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Online Marketing: How Much Should You Really Spend?


With all the hype about the shift to online advertising, it can be confusing trying to understand just how much of your marketing budget should be spent on the internet.

Online Marketing

In reality, many established businesses who are set in their ways haven’t yet put enough focus on marketing opportunities based around social media, mobile technology, or even their website. And many brand new start-up businesses often focus way too much time and energy on their Facebook page, ignoring the benefits of offline advertising.

The ideal, or what you should really be striving for, is to strike a balance. An E consultancy survey found that in 2012, businesses spent an average of 35 percent of their marketing budget online. Whether your business falls above or below this number will depend on your industry, budget, and marketing goals.

1. Where are the Costs?

When you think about online marketing, it’s not unreasonable to wonder where exactly the 35 percent of funds actually go. After all, Facebook and Twitter are free, and setting up a business blog – a step that almost all marketing experts recommend for small business – is virtually cost-free, as well.

The majority of your online budget will probably be spent on your website, which is exactly where it should go. Hiring someone to design your site and make it look as professional, exciting, and user-friendly as possible will be one of the best marketing investments you ever make.

Other efforts that cost money include launching a pay-per-click advertising campaign that will direct customers to your site and using Search Engine Optimization. But streamlining the amount you spend is much easier online than off.

2. The Benefits of Offline Advertising

There’s no way to ignore the rapid growth of internet marketing, but it’s important not to forget what traditional offline methods offer. Although more people search for businesses online than ever before, there’s still a lack of credibility in internet-only companies that can only be corrected with offline ads.

Banners, radio and print ads, and promotional events will all be more likely to land you a permanent customer base. Usually, advertising your website goes hand in hand with these offline methods.

Customers are more likely to go home and Google a company whose name they saw on a roadside banner or in a local magazine than they are to happen across your website when they’re looking for your products. These things put you ahead of the competition.

3. Using Email Promotion

Statistically, customers prefer to hear about promotions and sales via email than any other method. It’s also considerably less expensive than mailers or even phone calls. You can advertise promotions via social media, but there’s a reason that major retailers and other businesses offer newsletter subscriptions and coupon programs.

If they frequently use your products and opt in to email promotions, they will enjoy getting exclusive deals in their inbox. Email should be part of your network of online advertising methods, and all of these approaches should work symbiotically. Online advertising has shown even more before how marketing tools should work together to create a whole package.

When it comes to how much you should be spending on online advertising, there is no magic number. The most important thing is balance and making sure you’re not relying too heavily on one aspect of your marketing strategy and neglecting others.

Because of the low costs associated with a lot of internet ads, there’s more room for trial and error. As marketing shifts more and more to the digital world, you should be willing to try new things.

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