How to Plan a Digital Marketing Budget

Author - John

Digital marketing has shown to be an extremely effective form of marketing. This is due to the fact that you can so effectively target a specific audience and record the performance of these campaigns in excruciating detail. With how many businesses have transitioned to digital marketing since the world shifting effects of the 2020 pandemic, many of those business owners are wondering how to plan for this new venture into marketing.

Look At Your Foundation

The foundation of any successful digital marketing campaign is going to be the big 3, which we have determined to be your:

  • Website
  • Google My Business
  • Google Reviews

Do you already have this foundation down? If you do, you can move ahead but if not we’ve got some things to discuss.

No longer do people just jump onto a website and move forward with contacting them. Like we do when we shop online at online behemoths such as, we check out reviews. Why take the risk of investing time, effort, attention and money with a particular business if you can get a feel for how they perform before ever talking to them. 

If someone finds your website or is referred to you they’ll jump onto your website to get a general feel for your company, check out if you have the products or services they are looking for in the first place, and then generally head right to Google to see if they can find your reviews.

Getting good reviews is up to you and how you run your business, but making sure customers leave reviews for your business is crucial and part of a marketing foundation.

People may like what they see on your website but if they don’t know if they can trust you, a lot less of them will do business with you if they like the reviews of your competitor.

It doesn’t make any sense at all to crank up the traffic going to your website if when a visitor gets there they aren’t all that impressed.

This is something you want to start early. No matter if you’ve turned on the faucet for ads or SEO or turned them off, you’ll want to start building your Google Review stream as soon as possible and implement it into your business practice to ask for reviews.

So when you’re thinking about budgeting for your digital marketing strategy for the year, it is absolutely critical that you get your foundation in order or else the dollars you’re spending on Facebook ads, Google ads, or search engine optimization will be doing a lot less work than they could be

Get your foundation in order!

Intelligently Allocating Your Marketing Budget

A general rule of thumb is to have about 7% – 15% of your business revenue put right into marketing. Depending on that, let’s call it ~10% to keep it simple, you’ll want to make an intelligent decision with what is left over after your foundation is handled. 

If you’ve done something in the past that has been successful for you, that has had a positive return on investment, it’s certainly worth keeping up with that strategy to have a reliable source of business leads. It can be tempting to experiment with shiny new objects or after hearing about a new marketing buzzword but the best strategies tend to be slow, reliable, and linear in growth.

There’s also some explaining that should be done about different marketing strategies and when they’re appropriate to implement. Let’s go over a few of the most common strategies and when they’re best applied. Keep in mind that every business is different, and different strategies can work differently in various industries.

Social Media Marketing

For most businesses, generally speaking, Social Media Marketing is going to be less about generating new leads as it is giving trust and assurance to people that have already found you. Of course you can push your posts out to friends of friends to get more eyeballs on your posts but what it tends to be good for is if someone has heard about your business and they want to investigate you further, they’ll jump on your social media pages to see if your business is even still alive. It’s good practice to have a long history of consistent posts on all your platforms to show that you’re active and paying attention to the important aspects of your business. But as a primary marketing strategy, it’s not the first place a business owner should dump their funds generally speaking.

Facebook/Google Ads

The great part about Facebook and Google ads is as soon as you turn them on, you will be getting traffic to your website nearly immediately. The downside is that to test the messaging of your ads and your landing pages that you send them to, is expensive. If your messaging is wrong and isn’t quite landing properly, you can spend hundreds of dollars on a bunk campaign. This can be quite frustrating. Once it is dialed in and fine tuned it can be quite an amazing experience just to turn up the ad spend and watch the revenue come right back to you but getting there is a challenge. If you’ve got marketing dollars to spend and know what this strategy takes it can be very rewarding but as a starting point it would be good to seek advice before diving in. 

To over generalize and sum this strategy up, the results can be quick but it takes time and money to test your messaging and landing page.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is well known as being one of biggest returns on investment in digital marketing. The leads are warm, they’re searching exactly for what you are selling, and they trust you because you showed up in the organic search results and don’t have their shields up like they would if they clicked on an ad.

The downside of SEO is that it takes time to rank, money to invest, emotional control and patience. Once the traffic does start to come in after the time it takes to rank, times are good but you must ensure you have the budget to get to that point.

Analytics Assessment

So once you get your foundation set, and have your digital marketing strategy planned out your next stay will be putting a decent amount of your time and energy into understanding and interpreting your analytics.

This could be your Google Analytics or Facebook analytics.

The beauty of digital marketing really comes down to the ability to target your audience so specifically and to get a treasure trove of data about how those advertisements are working for that audience.

You can see how it impacted different age groups, different phone users (iOS, Android), different locations and even what interests those targeted audiences are into.

When you look at your analytics with enough data to make it statistically significant, you can pinpoint which areas are performing better than the others and just dump more ad spend or SEO effort into those areas. If one lane of advertising has a ROI of 150% vs other area’s that are 105% or 110%, you can just turn the faucet on even more!

Analyzing your analytics can make your marketing budget extremely efficient, never are you just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks like could be the case with billboard or phonebook advertising. The closer of an eye you keep on your marketing and how it’s performing, as well as understanding what you’re looking at, the farther your marketing budget can go. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency!


Digital marketing can be one of the most effective forms of marketing in this day and age. It can be a confusing landscape but with the right partners, the appropriate allocation of business funders for sales and marketing and a solid understanding of what strategies are best for your business, you truly can expand your business in ways that weren’t possible in the physical world of years prior.

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