Nine Ways To Effectively Cut Your Businesses Marketing Costs
One of the most important aspects of running a successful business is the need to continually market yourself.
But, marketing just for the sake of marketing won’t do any good, either. You need to be doing this effectively. Your marketing efforts need to strike a balance between making adequate expenditures yet not sacrificing the cash you need for other needs.
Below are several strategies for cutting marketing costs without killing the quality of your existing marketing campaigns. Yes! It is possible to achieve stellar marketing results, while cutting your budget.
1. Conduct a marketing audit.
The first place to start is a review of both your marketing budget and any related data. The goal of a marketing audit is to get a grip on how much you’re spending on marketing-related activities. These expenses may include:
Content creation and promotion
Social media ads you’re running, and their management
Email marketing copy for the emails you send
Additional forms of advertising, including print media
Video scripting, creation and promotion
Remarketing or retargeting efforts
SEO efforts (or payments to an SEO consultant)
You’ll also want to quantify how much you’re spending across each marketing vertical. This includes any software you’re paying for, advertising fees and the costs of creating any media or marketing materials.
After you’ve done this you might be surprised to find areas where you’re greatly overspending and others where you could cut back right away.
2. Improve your customer targeting
Obtaining new customers costs money. What costs even more is the acquisition of customers that aren’t in your ideal market. They might visit your business once, but you still might be at a net loss when you add up all the marketing fees it took to obtain them.
For this reason, you’ll want to narrow your focus and ruthlessly market to the types of customers that convert and stay with you over the long term. Study your existing marketing data and especially the profiles of your best customers. This should be where you focus nearly all of your efforts.
A focus like that will help you get more from your existing marketing budget and avoid targeting customers that run your budget dry.
3. Reduce the number of active marketing channels you use.
What are you currently doing for marketing? Chances are it’s probably a smattering of things: Creating and promoting blog content. Growing your social media accounts. Running paid advertising. Converting your content to new mediums like Quora and YouTube. Attending conferences. Cold emailing.
In the first step, you should have compiled a list of every marketing activity you’re currently undertaking.
Some things like SEO take time. But, if you’re in a budgeting crisis, you might want to put longer-term activities on hold while you double down on strategies that get you customers much faster.
In time, you can add back other channels. But, it’s a better use of your money to put all your energy into two or three channels, instead of spreading yourself too thin.
4. Use marketing automation tools.
If you’re trying to cut back on man-hours, consider automating certain marketing tasks. Automation will help free up you and your employees to focus on more valuable tasks.
Here are a few of the most common marketing tasks that you can automate:
Chatbots for social media: Chatbots are taking over the world. They’re most commonly employed via Facebook Messenger, and other social media sites, but they can be adapted to other platforms as well.
Chatbots can be used to accomplish tasks like gathering company intel, offering personalized support, responding on social media, promoting your content and more. Best of all, after you take the initial setup, these bots will run continuously without additional work required on your part.
An email autoresponder: Email autoresponders can help you build a deeper relationship with your subscribers without having to do any additional work. A well-written autoresponder can even act as part of a pre-sales sequence.
Link together general business tasks: Your marketing needs to work like a machine. Think of it that way. Every piece is working together to support your other efforts. If you feel that your marketing tools and strategies are all over the place, consider adding automation tools into your workflow.
5. Re-purpose older content.
If you’ve been publishing content to your company blog for a while, then you’re probably sitting on a gold mine of content. There are two ways to approach it:
Update and promote older content as though it's new: Your older content can actually help to get you new readers and traffic. Just because you published a post once doesn’t mean you’re done forever.
You'll probably find new information available that can help you enhance your existing post.
6. Use free tools, instead of subscription tools.
You’re probably paying more than you need to for marketing tools. For example, you’re probably paying for keyword research software, a company CRM, social media management, email marketing tools and more.
Some of these tools might be essential, but you could find a free alternative with a little digging. Most premium tools are equipped with more advanced features than their free counterparts, but you have to ask yourself, is this tool really contributing to my bottom line?
If the answer is no, then cut it.
There are tons of high-quality free keyword research and SEO tools available, along with image creation, email marketing, social media and analytics tools.
You might have to spend some time learning the ins and outs of a new tool, but if you can get the same results and save a huge chunk of your budget, it’s time well spent.
7. Bring certain marketing activities in-house (and outsource others).
Back in step one, when you were analysing your budget, you might have uncovered a few ways you could cut staff costs. This doesn’t mean firing your whole marketing team (far from it). Instead, you might rearrange who it is that will accomplish any of a number of specific tasks. Get creative!
For example, maybe you have a talented designer on your team who can create images and social media graphics, so you can stop outsourcing that task. Or, maybe you’ve been doing all of your own writing, but you’ve found an agency who produces stellar content.
When considering going in-house or outsourcing, approach the question from a cost perspective, but don’t sacrifice quality. It’s better to cut certain marketing tasks altogether rather than lower your standards.
8. Double-down on effective sources.
The easiest customers to convert are those that are receptive to what you’re offering.
Now, ask yourself: Where are these customers coming from?
Is it from a Facebook ad campaign you’re running? Is Strategic guest blogging? Or maybe your best customers and clients come from referrals.
These customers' sources might include multiple channels, or perhaps they come from a single source. Once you’ve found this gold mine of referrals, spend all your marketing efforts there.
9. Focus on referral marketing.
Referral marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Yet, most businesss don’t maximize the number of word-of-mouth referrals they receive.
Your customer relationships should always be a priority. So, perhaps add a sweetener, such as an incentive for recommending your business. This might be a rewards program giving discounts for every customer referred.
Often, great referrals start when a business provides incredible service. Your customers won’t spread the word about your brand if they’re not absolutely thrilled with your service themselves.
So, yes, offer incentives and make them beneficial enough for your customers to pass your business on. Just remember that the core of a successful referral strategy starts with your providing so much value to your customers that they can’t help but talk about you.
Overall, making budget cuts is never easy, especially when you're in an area as essential as marketing. Hopefully, you’re now better equipped to begin scaling back your overall marketing spending, while still managing to keep growing your business.
Remember, your marketing budget and needs will fluctuate over time. As your revenue increases, you can afford to experiment with your marketing strategies once again and reintroduce previously cut initiatives.
To find out more about how Revival Media could help your business, or to arrange an initial meeting, contact us today.