Investing in marketing is essential for developing a reputation for your small business and drawing in new customers

But if you don’t have the budget for promotion, funding might be an option.

This article will cover digital marketing funding for small businesses, including: 

  • How does financing work for marketing? 
  • What kind of digital marketing funding can you get? 
  • What are some tips for securing funding?
  • BONUS! Find out below

See also: What is the best marketing for your business?

How does funding work for marketing?

If you want to enhance your marketing, funding is a great way to invest now for future gain. And luckily, you can use most forms of business funding towards marketing efforts

When to fund marketing

To increase your revenue in the long run, you’ll need the right marketing strategy. Do this before you start to seek funding.  

For example, you may want to:

  • Hire a graphic designer for marketing.
  • Pay for targeted advertising – such as on Google or social media.
  • Hold a promotional event. 
  • Pay for a business sponsorship. 

To do this right, whatever money you borrow needs to lead to greater earnings. 

Any examples come to mind? You may recall how Expressvpn often sponsors podcasts or Youtubers. This approach reaches their target audience to show digital-savvy people how to be safe online and gain new content.  

How to create a funding plan

No matter what idea you want to invest in, to earn digital marketing funding, you’ll need to have a secure and promising plan. 

If you can cover the costs yourself, that might be the best option. But there are a few ways to finance your marketing if you need to. You’ll just have to show that you post little financial risk and high promise. 

You’ll want to know: 

  • Where the money will go.
  • How much you’ll need. 
  • That you can pay it back on time.

Key tip: Good planning helps you avoid risking a debt you can’t pay off. Ensure your funding helps you rather than hurts you. 

What types of digital marketing funding can you get? 

There are a few digital marketing funding options you can pursue. Why not weigh the choices to see which best suits your needs?

Credit cards

If you don’t need a large investment for your marketing plan, you might look to take out a business credit card. These cards let you spend money instantly and pay it back over time. 

Here are some options to look into: 

Pros

With the cash available, you can invest in smaller marketing needs, such as:

  • Marketing or design software
  • Paid-advertising
  • Business merch 

Some business credit card options offer great rewards that can support your business growth, such as discounts and cashback

And if you’re in good financial standing, most business cards offer higher credit limits than personal cards. Also, payments with credit cards offer higher levels of fraud protection. 

Cons

Many options require monthly minimum limits of £1,000 or more. Some cards also charge annual fees. 

Plus, if you can’t pay off the total credit card balance, these cards often charge higher interest rates. Most business credit cards are also personally guaranteed, meaning you’ll be personally liable for funds you can’t return.

Credit cards are best for: expenses with a quick cash return

Business grants

Want to make a larger investment in your small business marketing? Then, a grant might be the right fit for you. The UK Government offers a database filled with grant options, many specific to small businesses. 

You can find the list of grant opportunities here. 

Pros

Grants offer a great opportunity as many of them allow you to use the funds for marketing. 

For example, the NBV Grant for Enterprise supports small business growth in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Lincolnshire. Scottish Enterprise also offers grants towards business growth. 

Even better, you don’t need to pay back grants, so they don’t create debt. This way, you can entirely profit off the rewards. 

Cons

Many grants are competitive and take a lot of work You’ll need to ensure you fit the requirements based on business size, type, and location. 

Depending on the grant, you may need to submit a business plan or marketing strategy to show what you’ll do with the money. 

Grants are best for: Projects that grow your marketing and pay off in the long run rather than creating immediate profits, such as a total rebrand. ????

See also: A guide to accounting for grant money you’ve received.

Loans 

If you can’t find a grant that works for your business, you could take out a loan. Loans can help you cover a large marketing expense to vamp up your reach. 

Banks offer small business loans to start or grow your operations. These expenses can easily go towards marketing. Plus, loans come in all sizes, from as little as £500 to over £100,000. 

To secure a loan, you’ll need to apply with a business plan and show you will be able to pay it back over time. 

Here are some options to consider: 

  • British Business Bank– offers startup loans with a year of mentoring
  • HSBC – Has an easy eligibility checker and doesn’t require an HSBC account 
  • Barclays – flexible terms and larger amounts for existing businesses 

Cons

Loans are great ways to cover larger expenses that you don’t yet have the money for. But they must be paid back with interest. So, you end up paying more than you took.

Lenders and banks can also reject your loan application if you have bad credit or pose a high financial risk. 

Consider if taking a loan it’s worth putting your business in that kind of debt. Ensure your marketing plan will help you easily return the loan, so you don’t struggle to meet that financial obligation.  

Loans are best for: Marketing investments with slower but steady cash returns, such as paid advertising or sponsorships.

See also: When to get a business loan 

What are the best ways to secure funding?

Once you know what funding you want to pursue, do your homework. Understanding the requirements and expectations of your funding source will help you secure it.  

Remember, you’ll need to know: 

  • How much you’ll need
  • What you’ll do with the money 
  • How it’ll be effective (based on research)
  • Why it’s important to your business

All in all, investing in your small business marketing can lead to greater website traffic, increased buzz, and customer growth. 

So, if you have a good marketing plan and the right funding to support it, you can benefit financially in the long run.  

BONUS: Track funding with a financial management app

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of single-person businesses across the UK

With tools like automatic expense categorisation, you can easily track what you spend on your business marketing and see how much funding remains. 

Then, ongoing cash flow insights will help you analyse the success of your marketing investments. You can use the information to make profit loss statements, which can help you secure the funding you need. 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. 

Start your three-month free trial today. 

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