Working on your 2020 marketing budget? Set aside some funds for these essential programs
It’s that time of year again for businesses to assess which marketing initiatives didn’t work last year and what changes need to be made for 2020.
Whether you have a large marketing budget or a tight one, allocating money for marketing is a necessary step for growth. If budgets are tight, it is important to identify the marketing programs you want to have in the new year.
Even with the tightest of budgets, allocating money for marketing is a necessity if your company wants to grow, but it's understandable if you can’t do it all. If you're trying to determine where to spend, make sure to set aside resources for these must-have programs:
1. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing was an essential marketing program in 2019 and will likely be even more prominent in 2020. It is one of the best ways to gain like-minded contacts who collaborate with you to promote your business to their audience. According to Business Insider Intelligence, brands are set to spend $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. Brands are embracing this form of marketing because of one thing: It works.
Whether you work with micro-influencers or large personalities, it’s crucial that your company work with influencers who will best represent your business. In order to have the means to do influencer marketing correctly, set a budget, and allocate time to manage it, or hire a firm that specializes in social media to implement this program in the coming year.
2. Customer Relationship Management
When you are running your business and trying to build it at the same time, you may need help tracking and reaching out to potential customers. Customer relationship management (CRM) programs are a good way to assist your outreach program and can be vital in tracking sales and keeping you on track.
Invest in CRM software that will help you organize your outreach, personalize your customer experience and facilitate a timeline for new business leads. Tools like Act are made for small businesses and can be used for new marketing ideas. These tools are where contacts are kept, timelines are organized and your outreach is kept on an ongoing basis. You can assign yourself tasks or send emails directly through these CRM platforms.
3. Industry Events
Industry events are a great way to polish your networking skills. If you want your business to grow, activity in and outside of the business is a necessity. Associations or networking events locally or within your industry give you an opportunity to meet other business owners, vendors and possible customers outside of a normal business setting.
Research released by the Economist Intelligence Unit on networking events found that 78 percent of startups reported that networking was part of their success. Attending events and getting yourself in the mix can seem daunting, but it is a necessary step to building your business.
4. Content Marketing
Carve out money to hire a talented content creator who can create an editorial calendar for your company. Then, either create the content in-house, or hire the content creator to write content for you based on the approved editorial calendar. According to a study by The Manifest, 53 percent of businesses are using their time and money on content marketing to not only share information with clients, but to engage with them.
It is important to use content to underscore your expertise on your social platforms and in online publications and to give yourself a voice in a very crowded space. It also helps with search engine optimization (SEO) and puts you in front of a new audience. Just make sure the content you create is good quality and offers your readers valuable advice.
Marketing is one of the best ways to move your business forward and seize the type of growth you envisioned for your company when you started it. There are many tools and programs available to help amplify your brand from a communications standpoint, but make sure to consider the four I recommend here so that at the end of 2020, you'll have several reasons to pop that champagne and celebrate.