Digital Marketing Costs: How Much Should I Spend?

Here are the facts: digital marketing has become a vital component of a business’ growth strategy. Without it, it’s becoming increasingly impossible to reach out to and connect with your target audience. Just think about it: consumers nowadays spend the vast majority of their time on their computer or glued to their mobile phones, browsing the internet. If your business isn’t where your prospects are, then you are missing valuable opportunities.

Here’s another thing that you need to consider. Your competition is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of digital marketing. According to recent data, 70% of small businesses plan to increase their online marketing budget in 2017.

So, the question you may be asking yourself now is: how much should I be spending on digital marketing?

While the exact costs depend on your niche, location, competition, and target audience, here’s a benchmark that can help you get started.

How Much Should I Spend on Digital Marketing?

Most experts suggest that you should spend between 12% and 20% of your gross revenue if you want to see significant results from your marketing efforts. Keep in mind that if you are a new business that is just getting started, you may have to dig a little dipper if you want to acquire brand awareness, put your name on the map, and capture the market’s attention.

Another factor that can influence your budget significantly is what you plan to achieve. Based on your goals, the industry, and your competition, you may be spending as much as 70% of your overall budget or as little as 5%.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should invest almost everything in marketing. If you’re having a difficult time figuring out how to improve your online presence, then it’s best to work with experts specialized in your niche. For example, if you’ve just launched a physical therapy clinic, then an agency specialized in this type of services can help you determine how much you need to invest to be successful.

How to Make Sure You Are Spending the Money Right

To ensure that your marketing dollars will bring satisfying results take the time to do proper research. Try to develop an insightful understanding of your audience – who are they, what do they want, and where can you find them? Look for influencers in your reach and reach out to them to help you build brand awareness. Analyze your competitor’s strategy and try to determine if there’s something you can do to supercharge your marketing and outdo them.

Regardless of the size of your budget, however, make sure to focus on the following marketing strategies:

  • social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • mobile marketing
  • email
  • search engine optimization and a mobile-friendly website
  • display advertising
  • guest posting
  • reputation management

Monitor your results carefully and evaluate your strategy to see which measures generated results and which should be tweaked. Adjust your marketing based on the data you collect. For example, maybe you need to increase your Facebook advertising budget to promote a special event. Or, maybe you are having some SEO challenges, and you need to direct parts of your budget to fix them.


The real question you need to ask yourself is: How much do you want to increase your sales?

Here’s the hard truth: you can’t expect sales to grow by 30% if you only invest 2% in digital marketing. However, you can achieve great things even with a small budget. You need, of course, a sound marketing strategy, clear objective, and a plan to achieve them.


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