Over the weekend I took my family to the Maryland Sunrise Farm so we could walk through their legendary corn maze and enjoy some fall oriented games. While we were there, I talked with some local vendors/business owners about their perspective businesses, pain points and (of course) their digital marketing strategy.
A few owners told me they spend (on average) 30 minutes or less per week on their digital marketing strategy, which only consists of a Facebook page. After I had explained the benefits of a substantial web presence, many wanted to know exactly how many hours per week they needed to spend on their digital marketing strategy to achieve a decent return on investment. So, I decided to write this article and include a calculator that will estimate how much time you should spend on your digital marketing strategy, and yes, I built it myself.
The calculation is based on a report of collected data on the average money spent on marketing – published by Chris Leone of Web Strategies Inc. Another disclaimer, there’s no way for me to tell how experienced you are with digital marketing strategies (including implementation). It’s impossible for me to say whether or not the calculator will determine your best possible ROI, so keep in mind the calculator is a fun tool to help you decide how much time you should be spending.
Before I get into sharing with you the calculator’s magic number, please take a step back and ask yourself a few questions about your digital marketing strategy.
Is digital marketing right for your business?
Are people searching for your product or service? If so, how many and what exactly are they searching for you? Google offers a free tool to help you figure this out and I highly suggest you learn how to use it. If people find aren’t searching for your product or service, then it might not make sense for your business.
Another way to tell if digital marketing is right for your business, consider these:
- Do you need a way to capture leads?
- Do you sell a product or service?
How much do you know?
Keeping up with the industry is a full-time job on its own, and unless you’re entrenched in the industry already, you could be wasting a lot of time. Be honest and ask how much of these subjects do you know:
- Inbound Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Google Analytics
- Social Marketing
What’s your budget?
In 2016, the average allocation for marketing budgets among small businesses in the United States ranges between 9-12% of its annual revenue. Every business is unique and values cash differently, so I can’t say how much you should spend on marketing.
How marketing funds get allocated is driven by the nature of the business, the competitive marketplace, and how to target customers behave through the buying funnel.
How much is your time worth?
You’ve at been told how much a company values your time and if you’ve ever owned a business better know how much your time is worth. Include this dollar amount into the calculator as it will help you determine how much time you can afford to spend on your DM strategy.
Remember, your time and money are an investment, so carefully watch your return!
Also factor in how much time will you need to spend on education and keeping up with this ever changing industry. If you feel your dollar amount per hour is relatively high, consider hiring a professional who already knows the industry in and out and can maximize the time vs. dollar amount.
The hardest of part digital marketing isn’t learning, it’s finding the time to pull off an effective campaign and being patient enough to see it all the way through.
Finally, here it is: