How to Set Online Marketing Budgets for 2013 / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

In part one of this two-part series about marketing budgets for 2013, we talk about how to budget for online marketing efforts, from...

2013 is just around the corner and budgets are being discussed. In a study by Webmarketing 123, 90% of marketers will increase or maintain SEO, PPC, and SMM marketing budgets in 2013. Whether you are one of these businesses or not, 2013 is fast approaching and it's time to finalize your marketing budget for the New Year. Because B2B businesses are focused on lead generation, look at what yields the greatest ROI and delegate your budget accordingly. In part one of this two-part series about marketing budgets for 2013, we'll talk about how to budget for online marketing efforts.

Content Marketing

From social media channels to PPC ads and blog content, there is a lot that goes into online marketing. When determining your online marketing budget for 2013, section off where your business has been successful or unsuccessful and where you currently aren't, but want to be for next year. Here are some numbers to keep in mind as you allocate budgets for online marketing efforts.

  • Make sure there is room in your budget for social media. Customers want to be able to engage with you across a variety of platforms. 93 percent of business buyers believe all companies should have a social media presence (Cone Inc. 2010).
  • Sagefrog Marketing found that almost 70 percent of B2B businesses spend at least one hour per week on social media. Make sure you're dedicating enough time and budget to developing your company's social network presence.
  • In a 2012 Webmarketing 123 survey, 59 percent of B2B companies answered that SEO made the biggest impact on lead generation. Use these numbers to make sure you're budgeting for strong SEO efforts.

When it comes to online marketing, your business should be focusing on content and engagement. Create strong content that will lead to better SEO results and sharing across social media. While PPC is still worth dedicating some of your budget to, SEO-driven content marketing needs to be a focus in 2013.


Search engine marketing is the process of gaining traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. It is also referred to as paid search marketing, cost per click (CPC) or pay per click (PPC). PPC campaigns can be beneficial as you'll have control over where money is spent and can track the lead source by keyword.

  • In the Webmarketing 123 survey, 20 percent of the respondents chose PPC as the avenue that had the biggest impact on lead generation. However, they also found that 11 percent of respondents will decrease their PPC budget in 2013.

There are more and more cost-per-lead programs out there that will yield high volume of leads at a much lower cost per lead than paid search. With pay per lead, you often have the opportunity to return a lead that you feel isn't qualified enough or didn't meet your needs as specified. Buyer hubs, where buyers go to submit a quote request from multiple vendors, can provide leads at a cheaper cost than other marketing channels.

  • Keep in mind, organizations focused on inbound marketing experience a cost per lead 61% lower than outbound marketing-dominated organizations (The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing, HubSpot).

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an important sector of many B2B marketing strategies. Standing out in 2013 is important as more and more businesses are jumping on the email marketing train. While some services are available at about $75 per month, outsourcing can cost upwards of $175. If you don't see email marketing campaigns as a worthy investment compared to PPC or content marketing, think again. Not only can you incorporate your website content into your e-mail marketing programs, you can generate new customers and sales.

  • The vast majority of responding companies in a census from eConsultancy (70%) rate email as 'excellent' or 'good' for return on investment. With numbers like this, it's evident that a strong email campaign is worth the investment.
  • eConsultancy also found that companies using an ESP (email service provider) for additional functionality report higher ROI.

Whether you choose to outsource or keep your email marketing campaign strategy and execution in-house, make sure you're dedicating enough of your budget towards email marketing. It's worth the investment.

With the rise of content marketing in 2012, it's becoming clearer that customers are focused on the value that your marketing efforts add to their personal and professional levels. Budgeting for online marketing should include allocations towards content marketing, from blogging to social media, PPC and PPL campaigns, and an effective email marketing strategy.

Stay tuned for Part 2 about budgeting for your offline marketing efforts in 2013!


(Image Source: Webmarketing123)

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