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Planning for 2020: How to allocate your budget for digital marketing

Written by Jack Cribb

07 | 11 | 19

Inbound Marketing  |  
11 minute read

Originally Written: Apr 2015
Blog Updated: Nov 2019

Allocating a marketing budget can be one of a marketer's most important and often most daunting responsibilities. A budget isn’t infinite. How much goes into each element of your strategy can make all the difference. 

digital 22 office

Here's our breakdown on which marketing channels you should allocate your marketing budget in 2020.

  1. Video marketing

  2. AR and VR

  3. Paid search

  4. Top-notch sales and marketing CRMs

  5. Personalisation

  6. Innovative chatbots

  7. Marketing automation

  8. Quality content marketing

1. Video marketing

There's now more of an emphasis on inbound video marketing than ever before. More and more people want to consume video as opposed to reading endless pages of content. 

And we’re not just saying it. It’s supported by statistics. According to HubSpot Research, over 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands - more than any other type of content. That’s quite an impact, so it's time to invest in video.

digital 22 video room

There are multiple benefits to utilising video content. 

  • Video content is easily shared. Buyers stumbling across a two-minute video can watch and share it in less than five minutes. In that short time, buyers not only process the information but also deliver it to others.
  • Video content has much stronger engagement compared to other content formats and increases traffic by 157%
  • Adding video can increase conversion rates by around 80%. Mentioning the term 'video' in your subject line can increase email open rates by 19% and 90% of customers also say videos help them make buying decisions.

Inbound video is a labour of love. Here are the things you have to consider when deciding to implement this exciting tactic:

  • There's going to be a learning curve when getting to grips with new equipment.

  • Inbound video marketing includes scripting, casting, props, filming, editing and more. Allocate your time wisely.

  • Technical issues can be a possibility. Prepare for them.

  • Not everyone enjoys video content. It's always beneficial to provide your target audience with more than one option to consume valuable content.

2. AR and VR

If you want something even more impressive and immersive than video, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are the definite choice. They’re not only something used in video games and film but are also fast becoming a popular marketing trend.

For major companies, AR has become a hot topic, with predictions stating that the technology will become more popular than VR in 2020.

One example of how AR can be used to create immersive buying experiences is the IKEA Place app. You can use it to see what a piece of furniture will look like in your room before you even buy it. 

I even tried it with a bookshelf in the Digital 22 office!

ikea ar

One thing to remember with this technology is that it’s still very new. A lot of people might not be able to utilise or interact with it yet. That being said, it’s good to keep up with new tech. With this on your radar, you’ll be able to keep track of new ideas and marketing methods. The world is your virtual oyster!

3. Paid search

There are many ways to go about this. Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Adroll are just some of the services. Plus, the landscape is constantly evolving. For example, at Google Marketing Live, it was announced that smart bidding and automation would be improved upon for the platform.

With 97% of consumers searching for local businesses online, paid advertising can be the most direct and effective way to market your business online. When set up and managed correctly, businesses can see strong ROIs.

So what are the benefits of paid search?

  • Every aspect of your campaign can be measured

  • How much your campaign actually costs depends on several factors, but overall, paid search is highly cost-effective. 

  • Services like Google Ads level the playing field for all advertisers by ranking the ads based on their relevance. 

  • Paid search such as Facebook Ads is versatile, offering sophisticated targeting tools, such as location, mobile and time targeting. 

  • Some services such as Adroll offer in-app retargeting and cross-device reach. This means it can use its connections across varying devices, which means you can retarget leads with high potential from their desktop to their mobile device for further influence.

Things to remember:

  • This technique has a short shelf life - when your budget runs out, your ads will turn off. 

  • You're limited by the number of characters allowed for headlines, character descriptions and display URL.

  • You need an attention-grabbing headline, keywords and a CTA. 

  • You need to carefully monitor the campaign before and after it's been launched to check whether it's set up properly and if there are any conversions.

4. Top-notch sales and marketing CRMs

CRM platforms, such as HubSpot, allow you to manage your company's interactions with current and prospective customers. They play an integral role in marketing budgets. Sales teams use CRM data to optimise the one-on-one interactions between the company and the customers.

So why should you use a CRM?

  • A good CRM shows your business where a prospect is in the sales process. This helps your business offer targeted promotional content that's more likely to build up a positive business-customer relationship and lead to a sale.

  • A CRM gives your sales team a better understanding of the customer, which aids the conversation. The better quality leads you give your sales team, the easier it will be for them to close deals.

  • Many CRM platforms come with integrated features such as sending internal alerts for scheduled meetings and important dates so sales reps know when to reach out.

Don’t forget, some reputable CRM platforms may require investment. But many also offer various flexible plans to suit your business's needs. For example, HubSpot offers a free, entry-level CRM plan. 

Sales Hub Enterprise by HubSpot

HubSpot’s Sales Hub features a set of robust sales tools to help sales teams reach that next level and become more sophisticated. HubSpot hasn’t just created this to manage deals or even their contact records more efficiently. They’ve taken it a step further with:

  • Call Transcription and Recording.

  • 1:1 Video Creation - Sales teams can create videos using their laptop camera or the screen sharing tool. Share personalised videos with prospects directly from the HubSpot CRM and track their performances via analytics.

  • Predictive Lead Scoring - Automatically scores and ranks leads based on their estimated likelihood to close. 

To read more about the Sales Hub Enterprise product by HubSpot, check out this blog.

Enterprise Growth Suite by HubSpot

This tier gives advanced marketing teams greater control, greater flexibility and deeper integrations with all of its latest features - all without making life complicated for you or your team:

  • Teams: Allows you to organise the groups in your HubSpot account on multiple levels.

  • Single Sign-On: This allows you to enhance the security of your HubSpot account by configuring a custom authentication provider.

  • Custom Events: Define customer analytics events to track specific actions on websites or mobile apps. 

To read more about the features mentioned before and everything else the Enterprise Growth Suite has to offer, check out this blog.

faizal on laptop

Marketing Hub Enterprise by HubSpot

The Marketing Hub Enterprise features give marketers and businesses plenty of powerful tools to take advantage of so that you’re able to get more out of your content and grow better as a result:

  • Content Partitioning: This gives the right users easy and uncluttered access to the content they need to see and have access to.

  • Additional Domains: Allows you to host and track multiple sites, microsites, blogs and landing pages across different top-level domains. Businesses can manage separate brand and domains from a single instance on HubSpot.

  • Analytics Filtering: Create analytics segments by the country of the session, the domain and even specific URL structure.

To read more about Marketing Hub Enterprise and to decide if it can be a good fit for your business, read more about these features here.

Standalone CMS by HubSpot

This alone opens up many more engaging possibilities such as personalisation and important design benefits all in one impressive tool - even for those who don't want the marketing suite. But your website data still directly informs your CRM.

Some of the features include:

  • Content and Conversion Tools

  • Design Tools
  • Reporting
  • Contacts and Personalisation

To find out more about HubSpot's Standalone CMS to decide if it's something you need to focus your budget on in 2020, head over to this blog.

5. Personalisation

Generic ads no longer sway consumers and are usually ill-targeted. We skip ads and actively pay for premium subscriptions on apps to avoid them. Personalisation is different.

CRMs, like HubSpot, and email marketing tools, such as MailChimp, offer you the ability to personalise and adapt your online marketing efforts to fit different people. It means that someone who is first visiting your site will receive an email different to the one you send to a returning customer.

It's effective too - personalised email was found to perform three times better than generic emails.

All you have to do is start segmenting your contact lists. Curious to learn more about personalisation? Check out how HubSpot do it.

6. Innovative chatbots

Thanks to improvements in artificial intelligence and programming, chatbots are becoming more sophisticated. This makes them better at handling complex requests and become more helpful overall. 

Providing helpful customer service will always be a top marketing trend. If you’re not offering help, a website that is easy to navigate or a sales process that isn’t attractive, then you risk getting left behind.

digital 22 homepage

Including chatbots on your website improves customer service and the customer’s initial experience, offering them new ways of contacting you. 

7. Marketing automation

mailchimpMailChimp, an email automation tool.

Marketing automation software, such as Buffer, for social media messaging and MailChimp for emailing, allows you to follow and monitor a prospect's top-of-funnel activities. Think of the benefits you’ll gain from this:

  • You can schedule messages in advance and get on with your life. And once you're a paid customer, expert help is usually available from the provider's teams.

  • Marketing automation systems generate detailed analytics on how successful campaigns were, so you can use them to make improvements for your future ones. 

  • There's an automation tool for every aspect of digital marketing messaging.

But don’t forget, you'll need separate accounts for all your automated tools. Unless you get a tool like HubSpot, which is the ultimate all in one marketing software. 

8. Quality content marketing

digital 22 blog

From blog content and emails to videos and podcasts, creating quality content is a crucial and core part of a company's marketing strategy. Companies that allocate time and resources to create new and exciting content can see a vast range of benefits such as these:

  • The more helpful content you produce on a specific topic or topics, the more customers will feel inclined to trust you. Quality content helps define your company and establish your brand. 

  • Content stays available so whenever you post a blog or video, it adds to your existing collection of content. This can then be shared and re-shared when appropriate.

  • Interesting, relevant content attracts new viewers who may be turned into leads, prospects and customers.

  • Content helps with inbound lead sourcing. When people interact with your content, they're more likely to be more receptive to your products and services when the time is right.

Just be aware that content can be time-consuming as it requires thorough checks and optimising for it to be successful. 

From content marketing to PPC, personalisation to video marketing, there are multiple things you can allocate your marketing budget to.

A 2018 report by HubSpot found that 46% of marketing teams have higher budgets compared to previous years. Because there’s more money to spend and more ways to spend it, it’s easy to become overwhelmed...

Spend your budget wisely on an experienced marketing team

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Inbound marketing can really help you drive leads. We’ve created a handy slidedeck which will show you what a 12 month inbound marketing campaign can achieve, and answer any questions you might have along the way.

Download our ‘A Year In Inbound’ guide today.

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