If you've never done inbound marketing before, or have only dabbled, you're probably foggy about how much this all costs. What does an inbound marketing program look like?
Every company is different, so in order to get a true picture for your business you should talk to an inbound marketing consultant to help you create a plan that is reasonable for you. The examples I give below are very general just to give you a snap shot of what a plan might look like.
Marketing Budget Examples
Let's say you're a $1.5 million company with approximately 10,000 contacts (database of people you can market to), and you're going to invest 10% of your total sales in marketing. That leaves you with a $150,000 budget.
- Or -
Let's say you're a $700,000 company with approximately 10,000 contacts, and you're going to invest 20% of your total sales in marketing because you want to be more aggressive to get to that $1m mark. That leaves you with a $140,000 budget.
In either case, your plan might look something like this:
|8 Blogs / Month (Full service)||$30,000|
|4 Emails / Month (Full service)||$15,000|
|6 Premium Content Offers||$20,000|
|Total Annual Spend||$138,000|
There are ways to reduce costs here too. For example, if you write your own blogs and just have a professional help you with strategy, keywords, and the technical mumbo jumbo of posting, that will reduce the cost. The cost for the actual writing part adds up.
Here's one more example. Let's say you're a $350,000 company with approximately 5,000 contacts, and you're going to invest 20% of your total sales in marketing because you want to be more aggressive to get to that $500,000 mark. That leaves you with a $70,000 budget. Your plan might look something like this:
|8 Blogs / Month (Do-it-Yourself)||$0|
|4 Emails / Month||$15,000|
|Social Media (Do-it-Yourself)||$0|
|6 Premium Content||$20,000|
|Total Annual Spend||
The smaller the company, the more work you'll have to do yourself. But, if you set aside some money for consulting, then you can at least have the guidance of a professional to make sure you're doing it right, so you're not wasting resources. And as you get bigger, you can start handing that work off so you can focus on more growth initiatives.
The main question to ask yourself is this: If I invest $150,000 (for example) in marketing, how many new clients do I have to secure in order to feel like that was the best investment I could have ever made in my company?
If you spent $150,000 on marketing and got $400,000 in new business because of it, would that be worth it?
Here's another scenario to consider. Let's say that your marketing presence needs a LOT of help. You're website is kind of crappy, you haven't ever blogged, and you don't have any real marketing technology or processes in place. Let's say you spend $100,000 the first year on your marketing, and secure $150,000 in new sales.
You're main focus that first year is to build up your marketing program and online authority. The next year, you invest the same $100,000, but now, since you're rocking and rolling with things in place, you sell an additional $300,000 in new business. Would that be worth it to you?
I'm just playing with numbers here to give you some ideas. They key is to lay out your return on investment goals in advance, and stay focused on them throughout the year.