Most business owners will be aware of the immense value that digital marketing can provide to their company. In fact, Salesforce research suggests that by 2021, over 75% of marketing spending will be digital. Whether you are a micro-business or a technology giant, digital marketing funding is likely to be an essential factor in the success of your company.
With intelligent digital marketing, businesses can create a positive feedback loop of profitability and customer engagement. When these digital marketing channels have been optimised to deliver a positive ROI, exponential business growth can often follow.
A difficulty that many small businesses will be familiar with is raising sufficient funding to begin their marketing journey. A considerable upfront investment can often be required to discover an effective marketing strategy.
Together, these funding sources provide a valuable set of financial tools to ensure your business's marketing success.
Digital Marketing Funding in 2019
For small to medium-sized enterprises, universities can supply both capital and expertise for your digital marketing. Forging an alliance with a university can provide your employees with access to expertise in data analytics, business development and other essential marketing disciplines.
Some universities also provide grants for consultancy with external digital marketing specialists. One example is Coventry University’s ‘Digital Advantage’ scheme, which provides grant opportunities for consultancy in areas including digital strategy, web usability and e-commerce.
Innovate UK is a public body dedicated to providing investment to pioneering businesses with new ideas. As well as contributing capital, they connect businesses with customers and other investors.
You can also read more about how Innovate UK have provided valuable digital marketing training to the businesses that they work with. These programs and workshops ensure that companies can put their digital marketing funding to best use and secure a greater return on investment.
Unlike many other digital marketing funding sources, crowdfunding provides much more than a lump sum of capital to promote your business. Crucially, it connects you directly with the people that are most interested in what you have to offer.
Due to the fact that many of your crowdfunding investors are likely to become customers, you’ll be gaining valuable insights into who your target market are and how they behave. You can then apply this understanding for greater success in your wider digital marketing campaigns.
Is your business developing a product in the science or technology sector? R&D tax credits can cut your development costs by up to a third. The UK government provides tax relief for businesses that have a clear research goal in mind. Businesses can then invest this saved capital into a coherent digital marketing strategy.
For early-stage companies, incorporating this strategic element can often be the difference between success and failure. The Harvard Business Review identified that businesses that focus on digital strategy are able to scale faster, minimise risk and typically survive longer than their non-digital counterparts. The R&D tax credit provides a perfect opportunity for businesses to allocate a portion of their capital to improving their digital marketing.
There are many organisations that provide free training to develop your business. In particular, many of these schemes have a keen focus on developing marketing skills. One such example is the AMA which helps creatives connect with a wider audience.
In 2018, the AMA gave out 30 bursaries to support their members in their professional development. This included access to digital marketing training and a range of complementary skills.
Assuming you meet the relevant criteria, many companies can benefit from business loans. Schemes such as the British Business Bank provide businesses with an affordable loan option. This government-run scheme aims to address the imbalances in business funding.
The British Business Bank has lent over £165 million to small businesses since 2013. Their loans have helped drive marketing and business growth for 74,000 UK companies.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (or KTPs) make it less expensive for your business to recruit a graduate who can develop your digital marketing. Normally part-funded by grants, a graduate will come to work for your company, focusing on your chosen area of strategic business development. Your graduate will also be backed by the university, ensuring that the expertise of the faculty is shared with your business.
One example of a university that has participated in marketing KTPs is the University of Brighton, which has led projects in a broad range of disciplines and sectors.
There are a multitude of grants available to UK businesses looking to grow their operations. Many of these grants are directly related to marketing or can free up capital for your advertising.
Examples of UK grants include:
Chambers of commerce are local organisations that provide support for the growth of businesses in their region. With digital marketing overtaking traditional marketing as the most popular advertising stream, many chambers are now providing training and investment to help local businesses thrive online.
One example of an organisation that is providing financial assistance to businesses going digital is the East Midlands Chamber. 'The Digital Growth Programme' offers grant funding, business support and digital marketing workshops to businesses in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
Sat halfway between crowdfunding and a business loan is peer-to-peer lending. Sites such as Funding Circle connect investors with businesses in need of investment.
Funding Circle alone have lent over £4.6 billion to 46,000 UK businesses. The average annual turnover of a business on Funding Circle is around £800,000. Like many of the funding sources mentioned, they also provide basic digital marketing training to stimulate business growth.
In conclusion, there are a vast range of options for securing digital marketing funding. In fact, nearly all businesses can benefit from one or more of the funding sources listed above.
If you've successfully raised the finance you need to promote your company, the next step is to put that money to use as efficiently as possible.
Put your digital marketing funding to work with novi.digital
novi.digital is an award-winning SEO and PPC agency with over a decade of experience in transforming the online success of our clients. Our focus is on delivering on the metrics that matter most to you. Whether you're looking to stimulate rapid growth or improve your marketing margins, novi.digital can help you discover the opportunities that can provide a greater return for your business.