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Where Should You Be Spending Your Digital Marketing Budget?

As a small business, there can be a reluctance to spend on digital marketing, especially if you are not getting an ROI. With so many digital marketing strategies to choose from it can be a daunting prospect to know where to spend your money. This article will give you insight into where to assign your digital marketing budget.

So how much should you be spending? Traditionally marketing budgets have been between 5-8% of your sales. In 2021 half of the total marketing budget is expected to be spent online.

Being successful with digital marketing brings massive rewards. This is why it is so important to spend your digital marketing budget in the right places.

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is a vital digital marketing tool and not one that any business should overlook. Done right, it will make your website more visible, boost traffic and attract potential customers. Easy to say, but hard to do.

That is where a site like ahrefs comes in handy. It has so many tools that can help you with your SEO strategy:

  • Keyword ranking and profile
  • Top pages
  • Backlink profile
  • Site audit
  • Competitor analysis

It is a must-have tool and should be your first port of call. You will be able to gather all the metrics you need to be able to make a plan going forward.

Content is so important for SEO. Currently, firms spend around one third of their budget on content creation. So what should your content be? This is where ahrefs helps. You can analyze your keywords to see if there are any content gaps you can exploit. Use it to see what is working for your competitors and mimic it. Great content in itself doesn’t bring people to your site, but it is a catalyst for better SEO.

Quality content will mean people are more likely to link back to you. Backlinks are the lifeblood of your SEO. Moz’s definition is a good place to start:

“…backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content.”

So the more backlinks pointing to your site, the more search engines think of your site as authoritative on that subject.

Backlinks are not easy to come by but are very worthwhile. Using a guest blogging strategy alongside your content strategy is a good way to create more of them.

Consider the expectation of your potential customer, what are they looking for? This is known as search intent and it is fundamental to helping you target your content correctly. This diagram shows the four different types of search intent. By finding an answer to a query you will improve the chance of your content reaching your potential customer.


Content is one of many factors that make up a successful SEO strategy. SEO is not a one-off fix, it takes time and effort. It is complex but the key is to stick at it and invest in it.

Social Media

Social media should play a key role in your digital marketing strategy. Social media is such an important medium to connect with customers, to advertise products and to build brand awareness.


It is key to know your demographic and then use the correct social media platform to target them. For example over 90% of 18-30 year olds use YouTube, whereas only 80% use Facebook.

Create standout images to help promote your product. A recent survey revealed that more than half of gen z and millennials were inspired by social media to make a purchase.

Using video is also highly effective and 81% of businesses now use it as a marketing tool. You will increase traffic and are more likely to get leads if you use video. By 2022, 82% of internet content will be made up of video.  

The question is not when will you use video but how? There are many tools that are quick and relatively cheap. A tool like biteable is a good way for you to start, especially if you are on a limited budget. 

Now get creating.

Banner Ads

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that banner ads are a thing of the past, this isn’t the case at all. Though banner ads do have a lower click through rate (CTR) than they once did, they are still a highly effective digital marketing tool.

Banner ads are a fantastic way to establish visual branding. They showcase your brand name, logo, brand colors and slogan.

They are a great way to engage with a target audience. Tools like AdRoll and ReTargeter help you be more efficient and can increase ROI. There are so many options with where to place ads and to which demographic. It is an important tool in your digital marketing arsenal.


With PPC, you only pay a fee once an ad has been clicked. If no one clicks on the advert, you don’t pay a penny. You can think of it as buying website hits and visitors, rather than earning the traffic organically through SEO.

PPC is a bit like a tap, you can choose when you turn it on and off. You have a lot of flexibility with how you implement your campaign and can set budgets easily. It is also worth knowing that a click through rate (CTR) of 4-5% is considered a success.

It is important that you know what keywords you are targeting. This will ensure the right people will see your ad.

When choosing a keyword, the higher the search volume the higher the cost. When on a limited budget, finding a balance between the volume and the keyword is key. With a lower volume keyword, you may be able to create a campaign where you are visible.



This is the unsexy part of your digital marketing arsenal, but a very important one. Your email in someone’s inbox, creates recognition and sales. In fact email has a 4200% ROI, so the benefits are huge if you do it right.

What’s the use of email if you don’t have email addresses to send them to? You need to be actively collecting email addresses from the visitors to your site. Unfortunately, the best way to do this is with the really irritating popup.

There are a number of different ways of utilizing a popup, so it’s not quite as annoying. Consider having it appear as a sticky top bar on the page or have it delayed. Experiment with different types and see which produces the best results.

Images and video work well in email outreach and have a higher CTR. It is important to create meaningful and engaging content. Not only will it lead to more engagement but has the added benefit of improving your SEO.


This list is by no means exhaustive, but they are tried and tested methods for small businesses. By using these techniques you’ll utilize your digital marketing budget well. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting money and not seeing a significant return on investment.

Guest author: Joe Dawson is the Director of Creative.onl. Joe has a passion for creating meaningful experiences. Through design, he creates authentic and innovative digital products. Read Joe’s blog here. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn. Follow Joe on Twitter.

The post Where Should You Be Spending Your Digital Marketing Budget? appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

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