Marketing on a Budget? Try These Methods to Do More With Less | Entrepreneur
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As anyone who works in marketing can attest to, our role requires that we wear many hats to do a little bit of everything to build our brand and generate revenue — manage websites, host webinars, develop lead-generation content, draft social media and blog content, integrate with sales — the list goes on and on. And more times than not, marketing initiatives need to be successfully executed on a reduced budget and with limited resources, which is not easy.
That’s why it’s essential to get the most out of what you do have in order to produce successful outcomes. But how is this done? In my experience, the answer to this question comes down to three words: scrappy, curious and frugal. Here are some examples of what I mean to help you do more with less in marketing.
Related: How to Reduce What You’re Spending on Marketing (Without Losing Results)
1. Learn the right way to analyze marketing spend
Breaking down the dollars you spent on marketing last year may sound easy, but are you doing it the right way? To ascertain which efforts are actually bringing in revenue, you need to determine costs that are higher and lower in the funnel. For example, what is the cost per opportunity (CPO) for your sales team? You need to find out what campaigns actually translated into new customer acquisitions while keeping in mind that lead tracking isn’t always an exact science. A low CPO indicates that your marketing efforts are generating the right type of leads and at the right cost, and your sales reps are moving leads from prospect to close.
Next, you need to calculate your customer acquisition cost (CAC), which is the amount spent on sales and marketing to gain a new customer over a specific time period. Your total sales and marketing costs need to include all campaign spends, salaries, commissions and other costs associated with obtaining new leads and converting them into new customers. What you might find is that you are spending on marketing channels that produce lots of leads but don’t actually convert into revenue. This will allow you to pivot your strategy and dollars to the most effective, revenue-driving channels and campaigns.
Part of your analysis should also include adding an open-ended question to your lead capture forms. Questions like “How did you hear about us?” can provide invaluable insight for future marketing spend. For example, when we did this at Insightly, we learned that 10% of our business comes from former customers and 20% from customer referrals. You’ll be surprised at what you learn and can make informed campaign adjustments based on that knowledge.
Related: How to Improve the Efficiency of Your Marketing Spend By 40%
2. Create engaging content
Most marketing departments are working off of a short supply of resources these days, and this often translates to thrown-together content for the sake of publishing in an attempt to boost SEO. But, without a strategy and engaging material, the results are probably obvious: few prospects visit your site to read. To reach prospective customers, you need to create great, compelling content that is generated on a consistent basis, driven by strategy and is informative. In B2B, content should be directed to your ideal customer profile (ICP) and address their pain points. But before this, you should focus on getting prospects to know and like you first and then convince them with content that you know how to help them.
Here are some places to start:
- Increase your blog content from monthly to weekly and write about things that matter to your customers. What “pain” do they have? What do they search for to learn how to improve?
- Leveraging AI like ChatGPT can be a game-changer. When used correctly, it will enable you to generate a large volume of content quickly and easily. But don’t forget to put a human touch on it. Read the generated content carefully, customize and humanize it. Also, don’t tell it anything that is private.
- Check in with your sales team to fine-tune their messaging, which will help them to improve their close-rate opportunities and move the needle. Help them write their email cadences and LinkedIn messages in clear, compelling language that speaks to the ideal customer profile.
- Ensure any communication you send to prospects is personalized to the individual and demonstrates that you “know them” and that you understand the business challenges they have.
- Take a close look at your landing pages: Are they helping you to improve close rates? Are they user-friendly? What could be improved? Always be A/B testing to make incremental improvements.
Related: What is Good Content and Why Does it Matter for Your Marketing?
3. Take advantage of free resources
Not everything that is effective in marketing requires spending money. Many initiatives that help to inform current and potential customers don’t cost a cent — like hosting webinars. However, consistency is key in order to reap the benefits. You can’t start and stop. With time, you will start to see the benefits of your webinars: increased attendance and a chance for potential customers to demo your product. Even if only three people attend, it is worth it if you close one deal. Calculate your CPO and CAC to confirm and demonstrate to your colleagues that this is an effective marketing tool.
Leveraging social media (especially LinkedIn for B2B) is another great example of something that is free and effective. Ask your employees to repost company news and announcements on LinkedIn to amplify your messages. You will be astounded by the results — up to quadrupled engagement and readership.
Finally, look back into your virtual Rolodex and reach out to leads that went dark last quarter. They might be researching or even ready to buy now.
Getting the most out of marketing
Very rarely do any of us have the luxury of unlimited resources when it comes to marketing initiatives, which is why it’s critical to understand how to get the most out of what you do have. By utilizing the three words — scrappy, curious and frugal — you can produce successful outcomes from your marketing efforts, leading to increased customer satisfaction and new business to boost your revenue.