If you’re starting a business or trying to take your business to the next level, you’ll need to incorporate a strategic marketing plan into your operations. So how do you set a marketing budget? There are few key things to plan for when kicking off a marketing strategy. In this article, we talk through the primary marketing channels and rough estimates of the investments your should plan on for each.
Set A Budget For Your Marketing Website
It’s been about a decade since business owners realized every business needs a website. Even a simple website, if well-designed, shows potential customers your business is legitimate and trustworthy. In the digital age, not having a website is like not having a sign or a phone number.
The cost of websites varies greatly depending on the scope. If you’re just starting out, you may be able to get away with making your own website if you’re technologically savvy and can cover the basics of good copywriting and design. In fact, we rarely encourage brand new business owners to make a big investment in a website. If you’re just starting out and you need a simple marketing website as a legitimizer, don’t spend more than $5,000 on a website.
For businesses that are more established and are ready to take their website to the next level, plan on a budget between $10k-20k. A website in this price range might include a blog, conversion-optimized landing pages, pages that describe each of your services, and more.
For e-commerce websites and very large organizations, budget for $30k-100k+ depending on the scope and functionality needed.
How To Set A Budget For Monthly Website Maintenance
The rough estimates above are one-time costs, but we like to think about websites as gardens that need to be proactively maintained. Be sure to factor in ongoing maintenance to keep your website up-to-date.
For smaller websites, plan on a budget of at least $500 per month to ensure your website is well maintained. A baseline scope in this range should include proactive monitoring of SEO considerations such as page speed and uptime, as well as security monitoring, plugin updates, and bug fixes.
For larger websites, plan on a budget of at least $2,000 per month. This could include all the baseline maintenance above plus new feature build-outs such as landing pages or other components to support your marketing efforts.
Set A Social Media Marketing Budget
While it’s been more than a decade since every business owner recognized they needed a website, now most business owners are realizing they need a presence on social media as well. A presence on social media is, as a baseline, a legitimizing factor. Similar to a website, it can be a great way to reach new customers as well.
But, unlike a website, there are so many different social channels it can feel overwhelming. Choosing which social media platforms to be on is a strategic decision that should be based on your business goals and your target market. But one thing we do know is, you don’t have to be on all of them. For B2C businesses, consider Instagram, Facebook, and/or TikTok. If you have a B2B business, consider starting with LinkedIn.
As far as budget setting goes, price ranges can vary widely depending on the experience of the marketer. Be sure to ask for results of past performance such as engagement rates and reach. Don’t be fooled by follower count. This vanity metric doesn’t do much for your business (especially if the followers are overseas or not in your region), and followers can easily be purchased.
Plan on around $2,000 per channel per month for professionally managed social media marketing. This should include art (photography, graphics, etc.), copywriting, audience engagement, and a strategic approach to engagement and reach.
Set A Budget For Email Marketing
Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. It’s amazing for e-commerce business, but also drives measurable results for service-based or non-ecommerce businesses as well.
This is a marketing channel you can DIY if you’re just starting out by using simple templates that ESPs such as MailChimp include out of the box. It’s relatively easy for a technologically savvy business owner to do an OK job at email marketing. But there are so many technical details that go into email marketing, it can be highly optimized for conversion if done well.
If you’re ready to hire an email marketing professional, plan on a budget of around $1,000 per month for one to two email marketing campaigns. This should include art, copy editing, and subscriber list setup and segmentation. At the higher end, this could include copywriting, automation, and drip campaigns as well. Want something completely custom-designed and coded? Plan on at least $2,000 per email.
Set A Budget For Content Marketing
We consider content marketing to be a vital and key component to a marketing strategy. Having a content marketing strategy ensures you have something to say on all your digital marketing platforms. Without it, what are your website, your social posts, and your email messages communicating?
Our content marketing partner Zettist says it succinctly on their blog:
“The more content you have on your website, the more likely it is that people will find your website via a search engine or social media. Remember, search engines can only crawl content that exists on your site (i.e., don’t expect to show up for the keywords “marketing for gyms” if you’ve never written about it).”
Content marketing includes creating content for a wide variety of mediums and media. This could include blog posts on a website, social media posts, podcasts, video content, and more.
The budget you’ll need to allocate for content marketing largely depends on the scope. A budget of $1,000 per month could get you one or two blog posts. We recommend planning for at least $2,000 per month to create enough content to make an impact on your website, social media, and email marketing.
All things considered, you could be looking at a monthly marketing budget of anywhere from $5k-10k+ per month depending on your needs. Consider marketing expenditures not as a cost, but as an investment. Marketing brings quantifiable results over time. Keep in mind that marketing by nature, like most investments, doesn’t result in revenue immediately. If you need to generate revenue quickly, allocate your budget to advertising methods such as PPC and social media advertising.
Ready to get started? Schedule a complimentary consultation with us today.