Digital marketing shines a light on your business, showing current and potential customers why you’re the best at what you do. Done right, it can increase your revenue and grow your customer base. But how much money do you set aside for your digital marketing budget? And what efforts are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck?

Read on to find out how to set a marketing budget for your small business.

Understand your market and competitors

A great way to work out where you’re at and where there’s room for growth is researching what your competitors are doing. For example, if you’re a Melbourne hairdresser, you can search online for top-rated businesses in your area and see how you match up.

A SWOT analysis is a handy way to do this. When perusing your competitors, jot down some of your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, compared to other small businesses in your industry.


  • What does your business do well?
  • What are your unique skills, resources or offerings you can draw upon?
  • What do your customers love about you?


  • Where are you currently falling short and how could you improve?
    (E.g. are you solely relying on word of mouth and have no digital presence?)
  • What could stop you from achieving what your top competitors do?
    (E.g. fewer resources.)
  • What may others see as your weaknesses?


  • What are some opportunities open to you?
  • How could you turn your strengths into opportunities?
  • What trends or in-demand products, services or knowledge can you leverage?


  • What could potentially harm your business? This includes competitors and industry-wide threats.
  • What threats do your weaknesses pose to your business?
  • What’s your competition doing better than you?

Putting these ideas on paper is key to bringing your goals to life.

Lock in your goals

When it comes to setting goals, they’ve got to be within your reach. Having a clear end goal helps you finetune your marketing strategy and measure your results.

We recommend setting S.M.A.R.T goals, which are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

For example:

Increase web traffic by 10% in the next six months by writing two blog articles per month.

Using this framework ensures you’ve got a goal that’s actionable and attainable. In other words, it’s a goal that can actually get you results.

Research your customers

The secret to any top-notch digital marketing strategy is knowing who your customers are and where to find them.

Ask yourself: 

  • How do your customers typically discover your products or services?
  • What do they need to know before they make a purchase?
  • Where do they spend time online?
    (For example, Facebook, Instagram, searching on Google.)
  • How would they research businesses like yours?
  • What is your target audience’s demographic?
    (For example, their age group, sex and location.)

From here, you can start building out an effective content marketing strategy, even as a beginner. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to use content experts to craft messages that captivate your target audience – hook, line and sinker.

Allocate your funds wisely

Without a budget, you run the risk of spending too much – or not investing in the right places. The good news? You don’t need a huge marketing budget to make a splash.

Start with your highest priority goals and work your way backwards. Remember, you don’t have to do all your goals at once!

Here are some areas you can prioritise in your budget:

  • Website – Get professional web content on a brand-new site, or with a web copy refresh
  • Blogs – Build your brand, drive traffic to your website and reach new customers with blog articles
  • eDMs – Keep your customers engaged and coming back for more with email marketing
  • Social media – Connect with your customers and build trust, and grow your following with social media. As content experts, Shuttle Rocket can help you with killer social media copy
  • Paid search and social media advertising – Allot a budget for advertising on search engines and social media channels. You can pay cost-per-click (where you pay for visibility) or pay-per-click (where you pay for engagement and clicks on your ads).

Lean on small business content marketing experts

Are you ready to grow your business but are unsure how to get the best bang for your buck? As small business marketing experts, our copywriting packages can help you get in front of more people and tell your story. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help your business’ marketing take off.