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Best Ways to Spend Your Marketing Budget

Implementing effective marketing on a budget is possible; you just need to know how to spend your money to generate the best bang for your buck. The important thing to keep in mind when making choices on the best ways to spend a marketing budget is that return on investment (ROI), not price, matters most. Here are some insurance marketing ideas for every budget level (keep in mind all cost figures are estimates).

Marketing Budget of $500 or Less

Small budgets can deliver great marketing to insurance clients. The key is to focus on optimizing your efforts to ensure you’re only getting great results and relying heavily on low-cost marketing tactics, such as content marketing.

Web design and marketing writer Rich Whittington suggests the following:

  • For $50, identify and reconfigure low performing calls to action
  • For $150, create new blog post content, retarget landing page copy to your audience or install home page heat map tracking
  • For $250, reconfigure underperforming social media or test click through and conversion rates of new ads against existing ones

With the right in-house expertise and tools, you can handle many of these approaches yourself (or with your team). If you don’t have someone in the office that specializes in marketing, hiring a freelancer, contractor or agency can help you get better results.

Marketing Budget of $1,000

Effectively using marketing tools and tactics while keeping the budget under $1000 may require some sweat equity and industry and best-practice knowledge. For instance, effective search advertising requires choosing the right keywords, which involves targeting keywords that pertain to your business while also understanding the level of competition for those terms. Keyword competition will effect both how much you pay for those keywords and how likely you are to rank with those search terms.

Consider Kissmetrics’ suggestion of going after more low-traffic terms (which are less expensive and more likely to return your results) rather than spending your budget on a small number of higher-traffic (and thus higher competition) keywords. 

Another great way to potentially boost marketing ROI is by considering localized ad placements. By specifically targeting nearby audiences, you’ll likely face less keyword competition.

According to Inc.com, sponsorships are “one of the easiest, most affordable ways for a small business to gain a lot of exposure.” Local sponsorships target a niche market, increase company-name recognizing and distinguish your agency from others. Additionally, industry-networking events increase agency visibility while granting a glimpse of the competition’s marketing.

Marketing Budget of $5,000

A more generous budget means marketing to insurance clients may include practices requiring longer implementations and greater marketing expertise. Creating a better brand identity is one option. Start with a SWOT analysis (strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats) and use the results to create your brand, which should include a vision statement, a mission statement and value proposition. The Houston Chronicle lists three benefits of a strong brand:

  • Customer recognition
  • Immediate recognition of new brand products
  • Customer loyalty

Email marketing segmentation is another possible marketing choice within the $5000 or less budget. Various companies offer segmentation programs. Finding and implementing the right one allows your business to achieve better open and click rates by focusing on specific groups of recipients and sending targeted messages.

Spending money on a quality video can pay off in a big way, so consider having a professionally produced marketing video made. Video is playing an increasing role in consumer decisions and not having a video may actually hurt your business. According to Animoto, 25 percent of consumers lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have a video.

Marketing Budget of $10,000

If you have extra budget, you can move beyond online organic marketing and experiment with display ads. You can have them appear on specific websites or when people search for certain terms. These visual ads help capture attention and drive potential consumers to your company as a whole or a specific offering or service. ClickZ.com describes display ads as the “the breadcrumb trail that will lead consumers straight to your door.”

Online marketing is not the only option. While regional publications may be cheaper, placing print advertising in well-regarded industry publications provides great B2B marketing exposure for insurance agents targeting businesses.

“Old school” direct mail also remains viable, even in the digital age. In 2013, Forbes.com reported that direct mail is the best option for reaching two demographic: “reasonably affluent males” and people over the age of 50. Furthermore, it works. Direct mail achieves a 3.7 percent response rate, outperforming all combined digital channels (0.62 percent response rate), according to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2015 Response Rate Report.

Marketing Budget of $25,000

Do larger budgets guarantee better results? Ineffective, poorly conceived marketing plans waste scads of dollars. However, correctly implemented, $25,000 can deliver a boatload of marketing power in many different ways. Having an expert refurbish your website design and landing page optimization pays for itself in increased traffic. Deeper lead provider integration is possible with a lead management platform. Such tools feed leads directly into specific business accounts. Added features may include duplicate removal, lead scoring, adjustable distribution of leads and real-time management and reporting.

Increasing your physical presence also works. Consider hosting an event that presents your business as an industry leader. Live events, which are suggested by Inc.com, are a chance for people to get together face-to-face in a world that’s increasing run through remote and digital channels. Always maintain a clear objective, or you will just end up throwing an “expensive cocktail party.”

A large marketing budget also works for taking less expensive tools to the next level, such as a larger publication advertising budget or more frequent content creation. The take away is that there are plenty of ways to create great marketing and stay within your insurance agency budget.