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In today’s vast world of digital marketing, many marketers are faced with the question of how to best use advertising dollars to achieve the best performance. Whether this means you just scored an awesome client or have the chance to execute a killer campaign, it is important to determine where dollars will best be spent. If this applies to you, take a step back before you put together a strategy and ask yourself three important questions:

  1. What is the overall goal you want to accomplish?

  2. What are the primary KPIs that will show your client success?

  3. What various tactics do you need to consider? (Cross-channel platforms, Audiences, Objectives, Content pieces, etc.)

With these questions in mind, you will set yourself up to develop a strong social marketing strategy complemented by a strategic budget. Although there is never a 100% right answer to this question, below is a guide that can serve as a checklist for how to help best allocate your social media budget.

Plan & Setup

Use the preliminary questions above to help guide your planning stage. You will want to use this stage to map out your goals and strategies. During this stage, you should pinpoint what social channels to focus on, what is your organic and paid marketing mix, post frequency, where you will be directing your social media traffic to, and any benchmark data from past performance that can guide budget distribution.

Funnel Allocation

Now that you know what social channels you will be advertising on, it is important to think about what parts of the consumer funnel that will be most important to your campaign. Questions to consider could include – do your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) line up with generating brand awareness and reaching new customers, or do you want to drive conversions among your current customers? Below is a high-level funnel to help guide where you should be placing more budget depending on your goals. Be sure to keep a balance among other points of the funnel that could be feeding your primary KPIs.

Objectives

Depending on your original campaign strategy, it is important to think about what objectives your campaign should focus on. Do you want to focus on driving website traffic, driving purchases, or generating brand awareness? You could also focus on different objectives on different social channels or in different parts of the funnel. An example would be a focus of driving website traffic with your prospecting efforts, and separately, a goal of driving conversions with your previous customers (mid-bottom funnel). Be sure to invest more in the objectives that correlate to your primary KPIs.

Execution & Optimization

Now that you have planned out your investment and objectives for your campaigns, you are ready to execute! As you set up the execution of your campaign, I would encourage you to set aside some budget for initial A/B testing. This could be A/B testing audiences, ad units, or creative. As you launch your campaign and begin to pull in data, A/B testing (if set-up) will make it easier to optimize towards top performers. If you aren’t testing, it will still be easier to turn your budget down or off altogether on bottom performers and re-allocate investments towards top performing units.

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