By Liz Rutgersson

It's one of the best problems a marketer can have: extra digital marketing budget. I call it a problem because it can sometimes feel like just that. It's not always easy to decide how to efficiently and effectively allocate digital spend in general, and can be even trickier when you've got a bit more in your pot than you expected and need to spend it quickly.

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I've outlined five things to consider when making this all important planning decision, and highlighted the Dos and Don'ts for both.

1. Goal Identification:

Do start with what's important: the goals of your company. Are you focussing on direct response or brand awareness? Use your current position in the market to determine where you need to be and how this extra spend can help you get there. Ensure whichever channels you choose fit in with your company's targets and goals.

Don't ignore your overall goals for a quick win. Spending additional budget in a short amount of time can be stressful, but don't be tempted by an easy out. If you're after efficient DR, you probably wouldn't want to commit thousands of pounds to a homepage takeover. If you're leaning towards brand awareness, maxing out additional budget on brand keywords or increasing your remarketing to existing users may not be the best path.
There is no strict right or wrong, just make sure your company and campaign goals are leading your decision.

2. Expand Current Channels:

Do use the goals identified in step one to lead you to the best channels for your business. If you're DR driven and can effectively spend more through your PPC campaigns, that's probably a great place to start. Expanding this to search or display retargeting can be great next steps and can often achieve similar results.

Don't take this route if it's not going to align with your goals from step one. Just because your current channels are great doesn't always mean there's room for more, there will be a time you hit the point of diminishing returns. Move on to step three.

3. Consider New Channels:

Do identify how new channels may contribute to your goals. If your needs are DR heavy, consider a real-time bidding display or a true-view video campaign. These can both be highly targeted to your appropriate audiences, and most importantly can be optimised regularly with the aim of achieving results. The great thing about these biddable channels is advertisers can identify what works well throughout the life of the campaign, and bid more or less according to performance.

Don't limit yourself to the channels you're using currently. Think outside the box! There is a plethora of fantastic digital marketing opportunities. The presence of additional spend often allows for a great opportunity to branch out intelligently.

4. Plan for Success:

Do take the time to make a considered plan. It's worth it in the long run even if it means your campaign has to run for a shorter period of time as a result. Considered planning means you're less likely to let a rushed decision skew your overall results.

Don't take the easy way out. It will be tempting to make a quick decision and get your additional budget live and spent quickly. Considering how everything fits with your goals is crucial to success and worth the time. Blowing budget on something because it was easy and looked like a quick win usually doesn't work out in the long run.

5. Analyse Your Results:

Do take the time to ensure you're including all necessary tracking on your campaigns so you can analyse the results when they've finished. This is crucial to proving your decision on where to allocate your extra spend was a great one.

Don't go in blind the next time you're in this position. Understanding the effectiveness of your campaign means the next time you have extra budget to spend, you've got an easy plan for success!

More than anything, it's crucial to work with a team who can help you through each of these steps and shares your goals. Make the time to do this right, and your extra spend will turn from a big problem to an even bigger win!

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