Allocating Your Dealership’s Annual Marketing Budget
Once you have figured out how much you will spend for the year on Marketing, you must then decide how to allocate that budget across the many different channels available to you. With so many types of digital advertising to choose from, it can be a daunting task. Let’s take a look at some of the different advertising channels and what function they have in your marketing strategy.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is defined as any marketing strategy that takes place through digital means- usually through internet-connected devices. That is pretty broad. There are many tactics and methods you can use that all fall under the digital marketing umbrella. Let’s take a deeper look at these tactics and how to allocate your marketing budget.
7 Types of Digital Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization: Also known as SEO, Search Engine Optimization is the process of making a website more visible and attractive to search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The goal is to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to a business’s website from these search engines. SEO begins with great content. Do keyword research and really dig in to creating content that your target audience wants to read. Search Engine Optimization is one of the most valuable marketing tools there is, but it does take a little time to gain momentum and show progress.
- Pay-Per-Click: PPC ads are a great way to get people to your site who are more likely to convert into customers. PPC Ads are also known as search engine marketing. In fact, studies show that PPC visitors are 50% more likely to convert than organic traffic. If you’re looking for a way to get more leads for your business, PPC ads are an excellent option. PPC ads break down even further into search, display, responsive, retargeting (and more). These can get rather complicated, but you are able to target specific types of customers and reach customers at a stage in their buying journey that they are ready to convert. If you need immediate results, PPC Ads are probably for you.
- Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing (SMM) (also known as digital marketing and e-marketing) is the use of social media—the platforms on which users build social networks and share information—to build a company’s brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. There are both paid and free options available to your business. Paid advertising on social media produces much quicker results than organic.
- Content Marketing: Content marketing is a smart way to grow your business by attracting, engaging, and retaining an audience. You can do this by creating and sharing articles, videos, podcasts, and other types of content that is relevant to them. This approach establishes your brand as an expert in your industry, promotes awareness of your business, and keeps you top of mind when your audience is ready to buy. Content marketing refers to informational, valuable content like blog posts, how-to’s and other instructional material. This type of marketing helps you connect with your customers and answer questions or provide a solution to their issues. This can help to generate leads and close sales. Content marketing takes some time to develop, so you aren’t going to see immediate results.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing is a powerful way to connect with your audience and promote your product or service. It can be used to announce new products or services, offer discounts or other promotions, educate your audience on the value of your brand, or keep them engaged between purchases. Email marketing can be customized to fit any need or budget, making it a versatile tool for any business.
- Mobile Marketing: Mobile marketing is a type of marketing that aims to reach an audience of mobile users through smartphone applications, advertisements, and push notifications. Mobile marketing is the process of promoting your product or service on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Mobile marketing can be done through mobile-optimized ads, push notifications and mobile apps. Reaching your audience through their mobile devices is a great way to connect with them and promote your product or service. The average person spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone each day. 1 in 5 of these people use their mobile phone more than 4.5 hours a day. That’s an average of at least 24 ads per day per person being seen. You can reach a large amount of people no matter where they are.
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing allows companies to effectively market a product with a low budget, low effort and time, and at a well-contained risk level while guaranteeing a high return on your investment, increase in brand awareness, and business growth. In the green industry, there aren’t quite so many influencer’s as in other industries. They may come at a higher cost, but you will be able to see directly how they are helping your sales by using special promo codes and offers.
How do I know which channels to use?
How many marketing channels should you be using for your business? The short answer is: as many as you can! The more practical answer depends on how much time and money you have to invest in your marketing strategy. While PPC and Social Media Paid ads can generate quick sales, they are more expensive and thus require more of an investment to upkeep. If you have the time (or money to hire an agency) I would recommend allocating a little bit of your budget across all or most of the channels discussed above. By utilizing multiple channels, you are giving yourself multiple ways to gain valuable leads, increase sales, build relationships and customer loyalty and increase brand awareness.
A good starting point would be to allocate a portion of your budget to each of the main marketing channels: paid advertising (both PPC and social media), SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing. By using a mix of these channels, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance to generate leads, sales, and brand awareness.
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