Maximize your 2024 marketing budget: 5 tips for success

Blog Budget Start-Up Tips

With 2023 coming just around the corner, companies are busy planning strategies and budgets for the new year. Naturally, this raises discussions over how to organize spending so that you get the most bang for your buck. 

How to Strengthen ROI with Your 2024 Marketing Budget

1. Tieback your marketing activity metrics to your budget. 

The goals you set for your marketing and activities depend on many factors, especially your business stage. (Obviously, if you are in a very early stage, your marketing activities focus on attracting new customers or gaining new subscribers, whereas a more established business focuses on retention marketing strategies.) As a CEO, being aware of which marketing activities generate most of your leads ensures the marketing budget is being well spent on the appropriate channels, and then later re-invested in the top-performing areas. 

Image: CFI’s FREE Corporate Finance Class.

Tying your marketing metrics to your budget is very important to help your business grow.

Example business goals for 2024:

  • Increase pipeline by 10% each month
  • Grow brand equity and brand presence
  • Boost sales to existing customers
  • Enter a new market
  • Increase collaboration between sales and marketing teams
  • Improve quality of incoming leads
  • Strengthen company culture

All of these goals influence the tactics you choose, the budget, and a coherent strategy. All of these marketing goals and activities are ultimately about generating business growth.

Tip >> Review your marketing performance and budget regularly. Stay committed to your marketing goals, but adjust allocations for each activity based on ROI. 

2. Make adjustments as you go, and re-evaluate the ROI of every activity.

Ask yourself how each marketing activity is moving the business toward achieving its strategic goals. Marketing budgets for companies require a lot of planning, but there’s also room for adjustments.

  • Does your business really need to be at trade shows to source and convert leads? Or would the same funds be better spent on webinars or PPC?
  • What platform does your target audience use to consume content? Do they use social media? For B2B companies, LinkedIn is a good tool for promotional use and direct communications. Quora is also a good way for B2B companies to reach audiences.

Tip >> Be prepared to shift your marketing activities quickly, easily. Don’t get hung up or fall in love with one aspect of your marketing budget which may later need to be changed. Remember, marketing is a mix and not a one channel activity.

3. Pace yourself for the marathon of marketing growth.

If you have not already done so, put a calendar in front of you and line it up side-by-side with both your marketing budget and product roadmap. Create estimates and go back to check again what you think will be needed throughout the year compared to actual spend.

  • As an overview, you might see that Q1 and Q2 are really strong
  • Q3 might be a bit slower because of summer vacation
  • Q4 can also be a little slower due to winter holidays

Tip >> You probably aren’t due for a vacation anytime soon, so take mini-breaks with your marketing team to celebrate major milestones. If that’s not in the budget, simply rewarding yourselves with one late morning could work, too. 

4. Get your customers involved.

This is a marketing concept to keep you within your budget, and at the same time, aim for growth. What can you do to motivate other people to be your brand ambassadors and market your business for you? DropBox used an incentive strategy, offering something of value to customers in exchange for sending their friends or colleagues to sign up. DropBox offered additional free storage, but likewise, you can develop a free offer to entice customers to give you referrals. Consider offering something of value but without any major investment – such as a free audit, widget, a custom demo, or downloadable material – in exchange for referral leads.

Additionally, you can engage your customers in testimonials and adding them to your website and marketing materials to encourage cross-promotion. Happy customers are more than glad to have you add your logo to your website to spread the word about their business as well.

Tip >> Win new customers from existing ones. Offer customers something of value in exchange for sending their friends and colleagues as new leads.

5. Make sure your marketing team is the best. 

Ensure every member understands your business, tactics, and audiences and knows how to generate a relevant and effective marketing strategy and execution plan.

While we all know that the most expensive line item for almost any budget is the manpower (aka labor in accounting terms), finding and hiring experts with specific experience in sales and marketing need not be expensive. You don’t have to get a recruiter. Or a headache. The key here is to factor in your greatest expense, the labor:

  • Does it make more sense to hire a single, local full-time marketing employee versus outsourcing and bringing on an entire marketing agency to handle the soup-to-nuts of marketing projects? 
  • Some marketing agencies start small and grow with you. What does your business need?

Tip >> Hire the best based on referrals. Then, encourage your people to keep learning and growing to be the best. Keep everyone sharp by hosting lunch-n-learns or events when each member can address a topic or share expertise.

Want to get more SAGE advice?

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5 New Ways for Startups to Boost Engagement on LinkedIn in 2024

Blog LinkedIn Start-Up Tips

With new social media channels emerging daily, LinkedIn marketing for startups is still one of the leading business platforms. So how do you gain the most bang for your buck? Read more for my top 5 tips.

Once upon a time, LinkedIn was all about your next high stake job. Some used it for networking, to engage with specific people they had no other way of accessing directly.  But LinkedIn has evolved, the company page features have grown substantially and it has become an important outlet for brands to connect directly with their ideal audience. Now more than ever, startups are utilizing LinkedIn for everything from strengthening their brand identity to interacting with potential customers and attracting new workers. 

Which practices should you use to increase engagement on LinkedIn in 2024? Whether it be for your company or personal profile, this is what you can do.

How Can Startups Boost Engagement on LinkedIn in 2024?

1. Don’t Make it About You

One common mistake that can be found in most LinkedIn posts (heck – we have all done it!) is to focus on how wonderful we are, and how great our product is.

Instead, the correct focus should be: “What is in it for my intended audience?” 

“What nugget can I offer to solve their pain point?”

“What feature of the product matters to them?”

Changing the focus and writing from this mindset will increase engagement on Linkedin and create genuine interest with your ideal clients. 

2. Keep it Real

We are all tired of the same old self-promotional content. This post by Ben Zlotnick does a great job of showcasing reality versus LinkedIn’s exaggeration: 

Ben Zlotnick

This post went viral since everyone who read it felt the kernel of truth it portrayed. When you devise your strategy on how to boost engagement on Linkedin, plan your posts to be real and relatable.

3. Flex Your Storytelling Muscle 

I can’t emphasize enough how important a “story” is. In the words of New York Times best-selling author and researcher Brene Brown in her book Rising Strong

“We’re wired for story. In a culture of scarcity and perfectionism, there’s a surprisingly simple reason we want to own, integrate, and share our stories of struggle. We do this because we feel the most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories – it’s in our biology.”

In my experience, a good story will typically capture more attention in the feed than facts or tips. A captivating story will help your audience connect with you, and your post will gain more traction.
Whether it be a before-and-after story, or turning a question your client asked into a LinkedIn post – you can harness the power of story to grow your audience and engagement.

4. It’s a Social Media Platform  

Though your company page or personal profile is a great place to share your blogs or whitepapers and discuss technical issues related to your company, please remember, it’s a social media platform.

Keep it fun! Let people see the vibe at your office. Is your office pet-friendly? Share pictures of your four-pawed friends.

Holding a weekly happy hour? Take a short video of it – and invite your audience to tune in next week for a live toast.

Let your audience and potential future workers get a feel for your company’s atmosphere.

5. Increase Linkedin Post Views

Is your post going viral or is it toast?

Let’s dive into the LinkedIn algorithm for a moment. It’s quite straightforward, the more likes and especially comments (and shares) your post receives in the first hour – the “Golden Hour”, the more LinkedIn expands the circle of people that are presented with your post in their feed. 

When the second “circle” gets good engagement, LinkedIn will continue to expand the circles of people who are exposed to your post.

Here are a few Do’s to help your post in its Golden Hour:

  • Timing – post when your followers are online 
  • Encourage engagement by asking a question or by using a CTA
  • Response – be available to respond to anyone who engages with your post

So these are my key five ways to boost your companies’ social engagement on LinkedIn, I hope this helps increase your LinkedIn post views in 2024.

If you find you are struggling with getting your message across, Sage would be glad to help set you apart from the crowd, contact us to learn more!