The Definitive Guide to


Answers for (almost) all things digital.

Navigating Budget

How much should I budget for digital marketing?

There is no quick and dirty answer for this. Why? Because like your tactics, messaging and design, your budget should be rooted in strategy. Where and what you spend your money on will greatly vary based on what your goals are. And much like anything else in the real world, you get what you pay for – for better or worse.


For example, if you’re trying to drive brand recognition on social media, you’ll want to budget for paid ads in addition to rolling out a content marketing campaign (which requires the resources of copywriting and design at a minimum). You’ll need to consider who will do the work – an in-house employee? Contractor? Agency? What overhead costs are associated (design software, research subscriptions, etc.)? As these answers vary, so do the budgetary needs.


While we can’t give you a specific number for all the reasons above, here is some perspective:


  • A Google-commissioned study by Deloitte found that when compared to less digitally-focused businesses, those who embrace digital strategy earned four times the revenue growth and had an average employment growth rate that was six times higher.
  • As a general rule, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that businesses with revenues below $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenue to marketing.
  • There are several free business calculators available that can provide some additional context and perspective.

How do I make the most of my digital budget?

  1. Use what you pay for. If you subscribe to services or platforms such as Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Buffer, Hubspot, etc., learn the tools inside and out and make them work hard for you. And instead of segmenting between different services, find one or two that best fit your needs, instead of paying for a bunch and only accessing a limited portion of their capabilities.
  3. Figure out your must-haves and allocate there first. Instead of being everywhere half-heartedly or doing a little bit of everything poorly, ease in. Become a master of the spaces you are putting resources behind, and expand into new territory as your time and budget allows.
  5. Test, analyze and readjust. One of the giant perks of digital marketing is the real-time access to data that provides the insight needed to quickly make changes for greater impact.