Are you feeling the pinch as we start the year? Your marketing efforts needn’t suffer if your budgets have been slashed or your team has dwindled. In this article, we’re giving you 6 ways of reducing your marketing costs without impacting results.
1. Know your numbers
Your marketing efforts cost money. There’s no other way around it. But if you’re looking to cut back on costs as we begin this new year, it’s vital to understand where you’re starting from, and where you want to be. How can you reduce costs if you’re unsure how much you’re currently spending?
Bring up your analytics, your spreadsheets, accounting software or anywhere else you track your marketing budget and dive into the figures.
Things that impact final costs:
- Labor (in-house salaries, freelancers, agency costs), by project or day rate
- Time for market research
- Time for asset design and development
- Set up of the campaign
- Time for A/B testing
- The length of the campaign, and how long it’ll run before you’ll likely see return
- Advertising costs (Google ads, YouTube ads, etc.)
- The time of year/season (advertisers may increase fees during peak times)
How much do your campaigns actually cost? This will help you identify where you can cut back if you have to.
2. Know your audience
Understanding your target audience inside out is gold dust information. Truly knowing what they want, need, and will respond to best, will ensure you only spend what you need to, and not waste money targeting a group that will never buy into your offer.
Dive back into the analytics of past campaigns and perform a SWOT analysis to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. What can you learn from them to help you streamline in the future?
Acquiring new customers costs money through marketing, but it also adds up to keep them, too. Your marketing efforts need to continually appeal to those customers in your funnel, and you’ll find a more fruitful return by retargeting those that have previously spent with your company.
Get wise, and do your research.
3. Be strategic
A marketing strategy that’s working for your competitor might not be as lucrative for you. Your unique audience profile, value proposition, products, and capabilities all come into play, so consider your own business context before jumping ship to a shiny new strategy.
Assess whether your current strategy is working (is it moving you closer to your goals? Is it hitting those KPIs? Is it bringing in revenue?), if it is, why change it?
Big changes could set you back rather than propel you forward because marketing strategies take time to show you their true successes, often costing money to set up and run before bringing in results (paid search advertising, for example). Make sure you’ve fully risk-assessed any major changes in direction to avoid unnecessary spend.
If your marketing strategy feels stale, minor tweaks may be all you need to freshen things up.
4. Get your customers to market your company for you
Word of mouth and social proof are two of the most powerful marketing strategies in the business. What’s more reassuring than a friend telling you how wonderful their experience was with X brand?
Focus your attention on making the customer experience as enjoyable as possible, and consider setting up a referral scheme that rewards repeat customers. It may feel counterintuitive to add incentives to your budget, but reward systems garner loyalty over time, making people feel appreciated while encouraging them to spend more.
If this is too much of a stretch, use social media to your advantage. Consider an engagement campaign that encourages use of a branded hashtag, tags of your brand, and photo sharing. Challenges work particularly well here.
It’ll spread the word of your brand or product faster, and give you plenty of UGC (user-generated content) to use* in future campaigns.
*ALWAYS ask for written permission before posting someone else’s content.
5. Outsource to double (or triple!) your output in less time
If you’re looking to reduce your overall marketing costs, outsourcing can save you money while drastically increasing your output.
For example, one designer in-house might produce all the campaign assets in two weeks. But, if you were to outsource a team of designers, you could potentially have all of your assets in just two days thanks to the extra hands on deck, for much less cost than hiring multiple new in-house designers.
The upfront cost may feel scary when you’re aiming to lower overall, but consider onboarding a fully managed creative production team, like Design Force, when times are tight. We’ve built our model around a simple, risk-free subscription service, meaning you can easily scale up or scale down the support as and when you need it, and you’ll always know the costs upfront, making marketing campaigns much easier to budget for.
It’s a tried and tested model to help companies scale while reducing production costs, but we’ve outlined the ins and outs if you want to learn more.
Our advice: know your numbers from point one and assess the monthly costs side by side, or book a 15 minute demo for tailored support.
6. Use free (ish) content marketing
Not all marketing efforts should focus on big production social media campaigns or paid advertising. Content marketing is a lucrative and low-cost option that will continue to bring results year in, year out.
Yes, it’s a long game, but if cents are tight, this is a surefire way to increase brand awareness and position your business as the expert in your niche, without the huge overheads.
Content marketing to consider:
- A regularly updated educational/informative/entertaining blog
- A podcast on a topic related to your niche. Bonus points if you can interview influential people in your industry
- A YouTube channel with regular uploads on topics surrounding your niche
Essentially, content marketing is long-form content with the goal of bringing people into your marketing funnel.
Once you have a backlog of content, repurpose it into new and exciting things to wow your audiences, such as ebooks, TikTok series or guerrilla marketing stunts in your area. Get creative!
Which of these will you test out first? If outsourcing sounds like the ideal solution for your business right now, we’re already excited to meet you. Get in touch today and let’s chat things through – no strings.