Your digital marketing budget can be thought of as the stack of chips you bring to a poker table against all your competitors. If you always show up with the smallest stack, you have very little chance of getting ahead. To put it simply, the more you can spend on digital marketing, the more you’ll get out of it. The 2021 B2B Marketing Mix Report reveals that marketers are putting more resources into their digital marketing efforts than almost any other marketing channel. But what digital strategies should companies spend their money on, and how should it be distributed across the different tactics and channels?
In this blog, we’re looking at how to spend your digital marketing budget wisely, so you can make the right choices for your campaigns as you plan for the coming year.
How Much Is Enough?
Across the board, those surveyed in the 2021 B2B Marketing Mix Report say marketing budgets increased in 2020 compared to last year and will continue to grow in 2021. So how do you decide how much is enough for your company?
Digital advertising campaigns have sweet spots that offer optimal returns on your investment. It’s a numbers game for marketers that involves frequent reviews, feedback, optimization, and adjustment. Most services provide clear metrics on the performance of ads compared to your spending and give detailed guidance on how much needs to be spent to achieve new goals. If you spend more money on ads than your competitors, users will see your ads more than theirs.
However, just because you have a certain quantity of responses doesn’t mean they’re all quality responses. For an agency, that’s where client feedback becomes critical. If you’re managing these tactics alone—this is where you need to be honest with yourself about the quality of leads that are coming in. Defining what a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) looks like to you is important to aligning all teams during these efforts, and ensuring the results meet everyones expectations.
Advertising on Social Media
A key concept to keep in mind with digital marketing is that you shouldn’t spread your resources too thin across too many channels. A better strategy when starting out is to choose one platform that aligns with your target audience and try to maximize the potential there. In B2B, LinkedIn reigns supreme as the most relied upon social network for marketing professionals, so we often start there.
LinkedIn is more expensive to advertise on than Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but has the edge in the audience it provides access to, and is more likely to bring in quality leads. LinkedIn was made to help foster professional business connections with a personal touch—a pillar that so many B2B partnerships are based on—so it makes sense that the platform is the most trusted.
Developing ads for Google and Bing is always a great idea. Paid search ads continuously ensure your company stays in front of users’ eyes anytime the right set of keywords and circumstances come into play. Paid search is a reliable method of generating leads, building brand awareness, and improving website visibility.
Unlike LinkedIn, which starts with a relatively focused audience, search engines have virtually no limits on who could come across your ads with the right set of keywords; so right from the start, there’s a bigger chance of getting traffic that isn’t valuable.
After the first 60 to 90 days of running your paid search campaign, do a comprehensive review of lead quality and optimize your ads and keywords. With continued reviews and updates, a strong campaign will show improved results with each iteration.
Sponsorship advertising is a phenomenal way to get your target customers to associate your company with your industry. There are countless industry publications that provide sponsorship opportunities, but they can be expensive. Sponsorships shouldn’t be used as your primary digital marketing tactic, but they’re an excellent option any time you have extra money to spend, want to make a big push in support of a tradeshow or seasonal event, or want to build an association with other organizations or causes.
The digital marketing strategies listed here aren’t the only ones available, but they’re the ones at the forefront of marketers’ minds for 2021 planning, according to new research. As you develop your own strategies, think about your goals, time, creative resources, analytical resources, and overall budget. Put serious time into thinking about your customers, what’s most important to them, and using the right channels with the right messaging to resonate the most. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from an expert!
To get even more insight into the trends and emerging tactics that marketing professionals are looking at for next year, download the 2021 B2B Marketing Mix Report. It covers broad topics like the top marketing objectives for 2021, and the specifics on most reliable lead sources, emerging marketing and sales strategies, and more.