What You Should Be Prepared to Spend on Digital Marketing in 2018

Gone are the days when businesses of all shapes and sizes spent the majority of their advertising dollars on traditional advertising mediums like billboards, newspapers, T.V., and radio. Now, almost all businesses regardless of their size spend most of their hard earned profits on digital marketing.

Statistics don’t lie!

Over the last decade, there has been a strong shift to online advertising by offline businesses. In fact, the advertising budget allocated to traditional methods has dropped by single digits every year over the past 5 years and digital marketing advertising has grown by double-digit percentages during the same time frame for businesses across the globe.

As a small business, your revenue dollars should go a long way when it comes to advertising your company’s products/services online. Since you will not have as big a budget as the “Big Boys”, you can not afford to throw them at every digital marketing method and see what sticks.

In order to get a decent ROI on your online advertising efforts, you should know which areas of digital marketing to prioritize first and what portion of your budget you should allocate to each.

What Does a Realistic Marketing Budget Look Like?

All businesses, large and small, must reinvest their revenues to keep the company going and growing. This is perhaps even more important for small businesses who wish to survive in today’s competitive business environment.

If we take a look at a recent CMO Spend Survey which gathered data from companies around the world as to how much they allocate towards their online advertising, we can get a good foundation as to how much your small business should allocate towards

 your digital marketing campaigns.

Overall Marketing Budget

According to the survey, most businesses allocate at least 10% of company revenues on various forms of marketing.

Digital Marketing Budget

According to the survey, the majority of today’s businesses spend over 25% of their total marketing budget on digital marketing.

Prioritizing Your Digital Ad Budget

The next step in figuring out how much you should spend is to figure out which part you will spend it on. Digital Marketing is a huge field and consists of many methods and strategies. Therefore, it is important for small business to narrow down the range of the most important aspects of digital marketing in order to spend their money wisely.

According to a recent marketing chart, successful B2B digital marketing campaigns over the last few years were mostly geared to generating leads and converting those leads. Basically, this equates to getting online traffic (visitors) and converting them to leads or sales.

There are three main digital marketing priorities that can accomplish these tasks:

  1. Digital Advertising
  2. Content Marketing
  3. Website Development & Design.

Digital Advertising: This consist of paid advertising mediums like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Youtube Ads, and a host of other social media and lesser-known platforms that offer Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Pay-Per-Impression (PPI), or a flat rate to show your ad for a specific time frame. This is the fastest way to generate traffic to your site but can be the most expensive as well.

Content Marketing: Content is still king online, therefore it is important to provide your visitors with engaging and relevant content that is provided free of cost (at first). This helps build trust and a long-lasting relationship which is the most important part of the conversion process. Engaging content includes blog articles, press releases, videos, infographics, and images.

Website Design/Development: Aside from being part of a well-rounded Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, your website should be properly arranged for ease-of-use and conversion tactics. Once you have guided visitors to your site, engaged them with valuable content, you then want to make it easy for them to opt-into your prospect list and become a part of your sales funnel, which hopefully ends in a new customer.

How Much To Allocate

Now that you know how much to spend for your digital marketing campaigns (25% of 10% of revenue), as well as which areas of digital marketing to focus on first, we can now break down the percentages even further for each of the three main areas of digital marketing.

Here is the breakdown:

13% of your advertising budget should go to Digital Advertising.

12% of your advertising budget should go to Content Creation/Marketing.

12% of your advertising budget should go to Website Design/Development.

For example, in very simple terms, assuming you have an ad budget of $10,000 the allocated amount would look something like this:

Digital Advertising: $1,300

Content Creation/Marketing: $1,200

Website Design/Development: $1,200


Having a planned out budget for your digital marketing campaigns is essential for you and your small business to see a positive ROI. Allocating the budget through the 3 main categories listed above will ensure a continuous amount of customers/clients both now and well into the future.