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3. Consider all your potential costs

Like any business expense, marketing has many components. Horvath suggests allocating your marketing budget to each of the following categories. You can adjust the amounts over time based on what’s most effective.

Website: The cost of your website includes the original design and build as well as monthly hosting. It also includes paying to keep the content fresh and up to date. Make sure your site has analytics built in. That way, you can track who’s coming and from where—information that will help you identify how your other marketing investments are paying off.

Social media: Set aside some money to invest in online advertising through social media platforms that make sense for your business like Facebook and LinkedIn. Even if your social media traffic is all organic—attracted by the content you post—creating that content requires resources you’ll want to account for.

Online advertising: For search engine advertising like Google Ads, plan for a minimum $1,000-a-month investment to be effective. As you monitor and refine your online advertising, you’ll be able to budget more accurately.

Traditional media: While digital advertising tends to be more budget-friendly,traditional advertising, radio, print and TV still have value depending on who you’re trying to reach. Consider your resources and how you can get the most from the budget you have.

E-newsletters: Sending regular updates to clients who have opted to receive communications from your business helps keep your company top-of-mindand encourages repeat business. Planning for, writing and using online tools to send out this material all require time and resources.

Video: Every small business should try to use video for marketing. The costs involved can include everything from hiring a camera person and editor to simply upgrading your smartphone so you can shoot video yourself.

Training: If you rely on internal staff to create and execute your marketing campaigns, be sure to set aside funds for training. “The available channels continue to evolve and it takes training for your staff to stay on top of the best practices.


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