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All media channels must have budgets and here’s why

Creating awareness and engagement for your brand relies on marketing and advertising, which accounts for a massive amount of businesses worldwide. In fact, in 2016 the average marketing budget increased by 12 per cen, based on 300 companies polled across the UK and America in the Gartner 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey. The survey also confirmed that last year was the third consecutive year of budget increases when it came to marketing.

Media makes up much of the marketing budget, including social media and paying for adverts on television, in magazines, and online. So it makes sense for a company to have a media budget to pay for these adverts. However, a media budget should be flexible, based on what works best for your company and industry.

There are a few different ways to work out how and where you should be spending your media budget, and these are the more valuable.

Channel mapping will highlight how to best spend your media budget

Channel mapping involves looking at each media channel, or platform, and tracking the success to see which channel brings you the most business or hits to your website. For example, you should be able to track the difference between organic traffic and direct traffic to your website, just by channel mapping. Channel mapping will allow you to see the top-performing channel, as well as track the acquisition, behaviour, and conversions, to see which channel should be getting more of your media budget.

However, it’s important to remember that each channel can bring business to your company in different ways. For example, social media may bring more customers to your website when compared to organic traffic, but customers searching organically may spend more time and money on your website.

Each channel works differently to drive traffic, increase brand awareness and visibility, as well as conversions. Because of this, channel mapping should be an ongoing project in your business, rather than a one-time event. Your marketing team should be regularly checking to track any changes in customer behaviour in order to effectively plan the marketing campaign, and decide how best to spend the media budget.

Evaluate spend and successes in relation to the media budget

Once you’ve highlighted where to spend your media budget, you need to understand how to spend your budget in the best way, to get the highest return on investment. Once you have paid for the media channel, it’s important to measure the effectiveness of the campaign, as well as make sure the advert appears in the right place for your business. This process, known as media auditing, can help you plan future campaigns in order to target the audience in the best way.

For businesses that aren’t trained in how the media industry works, there are consultancy firms dedicated to offering advice, training, connecting brands with media channels, and even media auditing. Global agency AuditStar, for example, will “cover the whole media audit process from initial brief to post-campaign results analysis”. Working alongside a digital agency can take some of the workload off your shoulders, and allows you to get an expert opinion on how to run any future campaigns.

Be flexible with your media budget to get the highest return on investment

Most businesses will advertise on a number of different media channels, including social media accounts, magazines, TV, and the internet. Using a few different media channels ensures that your business is seen by a wide and varied audience, including your target audience and potential future customers.

However, you may find that one channel works better than others, which may then require more funding as you boost the marketing in that media even more. Using analytical tools, you will be able to see which strategies should get the most investment from the media budget, which should earn you even more return on investment (ROI).

It’s important to have a flexible media budget, to account for any changes in the marketing plan, according to how your audience and customers react. You should keep a constant eye on the effectiveness of each campaign, to ensure that you’re getting the highest ROI for each media channel used. However, for smaller businesses, it’s important to only use the media channels you can afford, before scaling up as your business—and media budget—grows.

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