4 Tips for Determining Your Social Media Marketing Spend in 2017

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budget

Christmas is fast approaching, and we’ve got a brand new year basically starting tomorrow. Which means you need to get your marketing budget locked down and approved so you can spend 2017 basking in the glory of success.

We’ve got you. Whether you’re looking to completely restructure your marketing efforts, or simply need some help convincing your C-level executives to approve your budget, we’re here to help you accomplish your marketing goals. How? Simple!

Organization.

Maybe it’s just us… but this whole “back to school” mentality that starts in late August and lasts through the end of November (before we all turn into pie-eating, elfin eared maniacs) inspires us to grab a hot cup of coffee and revel in the shiny white glow of a blank document on our computer/tablet/smartphone screens. It’s goal setting time! Time to focus on how you’re going to make the next year better, stronger, more successful. In order to do that, you probably need to beef up your marketing strategy. And that usually comes with needing a bigger budget.

In order to know how to allocate and make the most of your marketing dollars, you need to have clearly defined goals and a strong path to help you get there. Knowing how you plan to divide your time and spend your money will bolster your efforts towards success, and help you advocate for the tools and resources you need to reach those tactical objectives.

So… what are your goals? 

First, ask yourself a few questions.

  • Who is my audience?
  • What do I want to tell my audience?
  • Where can I reach them?
  • When is the best time to reach them?
  • How am I going to get my messages to them?
  • Why do I think this is a valuable effort?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start to get a clearer picture of your target market, your channels for reaching them, and what you want to accomplish.

Next, start listing those goals!

There’s a blinking cursor staring at you. It’s begging the question: what do you want to accomplish? Are you looking to expand your customer base, and maybe reach a new audience (ahem, millennials)? Or do you want to better engage with your current customers and build a community and stronger brand loyalty? Maybe you want to see more downloads of your bank’s app, new accounts opened, and cross-selling success through social media outreach. Even if your goal is simply “make a Facebook page,” it needs to be defined. Knowing what you want to accomplish is the most important step in advocating for your budgeting dollars.

Take stock of what you’ve got so far.

Are your marketing-specific goals in line with company-wide goals? Make sure the efforts you’re pushing for in marketing reflect what’s happening with the rest of the company. Remember, your goals should be measurable — so don’t be too lofty. A few big-picture goals can help you keep you eye on the prize; but smaller, measurable goals will help you take actionable steps toward achieving those big ideas.

Lookin’ good! 2017 is starting to shape up nicely!

Okay. Great. Now, how are you going to do all of this? 

First: Breathe. Slowly. We know a good goal-setting session can increase your heart rate and get you excited (and maybe a little scared) for all that work you just outlined. You can do it. We’re here to help.

Let’s say your goal is to build your social media presence and digital marketing efforts in order to better engage with your current and potential customers. How will you know if you’re being successful? Who is going to be responsible for each of these goals you just set?

How will you know you’re succeeding?

Benchmarks. Regular reporting. Checking in with your team (even if that’s, well, just you) frequently to make sure everyone is in line, honest, and on track with your 2017 goals. Measuring marketing ROI can be difficult, so dedicating a serious chunk of your ever-elusive time to plotting your tracking efforts is a worthwhile investment.

Make a plan for how frequently you’re going to follow-up on each of these goals, and what you hope to see at each checkpoint. If you’re really ambitious, you might start thinking of some potential pivots that may be necessary to adjust your campaigns and beef up your results once you get started. The key to having measurable goals is actually measuring them!

What tools and resources do you need to succeed?

Here’s where the money talk starts to get real. You are likely going to need a mix of staff, software, pay-per-click ads, design, and most definitely time – all of which cost money. Take stock of the estimated time and associated costs for each of your goals to get a better sense of how your budget might need to grow – keeping in mind how you plan to grow the bottom line once you successfully knock each of these goals out of the park, of course.

Time management is one of the toughest obstacles marketers face. With myriad audiences who all receive information in different ways, it can be challenging to reach every current and potential client in the right medium. While we think it’s great to be available to your customers on all appropriate channels, we know not every company is staffed with the workforce to be constantly monitoring, posting, revising, and interacting with everyone on the other side of an email, tweet, Facebook post, LinkedIn message, phone call, or direct mail piece.

Scaling is important. If you know you want to be on social media, but don’t have hours a day to devote to monitoring interaction with clients, research where your target audience spends the most time, and hone your efforts in that direction.

A social media marketing and compliance platform for banks can help you manage your time effectively, allowing you to push out your messages to your social channels securely, build your online community, and stay engaged with your customers. The platform should also include reporting features to make it easy to track your results, and a dashboard to keep everything in one easy-to-read location.

Make sure you can approve your team’s posts before they go live, and protect against social media blunders with restricted keywords. Most importantly, the platform you choose should help your entire team engage with your audience and protect your social media presence in a manner that’s compliant with social media regulations in the financial services sector.

Want to keep these tips handy? Download Gremlin’s 4 Tips for Determining Your Social Media Marketing Spend cheatsheet.

Now go start that fresh pot of coffee and get to work!

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