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10 Ways to Hack Your Marketing Budget

In recent years, businesses of all sizes have found themselves facing a common challenge: tightening marketing budgets. If you're a marketer or a business owner, chances are you've experienced the squeeze firsthand. As economic uncertainties loom, the pressure to do more with less is palpable.


We've all been there, right? You’ve got a great product or service, a killer message, and a burning desire to get out there and make an impression. But the dollars are holding you back. It’s the plight of all marketers in the current age, I think!


Good news: I’ve got some ideas that can help.


Image of a person putting coins in a piggy bank

Here are 10 ways you can get the most bang for your marketing buck.

1. Make the most of your existing leads. This means making it easy for them to give you their information. Make sure the forms on your website where you collect their information are straightforward, distraction-free, collect only the information you need from them, and functional. Make sure any nurture campaigns you have to treat those leads are working, with all touch points deploying as intended, delivering at high rates, getting decent open and click-through rates, and with all links functional. Invest in lead scoring to prioritize everyone on your list according to the likelihood they’ll convert. Focus your more expensive resources (i.e., your sales team) on those with higher scores. Lastly, help improve activation and retention rates for customers who do sign up by optimizing your trial and onboarding experiences in a way that helps assure their success. FURTHER READING: From Leads to Loyal Customers: How to Build a Successful B2B Marketing Funnel

2. Use retargeting to recapture your audiences. Retargeting tactics are all about recapturing the attention of people who’ve engaged with you before, usually very recently. It’s all about keeping your brand top of mind and giving them another chance to engage. A few of the most common retargeting tactics include:

  • Showing display ads to people who’ve recently visited your website Displaying ads for products or services they viewed but didn’t purchase

  • Promoting social posts to people who’ve engaged with your channel before or visited your profile recently

  • Resending your marketing email to people who didn’t open it the first time (try a fresh subject line to get their attention)

  • Sending coupons or promotional offers to people who put your product in their virtual cart but didn’t make a purchase FURTHER READING: B2B Retargeting Strategies: How to Bring Lost Leads Back

3. Become more engaged with your existing points of interaction.


Become more engaged with your existing points of interaction.

It’s normal in most companies to have some potential points of customer interaction go undeveloped. If you’re short on money and have available time, these can be good places to increase the quality of your team’s attention.

Some ideas include:

  • Reading replies in your unmonitored inboxes. Making sure inquiries are followed up on, that customers who’ve communicated thoughtfully there know they’re heard, and that your team is learning from any complaints or points of feedback delivered there.

  • Similarly, go through qualitative feedback in recent customer satisfaction surveys.

  • Engage more with your followers on social media. They often offer insights you can use in strategic decision making, and it’s possible to find real fans and build customer relationships.

4. Look for ways to reuse existing assets.

If you’re doing any kind of content marketing, this is another great place to increase efficiency. Most companies publish an asset once and consider it done, but the savviest of companies take that one single asset and do much more.

For instance, you can republish your regular newsletter as a newsletter for followers on LinkedIn. You can adapt sections of an ebook or white paper to make shorter blog posts and articles—publish them on your website, then promote them on social media, with ads, and on LinkedIn. Repurpose a product video to create reels and stories for social media. You can even film one of those “reaction videos” that are so popular right now. The point is, think outside the box and make sure each piece of content you launch lives at least 3 or 4 different lives.

5. Make the most of scale-friendly channels (ahem, email).

As someone who’s specialized in it a lot of my career, I may be biased. But in terms of bang for your buck, email marketing is the way to go. And there’s a lot of different ways to help make it work for you without putting in a huge amount of time or strenuous effort.

For instance:

  • Optimizing your subject lines (see: 10 Tips for Subject Lines That Convert)

  • Adding personalization with your readers’ first names, job titles, or even content appropriate for their industry or geographic region

  • A/B testing elements of your email on a small audience, then delivering the winner to the bigger group (you can do this for send-from friendly names, subject lines, images, buttons, offers, product promotions, and more)

  • Testing different times of day and days of week for your sends

  • Promoting your existing assets to new audiences

  • Incorporating an easy share-this-email option so readers can forward your content

  • Adding share-this buttons to content your followers might want to post on their social

  • Making sure your emails are easy to read and interact with on mobile devices

6. Dedicate time to search engine optimization.

Done right, this can be a low-cost way to make your website more discoverable for those searching for businesses and products on Google. It can take a little effort and time, but it can be done without much money invested at all.

There are 3 places you should focus your efforts:

  1. On-page SEO: This is all about optimizing individual web pages, so they rank higher in search results for certain keywords. It usually involves making sure your content is super-relevant to a certain topic, incorporating the use of specific keywords, and adjusting H1s, H2s, and meta data so Google can easily tell what’s on the page.

  2. Technical SEO: This focuses on the backend of your website, making changes to improve your websites crawlability, indexing, and overall performance in search engines. It’s about optimizing your site’s load times, ensuring mobile friendliness, improving site structure, fixing errors, and enhancing security. The goal is to make it easy for Google to tell what’s on your page and deem it high quality in terms of user experience.

  3. Backlinking: This is the practice of getting other high-quality, reputable sites to link back to yours. You can do it by creating content so good they can’t help but link to, or by striking up some kind of strategic partnership. Either way, Google treats a high-quality link back to your page as a sort of endorsement. The more healthy, trustworthy sites that trust yours, the more likely Google is to rank it high-quality too.

7. Get others to do the marketing for you.

It might not be as hard as it seems. Loyalty and referral programs are immensely popular. Think about how often you, as a consumer, have been offered a discount code or special gift for referring a friend. It’s effective, right? As a bonus, the more often a customer evangelizes for your brand, the more loyal they themselves tend to stay to you. Win win!

Influencer marketing can be another good way to go, too. While the big celebrities might be out of your league budgetarily, nano, micro, and mid-tier influencers may actually be a more effective way to go. Their followers are usually more engaged and more trusting, they’re more affordable, and they often have more attention they can devote to a fewer number of total campaigns. Platforms like Cipio.ai and Upfluence even help you discover the influencers that are already your fans.

8. Build relationships with the press, especially local.

It’s a journalist's job to find interesting, thought-provoking, and heart-warming news. And you know what a journalist loves? Someone who makes that part easy! So, cozy up with your local press contacts. Let them know when your cool, local company is doing neat things. It could be an innovation you’re working on or a project or challenge you’re having that’s timely or relevant to other news. Perhaps you have a heartwarming origin story, a local impact story, or a community building story they’d be eager to tell. Perhaps you need help from your neighbors in some way or want to give something back. These are all great, press-worthy moments that could land you on a front page or on the 5 o'clock news.

9. Embrace marketing automation.

These tools are designed to take work off your plate, so let them!

Here are a few examples of things you can automate:

  • Your website’s ranking in the search results (with tools like Position Tracking)

  • Your website’s speed, health, and performance (with tools like Site Audit)

  • Your social media posting schedule (with tools like SocialPilot)

  • Social listening, so you know what people are saying about you (with tools like TalkWalker and Adview)

  • Management of your Google Ads (see this guide for all you can do)

  • Lead nurturing, lead scoring, and follow ups (with tools like Hubspot)

  • First drafts of copy (with tools like Jasper and Copy.ai)

10. Hire an agency.

At first, it might seem counterintuitive, but hiring a marketing agency (like ours) can be a really smart monetary play. After all, a modest budget that could cover maybe one junior marketer’s salary can often buy you access to ongoing support from a senior-level marketing team. It’s like adding an up-and-running marketing unit to your existing org, overnight.

In addition to the increased quality and sophistication of the work, that expertise typically also means less back-and-forth, edits, and do-overs. They bring their own tech stack, their own team, and their own overhead. All you worry about is their to-do list and their straightforward fees. And because commitments are often short term, it gives you flexibility to double down on efforts that are paying off or take a break if that’s what your budget needs.

Whatever situation your company may be in, I hope this list has been inspirational for finding more ways to make the most of your budget. We’re all a bunch of efficiency dorks over here at Wheels Up Collective. So, if you want to talk more about ideas about how to get what you need, let us know. Best of luck out there!




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