For most SMB’s or startups, the marketing budget needs to be planned as efficiently as possible to help support maximum growth for smaller investments. Especially for bootstrapped companies, every little bit of budget counts. As a rule of thumb, both small startups and large enterprise businesses should be looking for ways to do more with less and maximise their return on investment no matter what size their budget is.
So, are you currently looking to grow your brand but need to do it with a lower marketing budget? In this article, we’re looking at a few ways to market on a budget like a pro.
1. Repurpose content
One of the first ways to make your marketing budget go further is to look at how to reuse the work you’ve already done. This is an easy win when it comes to quickly activating initiatives. Repurposing content gives you a much further reach from every piece, and also gives you more chances to relate and engage different members of your audience. All you need to do is take an existing piece of content and either change the format, how you position it, who you target or iterate on the creative.
Here’s some ideas of how you can repurpose your content:
Turn the key points from a blog into an infographic
Infographics can be split up into a carousel post for social media
Turn podcasts into video bites for social media
Turn webinars into educational videos for Youtube
Repurposing content gives you more opportunities to distribute the work that you have already done, meaning you can test how your audience digest the content and trial new creative designs to see what resonates with your audience the most. Don’t forget to look through the archives of content in your company too - for example any evergreen content that was created before a rebrand can be given a new lease of life by repurposing the content into new formats that are in-line with your up-to-date visual identity.
Repurposing content means that you don’t need to spend hours every week trying to come up with countless new and unique ideas, which can be a real challenge, and instead can take one great idea and span it out into a few content pieces.
A great place to start with this is in the blog area of your website. Most companies will already put time and effort into creating valuable long-form content in their blog area that can easily be broken down into different chunks that cover different topics in various different formats. Here’s some ideas of new formats to inspire your next content pieces.
2. Prioritise one channel at a time
A key part of marketing with a smaller budget is getting every channel working for you optimally. To do that, it’s a good idea to keep focused on the channels that you really need at any given stage, getting those to work and bring a return on investment, and then branch out from there.
For example, whilst you might need to have a presence on every social channel - your efforts and budget might be better used on just one or two channels until that are more in line with your business objectives. If you’re a B2B marketing agency, you might find that more leads are available via LinkedIn rather than on Instagram. Spending hours and hours on Instagram then becomes an inefficient use of your limited time resources, that could be much better spent on optimising the channels directly contributing to your growth.
We completely understand how tempting it is to want your brand to get involved in everything available from Instagram posts through to Tik Tok and podcasts, but with limited resources, you might find that your team is stretched across these channels and unable to give any one of them the attention it needs to thrive and risk wasted ad spend. So next time you feel as though you want to branch out into a new area of marketing, ask yourself some questions to help reflect on how valuable that will be to your brand. Ask questions like…
Do I know that my target audience is using this channel regularly enough to warrant my brand’s presence there?
Does this platform give me access to leads in the short-term or the long-term? And which do we need to focus primarily on right now?
Does my team have the capacity to give this channel the attention it will require?
3. Focus on CRO
CRO, or Conversion Rate Optimisation, is so important to focus on no matter how developed your brand is. However, when marketing on a budget, it’s arguably one of the best things you can do to help your marketing efforts go further. You’ll need to be using CRO to fine-tune your existing marketing channels and get them giving you the most bang for your buck.
So how can you make CRO a priority in your day-to-day activities? Make sure to keep a close eye on the data being collected across every area of your marketing, and make changes based on what you can see is working well. Scheduling in regular times to take an overview of your marketing activities and the conversions happening is really important, because it can help flag up problems early on before more budget is spent on something that isn’t working properly. For example if an ad is not converting or otherwise giving you results you want in another KPI, then you can catch that early on before more budget is spent on that.
You can also use tools like Hotjar to make data-driven changes to your landing pages. Using tools like Hotjar you can identify areas on the landing page that customers are struggling to understand and use, and make tweaks that contribute to better overall UI/UX design. All those little changes add up to help the channel work optimally, which gives you the best return on your investment no matter what size your budget is.
4. Encourage referrals
Your best channel is one that can’t be measured, and that’s referrals. When a customer is happy with the product or service you’ve received, they’re likely to recommend you to others. That means you have an opportunity to double your return on investment. In some cases, this referral chain can mean that you end up with many more customers with no additional spend needed. For companies of any size, referrals are important. They’re not only cost effective, but they are perhaps one of the most powerful tools in building trust in your brand.
You can encourage referrals with loyalty schemes and rewards, offering customers who have signed up additional discounts or features when they refer others. Another alternative is to simply reach out to customers that you know have been with you for a long time, or that have been especially happy with your service, and request a review.
User-generated content (UGC) is an easy way to add more to your content mix and encourage that same trust that comes from an organic referral. User-generated content is content that has been created by a user of your brand or service and where the person expresses their individual thoughts and feelings about the service they’ve received. UGC is generally filmed using a phone camera and so one identifying factor is actually the lack of professional quality of the film, so don’t worry about uncut and unedited videos - they can often do just as much good in building trust in your audience.
5. Outsourcing rather than hiring in-house
Hiring new employees in-house can be very costly. You’ll need to consider things like the office space the employee will need, equipment, training, onboarding time as well PAYE and the relevant paperwork that will need to be handled. This costs a lot but also takes up a lot of time. In a busy SMB where resources are limited, this can be a huge time burden and often results in hiring delays and overworked internal teams. Not only does this lead to stressed employees, but it also means that the roles they were hired to perform cannot be done to as good a standard since the time needed is just unavailable. The alternative is to put off projects, but that can result in slower growth. This is where outsourcing can come in really handy.
We’re an unlimited graphic design subscription company, so we work with a lot of marketing agencies and businesses from across multiple industries that need regular graphic design support but that do not need to commit to hiring in-house staff and the costs associated with that. Instead, those businesses are able to pay one flat-rate, dependable monthly fee and get the level of support they actually need. This method of outsourcing graphic design is currently saving UK businesses over 20k a year, and giving them access to design support they need to accelerate growth no matter what point they’re at in their business journey.
In this blog, we’ve discussed just a few ways that you can get more out of your marketing budget. From repurposing content, focusing on CRO and outsourcing to meet demand - there is so much you can do to help make a smaller marketing budget go further. For more articles like this one, head over to the Design Cloud blog now.
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Thank you! Welcome to our newsletter
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Need help with design work?
Learn how Design Cloud can help you save time and money on graphic design.