You've got a $10,000 marketing budget and are not sure where or how to spend it. Do you go all-in on ads or influencers? Which tools will help you achieve your marketing goals? Is $10,000 even enough?!?!
How you spend a marketing budget depends on several factors, including your product, industry, target market, channels, and location. For example, national TV ads might work well for a mass-market product like Coca-Cola but don’t deliver a good ROI for a niche brand like HubSpot.
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For this article, we're going to explore what you can get out of a $10,000 marketing budget and reference two common startup/small business scenarios:
- A B2B SaaS product
- A B2C eCommerce store
We're going to cover several key considerations for most marketing budgets:
- Social Media Management
- Visual Content Creation (graphic design/video)
- Paid Ads
Is $10,000 a Big Enough Marketing Budget for a Small Business?
We realize $10,000 is an arbitrary round number. A $10,000 marketing budget is a dream for some small businesses, while others might spend this amount just on paid ads in a month.
The truth is you can do marketing and build an audience with zero budget. It will take some time and a lot of work, but you'll find creative ways to growth hack your budget constraints. The idea of growth hacking was developed for small businesses and marketers with limited or no budget.
So, if a $10,000 marketing budget is all you can afford, this article will hopefully help you spend that money wisely.
Tools and plugins are critical for any business these days. There are several tools a marketing campaign must have, and then others that are not so essential, especially if you're on a tight budget.
Email marketing software is the first must-have tool. There are very few instances where email marketing isn't a crucial element to an effective marketing campaign. Luckily, we have two fantastic FREE email marketing tools that scale as your business grows.
- B2B SaaS email marketing software: GetResponse—FREE for up to 500 subscribers, then plans start at $12 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers. The free plan includes email marketing, landing pages, signup forms, and a website builder.
- B2C eCommerce email marketing software: Klaviyo—FREE for up to 250 subscribers, then $30 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers.
Design software is another must-have marketing tool. Luckily, there are tons of free tools, including Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud Express, and more. If you need something more professional, you'll need a program like Adobe Photoshop, which starts at $9.99 per month.
If part of your marketing strategy involves SEO, you'll need a keyword research tool to find keywords and analyze the competition. Many businesses immediately turn to premium keyword research tools like ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush, which can cost hundreds of dollars.
For a small business, these tools are overkill and won't offer an ROI for the money you'll spend. We use Neil Patel's Ubersuggest. Plans start at $29 per month, and you have the option for a one-off lifetime payment of $290—meaning you pay once and never again!
Our final must-have tool is a password manager to share passwords with team members safely. Password security is crucial in our current climate of data breaches and cyberattacks. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to attack because criminals see these entities as easy targets—good for a few thousand dollars.
TeamPassword is a secure password management solution with plans starting at $38 per month for five users. You can also pay annually and get two months free. TeamPassword allows you to share credentials with internal teams, freelancers, and clients.
Sign up for a 14-day free trial to try TeamPassword for your company.
Other tools you might want to consider for your business:
Social media management
We don't see social media management as an essential tool because you can save money by posting directly to social media platforms. Some platforms even let you schedule content to post on a future date.
- Hootsuite - a comprehensive tool with powerful monitoring, reporting, and analytics. Plans start at $49 with a 30-day free trial.
- Later - FREE for six social media profiles and 30 posts per month.
Project management is another tool that's not essential. A spreadsheet is a good alternative for small businesses looking to save money.
- Asana - FREE for up to 15 teammates.
- Monday - FREE for up to two team members, then $8 per month per user.
An excellent way to turn customers into salespeople is by offering an affiliate marketing plan for your products. Depending on the type of products or services you sell, you can offer to pay affiliates in cash or store credit.
- GoAffPro - FREE hobby plan or $24 per month for all the features.
- Affiliatly - starts at $16 per month for up to 50 affiliates.
Both of these options integrate with top CMS platforms, including Shopify, Woocommerce, Squarespace, Wix, Webflow, and more.
If you want some more ideas for marketing tools, check out this article on the 25 Best Startup Tools.
Many small businesses don't pay enough attention to blogging because it takes so long to get a return on investment. But blog content can be highly effective over the long run and can complement other areas of your marketing efforts.
Blogging doesn't mean telling people about the latest events at your business or letting people know that you've just hired Susan in accounts. A blogging strategy should focus on helping your customers solve problems relevant to your business.
For example, at TeamPassword, we create content around cybersecurity, working with remote teams, and small business/startup/agency topics of interest. This content represents the interests of our customer base and, through search engines, will help us acquire more of the same customers.
If you don't have a suitable internal writer, you'll need to hire freelancers to research and write blog content. We recommend spending at least $100 per article (be prepared for a fair amount of editing at this rate), but you'll find the best value for around $300 to $500.
Aim to publish between 10-20 articles per month, more if you can afford it. Avoid publishing just for the sake of targeting keywords! Search engine algorithms are incredibly sophisticated and can detect poor grammar/quality, keyword stuffing, and other deceptive tactics.
Guest Posting and Influencers
Guest posting with other websites or social media influencers can be effective in driving traffic and sales. Make sure you choose people relevant to your niche and use tracking links or coupon codes to measure the campaign's success.
You can find micro-influencers (less than 10,000 followers) on Instagram willing to promote your brand for as little as $50 - $100 per post or story. Micro-influencers are often highly effective because they have excellent reach and engagement.
Also, consider guest posting an article on a blog or publication relevant to your niche. Some blogs will allow a free post for quality content, while others you might have to pay. Prices vary from $100 to $10,000, depending on the website and traffic quality.
Paid ads can be highly effective for some products and services, while other businesses might battle to achieve a good ROI.
If you're going to implement a paid ads strategy, we recommend educating yourself about setting up a campaign correctly or hiring a freelancer/agency.
The average cost per click (CPC) can vary wildly depending on your niche, market, competitors, location targeting, and more. For example, the average CPC on Google ads for the keyword insurance is $55, while bread is only $0.27.
Keyword research tools (including Ubersuggest) will provide you with an average CPC so you can get an idea of what to expect for your budget.
With almost 2 billion daily active users, Facebook (including Instagram) is another popular choice to run ads. Like Google, the average CPC on Facebook will vary depending on your industry and audience.
SaaStr Annual, TechCrunch Disrupt, CXO Summit 2021 are popular virtual event marketing channels for B2B products and services. These events sell packages for brands to promote their products and even speak in one of the virtual conference rooms.
Events are a great way to demonstrate your product and present case studies to attendees—usually in a Ted-Talk presentation style. The event organizer may even post your talk on their social media channels afterward, increasing your reach and brand exposure.
An events package might look something like this:
- Attend (as a brand)
- Attend + speak
- Attend + speak + get the contact list
Expect to pay anywhere from $4,000 to $25,000 + for an event package.
Social Media Management
Social media is a time-consuming yet crucial element of modern marketing. Hiring someone to manage your social media will allow you to focus on other areas of your business.
A quality social media manager can cost upwards of $100 per hour—beyond most small business budgets.
If you're looking for basic social media management, you can find a freelancer on Upwork for between $500 - $1,500 per month. For this rate, they'll usually create the content and post 3-5 times per week to four social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter).
Important: make sure you find a trustworthy freelancer and only share access through a password manager to protect your social media assets.
The Importance of Secure Password Management
Whether you have no budget or $10,000, marketing campaigns always require you to share passwords with coworkers, clients, and freelancers.
TeamPassword is an affordable password management solution designed to help small businesses and startups share company credentials securely.
Sign up for a 14-day free trial to explore TeamPassword's security features with your team today!