Boss babes, do we have an info-packed post for you today! With 2019 rapidly approaching, it’s time to start thinking big picture for your biz in the new year—specifically your marketing budget, a topic that can get a bit gray or feel challenging at times. Should you pay for social media promotion and/or management? Do you need a new website? Copywriting? Is spending money on a photo shoot really worth it? Thankfully, we’ve got branding bestie, Anastasia of The Identité Collective, here today to answer all of those questions and so much more, including a sample $15,000 marketing budget breakdown. We hope this will inspire you to invest in your business with intention and feel fearless doing it.
From The Identité Collective… As strange as it feels to say, 2018 is swiftly coming to a close. That means two things: the holiday season is here AND it’s time to start planning your marketing budget for 2019. If you’re ready to be strategic about building the intentional brand of your dreams, this is the time to begin.
Setting branding and marketing goals should be at the top of your priority list and your budget. If you aren’t sure how much to allocate and to where, we have some ideas for you based on an annual $15k budget. No matter the size of your business, a $15,000 marketing and branding budget can prove incredibly impactful.
Our recommendation is to put your funds into channels that will provide the most impact—elevating your brand, launching or improving your website, and stepping up your social media game. By investing in avenues such as Pinterest that lead to continued, organic growth, your marketing dollars will reap a continuous return. Refining your brand’s identity and visibility is an essential investment for 2019 growth. When you hand over that task to us, we execute every detail from concept and strategy to design and development.
Based on our extensive experience in the lifestyle industry, we’ve broken down an example of how to spend your $15k marketing budget in 2019 below.
Branding, Copywriting + Web Design: $8,725
We believe that the chunk of your marketing budget goes into the foundation of your business. We begin by creating or reworking your brand so that it sells itself, with simple and timeless design that doesn’t muddle your message. Our branding and web design process is thorough—we provide you with an extensive logo suite that you will need for any format or situation, an aesthetic mood board, a client muse profile and comprehensive brand identity guidelines to maximize your investment long-term.
This part of our package also includes copywriting. Our copywriters craft content for your site that is authentic to your unique values and services that also speaks the language of your customers and the design industry. We tell your story, with a little more polish and a whole lot of search engine optimization.
Next is web design. Our bread-and-butter is creating online spaces for your brand and business to live and thrive. Each site is built from scratch, with the unique aspects we handpicked for your brand—your color palette, custom logos, hand-drawn elements, and professional copywriting. Our job isn’t unlike that of interior designers—creating spaces that are equally beautiful and functional; ours just happen to be virtual. We believe digital spaces should be just as layered, refined and inviting as physical ones.
3 Months Instagram Management: $4,455
It’s no secret that any lifestyle business hoping to be successful in 2019 needs a curated, engaging Instagram account. This app has so much power, and used correctly can be the bedrock of your marketing strategy. Instagram is one of the primary drivers of website traffic, which is why this investment comes in at a close second. Social media can be an extremely effective way to spread your message and reach your ideal audience. The only requirement: you have to know how to attract them.
We work extensively to craft your digital niche and build a community that converts to adoring clients. We offer full Instagram account management that includes:
- six curated posts per week
- professionally written captions
- on-brand photography, including stock
- bespoke hashtag strategy
- custom designed Instagram Story templates
- comment moderation
- daily engagement
For many customers and clients, Instagram is where they will be introduced to your business. We capitalize on that interaction to promote brand recognition and foster community that can’t be created elsewhere.
While many of our clients continue with our monthly Instagram management services after their initial three month contract, we set our clients up for independence and self sufficiency. You’ll receive your curated hashtag lists, suggestions for optimal posting times and a sample editorial calendar to follow.
3 Months Pinterest Scheduling + Management: Included at IDCO
Pinterest is your brand’s lifeline, especially if you are a lifestyle creative. Pinterest is the most popular source for lifestyle and home decor inspiration. Pinning your own images and re-pinning others is another way to increase brand engagement, get views for your published work, and drive traffic to your website. This is also a fantastic way to earn some passive income (peep our post on utilizing affiliate links for more info). As an added bonus to our Instagram management clients, we manage your Pinterest account, which includes scheduling out your portfolio of work on Pinterest, pinning from inspirational accounts and maintaining an active presence on the platform.
Sponsored Pins for Project Reveals: $380
Promoting pins takes Pinterest management to the next level. When you are ready to reveal a project, shoot or new product for example, we handle the launch on social media and Pinterest. We use promoted pins to gain visibility for your prized work. We can help coordinate everything, from choosing the pin photo and SEO-friendly caption keywords to targeting your ideal client with demographic and contextual data.
While $380 might seem like a small ad budget, it actually goes surprisingly far on Pinterest. Promoted pins ensure maximum visibility of your new project and position your images for continued organic growth beyond the initial investment. Once a pin has been pinned once, it lives forever, inviting others to repin and click through to your website from there.
Professional Lifestyle Photos: $800
Professional images are everything, no matter how well designed a brand or website are. To help tell the complete story of your business, we suggest investing in a professional lifestyle shoot. Different than a traditional headshot, a lifestyle shoot will showcase you in your work environment, doing what you do best.
Maybe these photos are behind the scenes at a project install if you’re an interior designer or blogging at your desk in your beautiful studio. We help guide you to photography that is on-trend, on-brand, and elevates your brand identity. We’ll search our wide network to find you the best photographer for your brand and provide styling and direction for photos that will stop your followers mid-scroll.
By mixing professional lifestyle shots in with your interior design project photos, a complete story is told online. You humanize your brand and give followers and potential clients the chance to connect with you personally. Brands like Studio McGee do such a beautiful job of balancing their professional portfolio, inspiration images from other designers, and styled shots of Shea and Syd.
Printed Branding Materials: $630
Your brand extends to every communication you have with a current or potential client. Branding is both verbal and visual, but at IDCO, we believe it’s tactile as well. Having consistent messaging in printed collateral is crucial to elevate your brand experience beyond the expected. When you’re working in an industry centered around aesthetics, no detail can go unpolished.
Times have changed and traditional brand collateral is no longer relevant. Emails have outdated formal letterhead and most of our clients hand out less than 100 business cards a year. When it comes time to print your branding materials, think minimalistic postcards featuring a single image of your best work that people will want to add to their pin boards, multi-use stationery that can serve as thank you or welcome notes. Don’t skimp on business cards—they’ll incorporate your brand’s unique design elements and create an experience that goes beyond the phone or computer screen to be tangible.
As a small business, it is challenging to grasp the concept of a full year’s marketing budget. However, planning ahead can make it not only more manageable, but entirely sustainable. Creative agencies like IDCO often work on installment plans to help accommodate cash flow throughout the year. Here are a few tips to budget for your new marketing plan:
- Build professional photography into the cost of every project. Having your work photographed should not be a marketing cost, but an itemized project expense. It is your number one sales tool and will be used in every aspect of your newly refined and intentional brand. Professional photography is also a must to get your work published.
- Delegate what you aren’t good at. By hiring out the parts of your business you either don’t enjoy or struggle to complete, you’re allowing yourself to focus on your strengths. It not only frees up physical time to complete other tasks, it frees up mental space as well. Allow professionals to do what they do best and feel comfortable in knowing you don’t have to do it all.
- Cultivate long-lasting, working relationships. It can be easy to fall into the habit of “shopping around” for photographers, designers or social media managers. Go through a thorough vetting process and make your final decision based on aesthetic, not price. By working with the same creative professionals, you’ll cultivate long-lasting relationships that often yield major savings. You’ll avoid initial start-up costs, get preferential treatment, and often get better pricing as a long time client.
- Stick to just two social media platforms. For lifestyle creatives and interior designers, we suggest keeping your focus on Instagram and Pinterest, as they are the most visual social media channels available. By focusing your time, energy and funds on beefing up your digital presence in just two areas, you’ll begin to position yourself as an expert. Spreading yourself too thin across multiple channels not only waters down your brand, it depletes your resources.
- Sign your contract with your designer in 2018, so you can write it off with this years taxes. By paying your deposit before the start of the new year, you can write off the expense with 2018’s tax return. By next year, your new marketing strategy will (hopefully) leverage new business that allows you to reinvest in your continued marketing plan.
While these numbers are approximations and prices will vary depending on who you work with, the foundation for your 2019 market budget has been laid for you. Whether you work with a creative agency, do-it-yourself, or hire staff to manage your marketing, it should be something that runs itself. Creating a plan ahead of time removes the stress throughout the year of your next marketing push. Focus on a clear brand identity that tells your unique point of view. Before you invest in directing people to your website, make sure it’s a destination you’re proud of.
If you’re ready to get started and looking for next steps, shoot us an inquiry here. We’ll get you on the calendar ASAP so you can start your pre-project homework and let us start strategizing.