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Should you invest in marketing? The short answer is yes. Here’s why, plus a step-by-step guide to building an apt marketing budget that bolsters growth.

Four steps to developing an intelligent marketing budget

Without further ado, here are the steps you need to take to build an intelligent marketing budget as a small business owner.

1. Identify your marketing goals

The overarching purpose behind marketing is to increase brand awareness, authority, and credibility in your niche. But what exactly do you wish to achieve with your marketing efforts?

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, such as:

  • Boost organic search engine traffic for your website by 30% within six months.
  • Get 3,000 free trial sign-ups or demo requests within three months.
  • Build an email newsletter list of 500+ subscribers within four months.
  • Acquire 1,000 new Instagram followers within two months.

Related: 10 Small Business Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

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2. Develop a marketing strategy first

To avoid spending your marketing budget on things that don’t move the needle, it’s a good idea to devise a marketing strategy based on the marketing goals determined in the first step.

The budget becomes a piece of the overall marketing plan, and you’ll find it easier to understand how your marketing dollars would be distributed across various channels.

3. Figure out your marketing channels

It’s easy to spread yourself too thin and put your marketing dollars into myriad marketing efforts, hoping for a few to work.

Instead, based on your goals, it’s better to double down on selecting a few marketing channels, such as:

  • Digital marketing: This encompasses all online marketing strategies, such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, social media ads, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Inbound marketing: This refers to organic, non-intrusive channels meant to attract people to check out your business, such as SEO, social media, and content marketing (blogs, YouTube videos, eBooks, etc.). The focus is on creating valuable content.
  • Outbound marketing: This refers to initiating a conversation with your customers by explicitly promoting your business via display ads, PPC ads, SMS, cold calling, and traditional advertising methods.
  • Brand awareness campaigns are all about getting your business in front of potential customers and primarily include content marketing (blogs, videos, etc.), social media, and public relations.

Related: How to Write a High-Performing Content Marketing Strategy

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4. Measure ROI and track your marketing budget

To quote Peter Drucker, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Tracking your marketing metrics helps you avoid overspending on marketing strategies that aren’t effective. It’s how you measure your return on investment (ROI) — the most critical aspect of your marketing budget.

So, based on your marketing goals set initially, keep an eye on your ROI monthly to ensure you’re making the most of your budget.

Time to plan your budget

Marketing is a must for businesses big and small, especially the latter. Developing a marketing budget starts with setting clear goals and building your marketing strategy.

Keep monitoring which tactics and campaigns drive the highest ROI and which marketing channels aren’t worthwhile for your business.

Finally, keep revisiting your marketing budget every three to six months to refine your strategy and improve your marketing ROI continually.

Related: Effective Content Marketing: How to Clear the Major Hurdles

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Article by Mark W Lamplugh Jr

Chief Marketing Officer

Mark Lamplugh is the chief marketing officer of Need Treatment Now, which is the management company of Satori Health, Detox LA, Silicon Beach Treatment Center & Silicon Beach Sober Living.