How B2Bs Should Spend Their Marketing Budgets
The dynamics of B2B marketing constantly evolve as new technologies make their way into the hands of marketers. It’s important to stay up to date on the latest changes to ensure you maintain a competitive edge. With so many changes taking place, though, it can be overwhelming to create a solid marketing budget.
Should you invest more on written content creation or visual assets?
Is there a way to integrate content and visual marketing?
How much should you spend on email marketing?
The answers to these questions will help you create a marketing budget that provides a strong ROI. Here at nDash, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you to help you create a marketing budget that actually results in connecting with your audience and achieving higher conversions.
Understanding the Budget Creation Process
Creating marketing budgets is much easier when you have historical data to lean on. For well-established B2B companies, tapping into historical data is fairly easy, especially if you’ve been using analytics for even a few months. On the other hand, newer B2B entities tend to have a difficult time creating marketing budgets because they have little data to guide their marketing decisions. The same applies to any type of B2B company that is venturing into a new marketing channel.
According to recent stats from HubSpot, only about 22% of companies are satisfied with their marketing conversion rates. Also notable is that displaying a video on a landing page can increase your conversions by up to 86%. Even more notable is that 51% of B2B marketers prioritize the creation of visual assets within their content marketing strategies. Furthermore, from an overall viewpoint, content marketing itself generates 3x more leads than paid search advertising. These stats provide a lot of guidance when creating a marketing budget.
Content Creation: 50%
With content marketing generating 3x more leads than paid search, it only makes sense to allocate the most of your marketing budget toward content creation.
Content creation consists of text-only content, visuals, infographics, videos, whiteboard animations, print design, and more. Your overall marketing goals will influence which type of content creation to devote your attention toward.
Here’s a look at various marketing goals to focus on and the type of content to create to achieve those goals:
- Branding: Use pillar/cluster blog posts to differentiate yourself from competitors
- Customer retention and growth: Create video product tutorials
- Build relationship with audience: Expand your blog
- Establish thought leadership: Publish case studies
- Generate traffic: Publish case studies with social media share buttons
- Create lead magnets: Publish white papers, templates and ebooks
- Share a complex message: Publish an interactive infographic
Let’s say your current marketing goal is to increase brand awareness. With this goal, you will want to focus the majority of your content creation on website content, such as starting or expanding a blog. Long-term content does much better than short-form, so aim to make each blog post at least 1,000 words.
You should also know that videos are 50x more likely to boost organic search traffic when compared to plain text. With this in mind, it’s incredibly important that you focus anywhere from 20% to 30% of your content creation budget on video marketing. In fact, you can increase organic traffic from search results by a mind-boggling 157% when you add a video to a blog post.
Always strive to include video marketing into different marketing channels. Not only do they perform well on landing pages and blog posts, but they perform extremely well on social media, too. The two most popular types of online activities are social media and video viewing, so it only makes sense to combine the two.
Regardless of the type of content creation you focus on, it’s pertinent to spend about 10% of your content creation budget on search engine optimization (SEO). SEO improves the organic reach of your content and generates high-converting leads.
Paid Advertising: 30%
Although content marketing works better than paid advertising, this doesn’t mean you should put the latter on the backburner. Paid advertising performs exceptionally well in helping businesses gain an online presence. This form of advertising is also helpful when trying to reach an audience that you don’t normally target. Paid advertising also has a faster reach then organic marketing, but the reach isn’t as vast.
By researching your audience — creating a buyer persona — you can easily determine which channels to direct your paid advertising budget toward: TV, radio, cost-per-click ads, print ads, social media, etc. The key to getting the highest ROI out of paid advertising is to spend your money on ads that guarantee you will reach an audience who is most likely to convert.
Internal Marketing: 10%
Your customers aren’t the only people who keep your business afloat. Your employees are the foundation of your company, and this is why you should dedicate part of your marketing budget toward workforce marketing. With this type of marketing, it becomes possible to ensure all of your workers are working toward company goals. From company events to internal meetings to employee advocacy programs, you should spend about 10% of your marketing budget on internal marketing.
When used strategically, you can even use workforce marketing to generate leads. Take for example you create an employee referral program. Using a marketing automation platform, you can create social referral campaigns. You can then track referrals and pinpoint the number of leads generated by each employee. From there, you can reward employees while also bringing in new customers.
Marketing Software and Tools: 10%
The last part of your marketing budget should go toward marketing software and tools. The goal here is to invest in tools and software that automate the majority of your marketing activities. With automation comes the ability to save time, money and resources. Plus, automation combined with analytics will help you intuitively refine all aspects of your marketing.
Marketing software and tools help you analyze the performance of each campaign, making it easy to see where you’re wasting money and resources. Ultimately, these tools help you paint a clear picture of where to focus your attention. Overall, you need at least four tools in your marketing arsenal:
- Marketing automation platform
- Content management system
- Customer relationship management system
- Social media management tool
When using/purchasing these tools, it’s very important that you choose ones that easily integrate with one another. After all, your marketing automation platform won’t prove of much use if it doesn’t integrate with your customer relationship management system. When all of these tools integrate with one another, you can better handle all points of data created by each system.
As you can see, the majority of marketing budget should go toward content creation. Creating content yourself can get very time-consuming. Even for professional writers, it takes anywhere from one to two hours to create and edit a 500-word blog post. And this doesn’t include performing keyword research, sourcing images or creating meta descriptions and image alt tags.
Ideally, you will publish anywhere from two to three long-form blog posts each week on top of daily social media posts. More so, you will publish at least two videos a month and one infographic. All in all, content creation is going to take a lot of time. This is why you need a team of professional writers in your corner, and that’s how we can help.
Editor’s Note: Whitney White is a professional freelance writer with nearly a decade of experience and over 12,000 completed pieces of content. Her clients include Forbes, Insight, Vero Beach Magazine, and many more. To learn more about Whitney — or to have her write for your company — check out her nDash profile.