Regardless of whether you work for a small business or a major enterprise, every business has a budget for its marketing and sales teams. It's important to utilize that budget in a way that makes sense for the company and helps it to reach its bottom line.
This is because marketing is an investment, not simply an expense. The more a company is able to invest in marketing, the more it's able to bring in, as long as its team's marketing effectiveness is up to par.
1. You need to have a marketing budget.
This one should be obvious, right? Your marketing team can figure out how best to utilize a small marketing budget. But you simply can't stretch a budget that doesn't exist. However, too many businesses want to rely on organic marketing and cheap and free marketing tactics. They won't put any money behind advertising or creating campaigns that can really lift up their business.
Most of the time if you see a business that isn't performing as well as it could/should be, it's because it doesn't have the marketing budget in place to match its aspirations. If your company is going to grow, marketing is one of the first places you should be looking to spend money.
Putting together a marketing budget helps your marketing team to determine a clear vision for your campaigns and promotions. Knowing the direction you want to take is essential to creating campaigns, not spending frivolously, and maximizing the budget allotted. Not only that, but it encourages collaboration between departments within a company, like marketing, sales, accounting, and HR. A company that works well together stays together, so encouraging any type of teamwork or cooperation is always a good idea.
2. Zero in on your strategies.
When you're working with a small budget, you aren't able to create and manage multiple campaigns. Instead, the best way to utilize that budget is to create one campaign and work on one strategy. Put all of your budget toward that one campaign or strategy until you've mastered it and can increase your budget, or until you can spend less on that strategy and put efforts elsewhere.
For example, especially for companies with small marketing teams, zoning in on a single platform can be the best way to make the most of your budget. Master everything you can on a single platform, grow your audience, and put a solid funnel into place that automates your lead generation and converts new customers all on its own.
Then you can move on to another platform.
For larger marketing teams, or teams that already have processes in place for managing the overall online presence, focusing on a single strategy or campaign at a time is the ideal way to make your marketing budget count. If you can stretch your budget even further, use strategies that complement each other. Don't waste money you don't have by putting it into two completely separate tactics. Instead, find strategies, platforms, and tactics that work together.
3. Nail down your targeting.
Make sure you know who your customer is. Create a detailed buyer persona. Analyze the data within your data management system about your company's average buyer. Make sure that you've completely nailed down your advertising targeting.
This is absolutely key to maximizing your marketing budget. Do your marketing research to ensure that you're targeting exactly the right person so that none of your advertising budget gets wasted putting your product or service in front of the wrong audience.
Once you've gotten your targeting perfected, you'll be able to create an ad catered to your specific audience, putting it in front of your people, and maximizing the number of leads and sales it generates, increasing your overall ROI. Sounds like a win, right?
4. Repurpose old campaigns and materials.
Has your team created flyers, graphics, photos, or any other assets for an old campaign? See if you can repurpose or reuse any old materials. Not every campaign needs to be completely recreated from scratch, and utilizing materials that your marketing team already has can save tons of time and money.
You can (and should) also repurpose and reuse content ideas, captions, and other assets across platforms. Utilize the same messaging on Facebook and Twitter that you do on your website, your lead generation landing pages, your television ads, your billboards, and more.
Don't waste creative efforts on coming up with new messaging and ideas for every platform or promotion. Stay on brand and keep your messaging cohesive overall.
5. Don't overpay.
There may be times when you need to outsource services like graphic design or landing page design if you don't currently have someone on your marketing team to manage those in-house. Make sure to do your research and look at the costs of all available contractors as well as their portfolios to find the best contractor for the price.
When you're working with a small marketing budget, you want to be cost effective wherever you can, but you also don't want to sacrifice quality for cheap service. Find a contractor who does good work, but still fits within your budget. If none of the quality contractors fit within your budget, try to find other areas of the budget to cut so that you can afford the right contractor. If you don't have visually appealing or quality assets for your marketing campaigns, you're wasting your money on the campaign completely.
6. Pay to play.
Digital marketing is more of a pay to play world now than ever. With every online platform getting into the ads business, your marketing team needs to allocate some kind of ads budget to be seen over your competitors. Although brands can certainly still see some benefits from organic strategies in digital marketing, if you want your company to stand out from your competition, it's essential to have some digital advertising budget set in place within your marketing budget.
Determine which platforms you want to utilize; however, the first point of this article absolutely applies here too. If you're working with a limited budget, stick to one platform. Focus all of your efforts on advertising on that platform. But if you have enough of a budget and want to determine where it works best, test a couple of different platforms before choosing one.
Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest all have options for you to pay to promote your posts so they're seen by even more people. You can even venture into affiliate or influencer marketing to reach more of your audience. Understanding that advertising online is essential at this stage of the digital age will help your company to feel more at ease about spending money on digital ads. Seeing the leads and customer opportunities pour in certainly won't hurt, either.
The best way to maximize your marketing budget is to experiment with it until you find out exactly what works best for your company. Although you may, along the way, find a few tactics and strategies that don't work for your business, effectively losing money, you will eventually find the tactics and strategies that work wonders for your business and improve your ROI tenfold.
Fiddling with your marketing budget until you find the perfect combination of ads, platforms, strategies, and messaging that really resonates with your audience is key to getting the most bang for your buck. Try A/B testing with ad assets and messaging. Test the same ad on different platforms to the same audience to see which one gets your company better results. Be present on various platforms until you find the one(s) on which your audience prefers to engage with you and stick with that one/those.
During your experimentation period, however, don't stick with a strategy just because you've found one with a good ROI. It's entirely possible that you can still find something that works even better. Set a time limit for your experimentation period and simply work to find the top performing within that time frame, and stick with that. It might be the first one you test, and it might be the last. But testing and experimenting are essential within marketing, so don't be afraid to utilize that marketing budget.
If your company's marketing team is working with a small marketing budget, it doesn't mean that you won't be able to get results. It's all about marketing research to find what is going to work best for the business, improving marketing effectiveness so that every bit of budget is being utilized, and being sure you streamline marketing solutions to get the most bang for your buck. If you're interested in learning more about software that can help with maximizing your marketing budget by using customer data to pinpoint your targeting precisely, contact us for a free demo of our product.