For a business, the end of a financial year signals a new period of analysing, assessing, learning and planning for the year ahead.
This is particularly true when it comes to marketing planning and, more importantly, budgeting your marketing costs.
The new year also brings about opportunities for change and embarking on exciting new ventures. If you were still using outbound marketing methods (such as cold calling, TV and radio ads, direct mail etc.) at the end of 2020, for example, there’s no better time than now to consider switching to inbound – especially as inbound marketing services pricing is lower and produces a greater ROI than outbound!
With that in mind, let’s look at the inbound marketing tactics that deserve their fair share of attention in 2021...
Deciding on a budget: Use the data available
The first thing you’ll need to establish is how much of your budget you should allocate to marketing.
If you are a startup business, you might not yet know what that budget is. If you are a well-established company, you have probably learned what works and doesn’t work from past years – but maybe you want to try out something new as well.
Regardless of where you stand, there is a vast amount of data available on customer journey and behaviour for virtually every industry in existence.
The consensus in marketing circles puts the percentage of your allocable budget for marketing at anything between 2% and 5% of your total profit (forecasted or historical).
If you are a startup business however, you’ll need to invest a bit more than an established brand at first to get yourself off the ground. The suggested figures are around 12% to 25% of your gross revenue.
Is your budget in line with your goals?
There are both short-term and long-term goals that you need to think about when defining your marketing costs for 2021.
If you are a new company, you may want to establish short-term plans like trial campaigns and experimentation with different channels to ascertain which marketing solutions are most effective for your unique business.
Established companies should look at long-term planning and ways to increase brand awareness, deepen market penetration and of course, improve ROI.
These long-term goals should also be considered by startups and smaller companies; bear in mind though that, as you will be lacking home-grown data, it is going to take more research to accurately predict results and set reasonable targets.
Budgets are set, goals are defined... what are your options?
Marketing is a diverse beast. Consequently, inbound marketing services pricing comes in all shapes and forms. The following main marketing strategies are well deserving of your attention:
5 elements to include in your 2021 marketing budget:
1. Content marketing
Customers do not want to be told what to buy; they want to feel a connection to a brand.
Generating informative, relevant and engaging content will give your business the authority required to instil a sense of loyalty in your customers and drive traffic to your website.
Without a good content marketing strategy, all your other marketing costs and investments may very well be for nought.
Hiring an agency to create and manage your content can be particularly cost-effective, as they will have the time and skillset required to make your content truly stand out from the crowd.
Search Engine Optimisation is very much intertwined with your general content marketing strategy.
The main goal of SEO-friendly copy is to strike the subtle balance between adding enough keywords and search-result specific content to ensure online search engines (such as Google) find your page relevant enough to rank it highly.
3. Paid Search
Search engine acquisition aims to do the same as SEO, putting you on top of the search results for any query relevant to your brand. It is also heavily governed by the keywords you are using.
The difference is that, through paid search, you acquire a high rank in search results by paying for the relevant keywords. SEO and paid search complement each other well, so you should invest in both.
4. Social Media
Many of your potential customers are active on social media. At the time of writing, Facebook is still the go-to platform for information on, well, everything. Your social media strategy should be an intricate part of your marketing strategy, not just an afterthought.
A sustained social media presence on a selection of platforms that are relevant to your specific industry (such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram) will naturally boost all your other efforts and vice-versa.
Your marketing efforts and budget don’t stop once you’ve made a sale.
Keeping in touch with your leads after they’ve converted through engaging, helpful emails will not only help to build long-lasting, trusting business relationships, but can also move your prospects further down the sales funnel and potentially generate additional sales.
It’s therefore especially important that you include email communications within your marketing budget.
The elements of this blog can be adapted to either a smaller scale or larger scale business.
Whether you’re a well-established company or a startup enterprise making your first steps into the world of marketing, all the above elements are scalable to your particular budget or marketing needs (if you are a start-up and would like specific detail on your marketing spend however, check out our blog post “How much should my marketing costs be for my start-up?”).
Here at Angelfish, we offer a variety of inbound marketing services pricing options, which we can discuss with you as part of a free, one-hour consultation. We’ll also be able to have a chat with you about your current marketing efforts, and how we can work together to create a powerful inbound marketing strategy for your business!