of connections. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter are all platforms that can be used in different ways and for different reasons. Look at it as a way to handle various customer service issues in real-world time. Make sure your content isn’t company-centric, but useful, engaging, fun, helpful and educational.
Concoct ideal content
These days, the content you put out there is going to make or break you. It may sound harsh, but it’s the hard truth. Content shouldn’t be simplistic or annoying. “Buy our awesome product, it’s the best. Really. We promise. Just buy it now!” It should have a bit more depth and subtlety. The key to amazing content is identifying what your consumer wants and needs, what is useful and helpful for them to know and giving them ways to find it (through keywords) and share it. Your designs and topics should be developed with your audience and personas in mind. It should revolve around the internal consumer process: Awareness, consideration, inquiry, purchase and retention. Allow them to see why you are the one over all other choices.
Seal the deal
Where is your conversion point? If you don’t know the answer to that, then you need to educate yourself. The biggest conversion point you have is your website’s landing page. It needs to function at the highest level. In other words, you need to continually optimize your website. Some ways to do this are to work on your headlines, add calls-to-action, make your forms easy to use, add videos, make graphics appealing instead of overwhelming and add some testimonials. Of course, there are many other ways. Continue to research and play around until you find the right combination.
You’ll find there are a lot of inbound marketing tactics floating around, many of them very specific. However, look at the structure as a whole, don’t just “write a great blog;” focus on your overall content creation. Why wouldn’t you want great content in all of your platforms?
When it comes to your 2015 inbound marketing budget, look at how to allocate funds to employ each of these effective tactics. Remember you aren’t just doing it once. You will be doing it monthly, sometimes even daily, and continually assessing your tactics to keep your inbound marketing goals and objectives ideal and within your budget.
Did you find these tips helpful? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!