How is it March already?
The passing of time is both alarming and exciting, because it means we’re really getting into the meat of the year as far as marketing goes.Have you thought about where to invest your 2020 budget this summer?
In fact, do you even think about your marketing budget in that way? Or is it just one big chunk that you allocate to the entire year?
In my opinion, you need to be far smarter with your marketing budget than that. By instead allocating sections of it to different seasons, you’ll end up with a far more targeted, measured approach.
In today’s blog, I’m going to give you some suggestions for what you should be focusing the marketing budget on when the sun eventually busts through the clouds.
Before you get started: analyse your data
I’m assuming that you’re already in business and have some previous marketing data to pull from, and if that’s the case, now is the time to dig into it – before you start allocating any cold, hard cash to marketing activities.
For instance, if you have a Google Analytics account, take some time to look back at the best performing blog posts and pages – and the worst. The more you can see how you audience is interacting positively or negatively with your website, the more impactful your investment will be this summer.
Take a look at your social channels, too. Which are providing the most engagement? Where do you appear to be expending time and energy for little to no benefit?
Spend time looking at the competition, too. What have they been up to over the last twelve months that you can either replicate (and make better) or capitalise on where they’ve missed a beat?
Allocating your marketing budget this summer
Previous stats and learnings in hand, it’s time to start allocating your marketing budget for the most successful summer.
1. Email marketing
I’ve written the phrase ‘email isn’t dead’ far too often on this blog, and for that I apologise.
But I’m going to say it again.
Email isn’t dead. So there.
Just make sure any email marketing campaigns you undertake this summer are targeted (remember to segment that audience) and designed to encourage customers along the road to a purchase.
Video remains the fastest-growing form of content marketing, and it’s the ‘stickiest’, which means it’ll keep people on your website for longer. And that’s cool.
The best news? Any industry can make use of video marketing, and you don’t need a truck full of people and equipment to produce it for you.
All you need is a great story that focuses on solving a problem for your audience and your smartphone. That’s it. Go record.
3. Social media marketing
Research suggests that 90% of brands use social media as a marketing tool, but of all the available marketing channels it’s probably the most misused.
It’s still worth investing time in organic, non-paid content, but if you have some pennies to spare this summer, try digging into the tools Facebook and LinkedIn provide for pay-per-click advertising.
Spend plenty of time defining and narrowing your audience and make sure any adverts you create immediately offer a benefit for them. Remember how quickly people scroll through their feeds; you have a couple of seconds, max, to make an impact.
4. Content marketing
This is a big, big topic, and one I can’t really squeeze into a subsection of a blog post – but I’ll of course try.
Digital marketing and, in particular, content marketing, is all about exchanging information. Your role in that this summer is to give away brilliant advice for free.
Sounds daft, right? It isn’t. This summer why not invest some of your marketing budget in great writers and designers (because a blog post is nothing without a great visual or two).
When was the last time you gave your branding a fettle? Or is it still the same logo and colour scheme you had in place from the start?
Branding has become particularly important in 2020. Knowing what your audience wants and expects to see will enable you to ensure your business looks as it should.
This year, you can reinforce your brand with search advertising, social media ads and remarking ads (we’ll get onto all that in future blogs), but all of that stuff needs great branding if it’s to be effective.
If you’ve been wanting to adjust your branding for some time now, make the summer of 2020 the time for it to really shine.
6. Check your marketing ‘tech stack’
Hands-up: I hate the phrase ‘tech stack’. But, lots of people use it these days which means I might as well jump on that particular bandwagon. Particularly if it gets your attention.
Put simply, without a decent marketing tech stack, you can’t undertake any of the strategies I’ve suggested above.
Before we hit the summer, focus your attention on the following systems and platforms:
- CRM: it’s where all of your customer interaction and data lives – that makes it vital
- Email automation: how are you going to ensure all of those lovely campaigns make it to their intended recipients safely?
- Marketing automation: ditto above, albeit for the content you create on your website
- Social scheduling: doing it manually via each platform will take up far too much of your time
- SEO: tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs could really help you plan your content for the summer – a worthy investment
Notice something? There’s nothing particularly ‘new’ above – this is all stuff with which you’re probably familiar.
That’s kinda the point with digital marketing in 2020; it’s reached a stage where the strategies and tactics you need to use have matured and are rapidly becoming commoditised.
I love the fact that digital marketing is in this state, because it means anyone can get involved, and you don’t need deep pockets to make the most of them. You may not need all of the strategies above, either – just one or two could completely transform your summer.
Where will you be putting your marketing budget this summer?