Statups usually allocate marekting budgets on an on-demand basis. This by itself should not cause any problems as long as all aspects of marketing are considered during the high level company budgeting.
A decade ago, a company’s marketing budget was a mere fraction of their total operating cost. However, according to Gartner 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey marketing budgets are continuing a steady climb now accounting for 12% of company’s revenue and within this amount, 10% goes to social media. The survey also indicates that there will be continued focus on growth in the coming years.But to be fair, marketing was a lot simpler.
There are two main reasons why marketing’s budgets are increasing year over year.
1) Digital marketing is taking the driver seat in this SEO and social media era where prospects expect to get educated based on digital content before talking to a sales rep. So, marketing’s role is very critical in creating and nurturing leads. In many businesses, the sales also happen online with no sales interaction. In large B2B type of businesses, sales reps take over the process after the prospect is completely educated and shown interest.
2) Marketing has many more flavors including social media marketing, influencer marketing, content marketing and others that have shown siginificant ROI. However, demands large investments too.
Brand awareness being the initial most important strategy for startups, social media marketing plays a very big role.
Let’s look at what Social Marketing Budgeting at Startups should look include,
1. On-going Daily Social Activities including creating and managing social presence, posting creative content, and sharing industry news. Either an in-house resource (half a person) or an external agency can be hired to these tasks.
2. Sponsor Ads may not be necessary in the beginning for startups as you are still trying to understand and build audiences. Extensively utilize organic social reach to understand audience and their response before venturing into sponsored ads.
3. Social Media Services like LinkedIn navigator to accelerate building target lists.
4. Analytical Tools are very important to track and measure results. Without, learning from organic reach as who interacts with your brand, how do they interact and their reaction to your messaging, content and positioning are very important. There are several tools including Google Analytics that can measure website traffic and their sources. However, measuring specifically social media tracking is critical.
At Advo.Ninja, we deeply understood all the challenges a startup face during their launch and beyond around social reach. So, we created a social media marketing platform that creates everlasting marketing impact utilizing employee social networks.
We also created a deep analytics module to that creates a single pane of glass for tracking social-post performances across all the social netwroks, audience feedback, behavior and also easy employee participation in marketing. We also help build each employee social profiles while creating high impactful branding.
If you have very tight budgets, there are several low-cost to free options.
DIY Hootsuite is a widely used platform for managing social media. You have the free option or you can pay a really low price for a more in–depth version.
Hiring an Intern is another option though but you run the risk of having to spend a great deal of time teaching the individual or having a ‘non-expert’’ making decisions that can cost you dearly in the long run.
You can also hire a third party such as advo.ninja that based on a fee, coordinates posting, sharing and managing all your social media accounts effortlessly while giving you real time analytics.
In conclusion, there is no one way or rule dictating how much to budget on social media for companies yet alone startups. But, make sure you list out all the activities before setting aside your budget.
Be ahead of the game and encourage employee advocacy!