Digital marketing has become one of the cornerstones of brand development and cultivating user knowledge of your existence. With so many people connected on the web, it’s easy to see why more and more businesses rely on digital marketing to boost their exposure – even more so right now during the coronavirus pandemic.
The reality is that if you’re operating a startup at the moment, you’re likely working with a shoestring budget in order to stay afloat. Maybe your ‘doors’ aren’t even permitted to be open. Regardless, when considering your budget, you’ll need to allocate sufficient capital for digital content creation that will capture the attention of your target demographic.
The difficult part is figuring out just how much capital is necessary to build and maintain a solid marketing plan for your startup. Because buyer behaviour is constantly morphing in response to how the current situation develops, you need to maintain a high level of flexibility in order to react.
Every dollar counts and online advertising is where it’s at least for the foreseeable future. Here’s how best to get started with your budget strategizing.
Evaluate Your Revenue
Before making any rash decisions on how much money needs to be spent on digital marketing, you need to figure out the revenue and projected income of your business. This is the first step in crafting a great living budget.
By default of being a startup, you’re likely going to be just a tiny spec on any user’s radar at present. This means that now more than ever, you’ll need to allocate some additional funds to marketing. You haven’t yet made a name for yourself, so you’ll have to dish out a bit more in order to have an impact.
According to a recent CMO Survey, on average companies that make more than 10% of sales online allocate 13% of their total budget to marketing. It varies greatly by industry. But since you’re the new kid on the block, you may want to up those numbers in the beginning (if at all feasible).
Spice Up Your Social Media Marketing
This brings us to our next stop – social media. It’s something you really can’t afford to go without in the modern business world. There’s honestly such a massive audience, especially now while many people find themselves quarantined at home.
Over 90% of businesses in the United States use social media for their marketing. Let that sink in for a moment. When going about social media marketing strategy, you’ll have to work extra hard to stand out from all the noise.
You can do most of the digital marketing yourself, but it can be a challenging and time-consuming endeavour. If your budget allows, it’s worth it to consider hiring a professional specifically for this purpose.
If you go down the route of a marketing strategy consultant, a social media management package may cost you anywhere from $600 – $2,500 a month depending on your business’ needs. You may be able to find cheaper freelancers or higher-end companies, depending on your revenue realities.
At the end of the day, though, leaving it to the pros and freeing up your time to focus on all the other tasks on your ever-growing agenda can work wonders.
Optimize Your Website
In order to stay competitive in the digital age, you can’t effectively conduct business without a proper website. Along with your social media, this helps you get established in the online community. We’re talking digital marketing, after all.
Maybe you have a basic understanding of web technology, and you’d like to attempt to build your website or start a blog from scratch. But if not, it may be wiser to outsource this job.
On average, an all-inclusive website costs around $3,000 – $6,000 if you rely on a professional’s help. And, of course, prices can vary greatly from your location, and how experienced your website engineer is.
You need to be incredibly careful when dealing with website design. While ensuring users experience an interactive onboarding walkthrough, you also have to be sure that everything is mobile-friendly.
More and more people access the internet and do their browsing on the move. If you don’t create a mobile friendly online environment for them, you’ll miss out on valuable traffic.
Carefully Curate Content
Content is the ketchup to your digital marketing hotdog. Valuable content is essential for creating user engagement on the web. Your website, social media pages and guest blogs are all outlets for content, so they must be curated properly to garner the right audience and foster interaction.
Again budget-wise, you’ll need to allocate to this depending on you and how hands-on you want to be. You can attempt to go it alone and rely on top content marketing tips from the pros, or you can again solicit the help of outside content consultants.
A regular flow of evergreen content will help establish your startup as thought leader customers and prospects turn to. Increased traffic and more page views will, in turn, result in Google indexing your site more often. A win-win if there ever was one.
Bear in mind that “Youtility” is the name of the game. Instead of focusing on grandiose marketing campaigns, try to hone in on the creation of consistently useful and usable content.
If going the outsourcing route, small scale content creation agencies tend to charge anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000 for content strategy and creation. But as with everything else, these are just estimates and can vary depending on your situation and location.
Hit the Ground Running
As I bet you’ve gathered, digital marketing does come with a cost. It can be done with the minimal capital requirement, but for more effective results, you will need to sink some cash into it. See what works well with your budget and go from there.
Don’t rush when deciding whether to go with the DIY approach or hire consultants. Do your research carefully and be sure of your choice. Given everything that’s going on, it’s completely understandable if you just do the best you can when you can.
However, if you can afford it, hiring an experienced professional can save you tons of time, money and stress. Stay safe and choose wisely!