How to Define a Communication Budget for Your Company?
Defining a communication budget is far from easy because many factors come into play. For example, your communication budget will depend on
- The total budget of your company
- The channels you will use to reach your audience (Facebook Ads will be cheaper than TV ads)
- The type of content you need to create (a blog post will be cheaper than a video)
It is therefore difficult to say exactly how much you should invest. However, what we do know is that communication is an expense item that is often neglected, especially in VSEs and SMEs.
However, communication must be part of your business strategy.
Whether it is to :
- develop your notoriety,
- improve your brand image,
- prepare for potential reputation crises.
In this article, we give you some tips to define your communication budget.
Plan the Size of Your Communication Budget
Before defining a budget, you need to know what your communication objectives are. These objectives depend on the context in which your company evolves:
- Are you just starting out in the market or do you already have an established presence?
- Does your company face a lot of competition?
In other words, the goals you set will depend on your company’s current situation.
For example, you will have a greater need for communication if you are looking to make yourself known. To correctly estimate the means to allocate to your communication, you will have to establish a diagnosis, which follows from the answers to the above questions.
You could do a SWOT analysis to get an idea of the initiatives to undertake.
The next step is to establish a communication plan based on the diagnosis and your objective (to get people talking about you and your products and services, to communicate on an event, to attract new customers, to create a positive image of your company).
This plan will have to list all the actions to be undertaken to reach your communication objective.
The Various Expenses in a Communication Budget
Establishing a coherent action plan, with a clear idea of what it will cost, is not easy. In this section, we detail the different budget lines to be included in your communication plan.
The Identity of Your Company
This is the cost of making your company easily identifiable.
- The logo is an essential element of your company’s communication. Not everyone can improvise as a graphic designer and entrusting the creation of your logo to an agency specialized in visual identity is crucial. Once the logo is created, it will have to be deployed on different communication supports: social networks, business cards, goodies, etc.
- The website and social networks of your company must be taken care of because digital is becoming more and more important. Here, the costs to plan will be mainly for content creation (blog articles, publications on social networks), maintenance costs (hosting of your website), and the costs of creating the website. You can of course do everything in-house, but given the speed with which digital evolves, it is more interesting to work with web development agencies and social media agencies.
Event communication applies to two types of events: those you organize and those you participate in.
- If you are organizing an event, you will have to plan for these expenses: advertising (urban billboards, press or radio), print communication (flyers, posters), goodies, street marketing operations, venue rental (if necessary), services (music, audiovisual, photography, catering), etc.
- If you participate in trade shows to improve your visibility, you will have to plan the cost of your stand, the cost of your entrance ticket, but also plan the costs related to your communication to let people know that you will be present.
Marketing communication allows you to address your audience directly.
- Street marketing allows you to attract customers by prospecting them near your point of sale, but several costs are to be foreseen. The production of flyers and samples, the service of commercial animators, the signage (advertising backpack, ephemeral stand), etc.
- Advertising is everywhere: in sales outlets, in the urban landscape (bus wraps, digital panels in shopping malls or train stations, backlit panels in parking lots, at bus stops, in train stations or in the city), in the press (newspaper inserts) or in the media (television, radio, cinema). Here, your budget will not be the same depending on the channels you choose.
Digital communication includes a number of actions:
- Communicating on social networks can increase your visibility. Most social networks allow you to create ads or make sponsored posts. The more money you invest in promoting an ad, the more likely you are to reach your audience. Your budget will influence how long your ad will be visible. And therefore on the amount of people you can reach.
- Collaboration with influencers can also have a huge impact on your communication. Indeed, you can have your company’s image endorsed by influential people who share your values. You can either make an in-kind partnership or a cash partnership. This will allow you to easily reach your audience through influencers relevant to your brand.
- The natural referencing should not be neglected either. Indeed, SEO answers to many rules that must be respected to be correctly referenced on Google. You could take care of it internally, but we advise you to entrust this mission to an SEO agency. Things evolve quickly, and only a specialized agency is able to stay up to date with the best practices.
- It is also possible to run a paid search campaign to get a jump on the first page of search results.
Communication Budget: Conclusion
There are a lot of different expenses in communication and it would be inefficient to be everywhere at the same time. It is important to use your budget in the best possible way. Choose your battles, select specific channels and stay the course.
Thus, only implement the actions that seem to be the most relevant for the success of your communication strategy. In addition, don’t forget to measure the impact of your communication actions: this is the best way to know if your investments are worthwhile.
Finally, at the start of your business, we advise you to invest between 10 and 20% of your projected turnover in the implementation of adapted communication actions. This proportion can increase if your sector is very competitive.
Once your company is well established, this proportion can be reduced to 5% if you are a BtoB company or 10% if you are a BtoC company.