Budget planning, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Well, that is what it feels like when trying to develop a new budget that implements a new channel into the budget planning of a marketing strategy. For example, countless of times I see clients know that they need to bring digital advertising into their marketing mix. They don’t know how to do it, nor how much it will cost to start doing it. First, let’s approach this dilemma with three thoughts.
#1 Adding New Channels
Every organization’s annual planning budget and marketing strategy is unique. What rocks at one organization may flop at another; therefore, testing is so important (another blog topic). Testing helps steward the budget for greatest return on investment with the lowest risk of loss. The key is to know your audience, properly message them and provide channels that engage them best. Studies have proven that a multi-channel marketing strategy brings higher return than using one channel. Not all channels will bring immediate revenue; however, many simply build a community that converts into revenue. And testing messages help increase response. Before getting into the content details, my questions to you are….
- Do you have a multi-channel integrated program?
- Do you need help determining what channels are needed to implement?
- Do you need to budget for a beginner mail program?
- Or a beginner email program?
- Or a beginner social advertising program?
Take baby steps. Most importantly, get the channels in your budget with a vision for the next 3 years. Sure, the realistic cost to begin a new marketing channel may not get fully approved; but now is the time to put it in and gradually build it up over the next 2 to 3 years.
#2 Invite a Partner
You’re not alone. You may have corporate and business partners in your database already. For example, ask them to sponsor a digital campaign for you. Ask a production facility to help comp some print and assembly for you. Just ask for help. For example, a therapy program for special needs kids needed more donations to help prepare for the upcoming season. A realtor covered the costs for a social media ad campaign to help raise funds for student’s attendance fees. That $1K dollar gift helped raise $5,000 in gifts and over 20 students were covered. By the next year, the organization budgeted to do $1K worth of social ads on their own. The board knew the investment would provide a return. They just had to see it to believe it. That realtor matched the investment.
#3 Utilize Media Grants
Utilize marketing grants and free social services. For example, Google Grant offers $10K credit a month to help ignite your online advertising. YouTube and Facebook have programs to help nonprofits too. For example, videotelling is so important in marketing today. One of my little nonprofit clients were able to grow their database by 70% and gain $15K in funds through a storytelling video. No landing pages were needed; this was good since they really didn’t have an engaging website. YouTube allowed for an immediate donate button in the video linked to their PayPal gift form. And yes, that PayPal for Nonprofit form was also free.
This blog is to inspire you to take budget season as a time to capture the opportunity to add a new channel into the mix.
Need help maneuvering that budget? We can help. Let’s talk! Call (404) 277-8365 or email [email protected] and see how we can help your budget to support the future of your organization.