Maximizing Your Ad Budget: 4 Tips for Small Businesses

07.01.2024 Sara Brasfield5 min

No advertising budget is unlimited. From global corporations to local small businesses, all organizations face the same pressure to squeeze as much value as possible from their ad investments.

But “maximizing your ad budget” isn’t about spending every last penny at your disposal. It’s about planning your ad spending with the goal of maximizing your return on investment. To do this, your business needs to take a strategic approach to planning, evaluating, and optimizing your ad spending in alignment with your advertising goals.

Small businesses in particular must take advantage of tools, campaign data, expert insights, and other available resources to bolster ad performance and realize the full potential of their advertising budget. Looking for tips to give your ad strategy the inside track? Here are four of our favorite tips to increase your advertising ROI.

1. Split Your Budget Across Multiple Advertising Channels

No advertising channel deserves the investment of your entire advertising budget. Even if you’ve identified one advertising channel as offering higher ROI than all the others, multi-channel advertising is crucial because most prospects require multiple advertising touches before they convert.

In today’s increasingly fragmented digital landscape, consumers also tend to move across many different digital channels—including cable TV, social media, online search, and more—throughout their day. Diversifying your campaigns across multiple channels gives your business more opportunities to reach your target audience wherever they can be found.

Many advertisers are finding value in that approach: according to one survey, more than half of all advertisers and marketers report increased audience reach, brand awareness, and ad engagement when running their strategy across multiple channels.

2. Use an Ad Budget Calculator to Estimate Your Campaign ROI

If you’re unfamiliar with media buys and advertising spending, investing in advertising can feel more like gambling than legitimate business promotion—largely because you don’t have any guarantee of a return.

That’s where an ad budget calculator can come in handy. By plugging in a few data points—including your anticipated monthly budget, your target cost-per-conversion, and your average sale price—you can quickly estimate the kind of ad performance you need to drive a positive ROI from your ad investment.

Some of these numbers will be estimates based on projected performance, but this calculator can still help you plan your advertising spend and budget ads based on the return you’re hoping to get. And what’s even better than a calculator? A media partner that can work these calculations alongside you and give you context about where to invest more or pull back from based on your unique business goals.

3. Start Small With Social Media Ad Spending, Then Increase Budgets Over Time

Social platforms offer extensive audience targeting tools that use behavioral, demographic, location, and other types of data to help you locate and reach even niche audiences. But finding the perfect audience targeting strategy can involve some tinkering before you start seeing strong campaign results.

The solution? Take advantage of the low minimum requirement to advertise on these platforms. A Facebook ad budget, for example, can be set to a daily minimum of as little as $5, giving you time to test and optimize your advertising strategy before you ramp up your spending.

Once you start seeing an uptick in ad engagement, you can increase your spending and monitor campaign performance to see if it translates to ROI, helping control your risk exposure while preserving your ad budget.

4. Optimize Spending in Real-Time Through Ad Budget Monitoring

Most digital ad channels give businesses the distinct advantage of allowing real-time monitoring of these campaigns. When you’re launching a multi-channel campaign for the first time, testing out a new audience targeting strategy, or running a campaign on a brand-new channel, it’s often hard to predict what kind of results you’ll get.

By monitoring these campaigns in real-time (or having a media partner who monitors this for you!), you can keep an eye out for clear red flags—such as surprisingly low engagement rates or other performance metrics—that may signal an issue with your ad. On many platforms and channels where these campaigns are run, you can pause the campaign to freeze your spending and take a close look at the ad to fix the problem.

Or, if the problem isn’t obvious, you can put the campaign on an indefinite hold while you make alternative plans. Either way, this real-time approach can help you preserve your precious ad budget.

An optimized advertising strategy for small business brands can’t be created overnight. But when your business is committed to incremental improvements and diligent ad spending, you can make gradual progress toward more cost-effective advertising and stronger campaign ROI.

The right advertising partner can help you accelerate that progress and push your ad performance higher, faster. Cox Media’s experts can help you plan, launch, and refine an advertising strategy tailored to your company’s advertising budget and goals.

We’re here to help. Squeeze the most out of your marketing budget this summer with Cox Media – learn more here.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is a Marketing Manager on Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than nine years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the office, Sara loves spending time running, reading, and supporting her favorite sports teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

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