Defining Your Marketing Budget for Holiday Success

December 19, 2018
Marketing budget for holiday success

Samantha Rupert is here to guide you through your marketing budget for holiday success. Samantha is the Social Media Manager at Volusion, and has over five years of experience in creating successful SEO and social media marketing campaigns with proven results.

Read her posts at the Volusion blog

With the holiday season in full swing, ecommerce businesses have to think about how they want to advertise their promotions and how much they want to spend. Solidifying a budget can be hard during this time of year. We get it! Small businesses tend to have fewer resources this at the tail end of Q4, both in terms of people and capital. But this doesn’t mean you still can’t rustle up some moolah for holiday marketing expenses!

Consider your objectives

Before just tossing money at your marketing teams, it’s important to consider your objectives. Do you have certain sales goals to hit? Need to get rid of older items for new arrivals in the New Year? Do you just want to increase your brand awareness? What’s your product and is the digital landscape already saturated with competitors campaigns? All of these things will determine how much you should budget for your marketing campaigns and what channels you should focus on.

Once you’re thinking about those things, it’s easier to begin preparing your budget for holiday marketing initiatives. So where do you start?

1. Analyze your budget

Analyze your yearly or quarterly budget. The first thing you should do is see how much money you have left to dedicate to your marketing efforts for the end of the year. Once you have an idea of how much you can spend, analyze the performance on all of your marketing channels to see where your conversions are coming from. This can be done through Google Analytics pretty easily in the Acquisition tab. Are they coming from social? How about display or PPC? Maybe more of your sales come through organically. Whatever channels historically make you the most money, focus the majority of your marketing budget there. The U.S. Small Business Administration advises that brands should spend about 7 percent of their gross revenue on marketing if they bring in under $5 million annually. While this is the average recommendation, you should determine an amount that your business is comfortable with.

2. Research your competition

Find out what types of campaigns they are running on social. Due to its commitment to transparency, Facebook recently added a feature for consumers to see what ads brands are running at all times. This gives brands the ability to spy on competitors and create campaigns that may edge out the competition. If you see that your biggest competitor is running heaps of holiday ads, but Facebook is a well-converting channel for your brand, it may still be worth spending more money to create more compelling ads and reach more of your customers.

3. Set realistic and actionable goals.

This is key for determining your marketing budget. Again, but analyzing performance from last year, decide on what you’d like to accomplish this year. Do you want to increase sales by 5 percent? 10 percent? Whatever it is, decide on a goal that will challenge you, but is also realistic given the amount of money you have to spend, saturation in the market and historical sales data. Once you have successfully defined your goals, you can begin building your marketing campaigns!

4. Track campaign success.

Lastly, be sure to measure your campaign’s success to understand how they are impacting your goals and if you need to adjust budget. For instance, if you are seeing that your PPC or Google Shopping ads are spending a lot, but you’re seeing low conversion rates, you may want to cut back on spend and focus it on campaigns that are generating more sales for your business. Most marketing campaigns are not “set it and forget it.” When it comes to holiday campaigns, the digital advertising realm can be volatile, so it’s important to keep an eye on how much you’re spending and adjust your bid strategy when necessary.

We hope this will help shed some light on how to define your holiday marketing budgets and give you a kickstart. If you’d like to learn more about ecommerce marketing, check out the Volusion blog for additional guides and resources. Wishing you a happy holiday season and an even better New Year! Happy selling!

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